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Match Preview: Leeds (A) - Challenge Cup Quarter Final. 31.05.08 @ Headingley
Posted by Bilko on May 28 2008 - 14:02

Leeds Rhinos v Wigan Warriors - Carnegie Challenge Cup Quarter Final.
Saturday 31st May 2008. Kick Off 2:30pm at Headingley.

Wigan of course have a rich illustrious history in the Challenge Cup.They've won the competition a record 17 times, they were first winners at the Old Wembley and of course we did the famous 8 in a row from 1988-1995.

But if one team has been a thorn in Wigan's side during the past 112 years since Challenge Cup Rugby began, it is Leeds. Wigan have won just 3 of 12 cup clashes at Headingley.

The first win at Headingley came way back in 1911. That was a Quarter Final and Wigan came home 13-4 winners thanks to tries from Johnny Thomas, Lance Todd and Percy Williams. Wigan went on to reach the Cup Final for the first time that season but lost the final 4-0 to Broughton Rangers.

The second win was a Round 1 clash in 1973. This was the season that the RFL decided to split the 30 team league into two divisions at the end of that season.

Leeds had won the league championship the season before and where competing at the top of the table whilst Wigan were struggling to finish in the top 16 of the 30 team league - which was the benchmark for them competing in Division 1 the following season.

So Leeds where at the top and Wigan where mid table. Leeds must have played dirty that day as Wigan kicked five penalty goals on top of the three converted tries they got through David Hill, Jimmy Nulty and Stuart Wright. The final score was 25-11.

At the end of 1972-73 Wigan scrapped into Division 1 by finishing 16th on points difference from York. The top 16 though in those days qualified for the play offs so it was a weird situation of having just avoided relegation but still having a chance of winning the championship!

It didn't matter though they lost to top of the table Warrington (yes that's right, Warrington finished top of the league!) 30-15 in the play offs first round. Leeds went on to the reach last ever Championship Final in which they lost to Dewsbury, captained in those days by Sky Sports commentator "Stevo". So Dewsbury won the championship despite having finished 8th in the league! What a weird time the 70s was.

The last cup win at Headingley of course was last season when we came home 22-18 winners. In the match report after I talked about how is perhaps fate that we become the first winners at new Wembley like we had been the first winners at old Wembley! Ha ha ha ha!

Still whilst Leeds have been a cup bogey side for Wigan over the years at Headingley, currently Wigan have a stronghold over Leeds. They've won 5 of the last 6 clashes since August 2006. This years 14-10 win was particularly impressive. Leeds have scored an average 32.6 points per game this season and we reduced them to just 10! Our defence is going to have to be awesome again for us to win this one.

However in attack we are beginning to show form. The 106 points scored against Whitehaven has seen us follow up with scoring 38 points in both of the last two matches. Be interesting to see how we do against Super League's best defensive side.

We are also seeing players visibly stepping up a gear. Gareth Hock, Feka Paleaaesina in particular have been outstanding in the last two matches. We need big performances again on Saturday.

Aside from the play off loss last year, when three away victories proved too big an ask for Wigan (and would have been for any side in Super League I think), all the recent Wigan and Leeds clashes have been close affairs. Wigan have come out on top every time but the law of averages must surely mean its Leeds turn soon? But who knows. Like I said we've won 5 of the last 6 and only won of those games was at the JJB! As a friend of mine said on Sunday when I gave her, her match tickets - "I'm sick of seeing tickets for bloody Headingley"!

Memo to the Rugby Football League

Fix us a big home cup tie next year! Please! - It'll be our 10th year at the JJB and we still haven't had a big home cup tie!

Match Referee

Richard Silverwood (Dewsbury) - Age 31
First Pro Game: York v Batley - March 28th 1999
First Super League Game: Halifax 30 Salford 18 - May 6th 2001
First Wigan Game: Wakefield 14 Wigan 30 - May 1st 2002

2008 Record with this Referee

Match Result Pens
Bradford (H) Won 28-14 9 10 Leuluai -
St Helens (A) Lost 10-46 9 12 Higham -
Whitehaven (H) Won 106-8 8 5 - -

Video Referee

Ashley Klein

Wigan v Whitehaven - Challenge Cup Head to Head Records

Record P Wigan Leeds Draws Success
Home & Away 24 13 10 1 56.2%
At Headingley 12 3 8 1 29.1%

Previous Cup Meetings with Leeds at Headingley

Date Round Opposition
1898-1899 Round 2 Leeds 03 Wigan 00
1910-1911 Quarter Final Leeds 04 Wigan 13
1922-1923 Round 2 Leeds 02 Wigan 00
1925-1926 Round 2 Leeds 17 Wigan 10
1926-1927 Round 2 Leeds 13 Wigan 03
1937-1938 Round 1 Leeds 27 Wigan 04
1949-1950 Round 2 Leeds 07 Wigan 02
1956-1957 Round 1 Leeds 13 Wigan 11
1960-1961 Round 1 Leeds 05 Wigan 05
1972-1973 Round 1 Leeds 11 Wigan 25
1999 Round 4 Leeds 28 Wigan 18
2007 Round 5 Leeds 18 Wigan 22

Wigan have also played five neutral semi finals at Headingley in which they have Won 4 & Lost 1. The 1920 final between Wigan and Huddersfield was also played at Headingley but Wigan lost 21-10.

Wigan Form Guide - Last Six Matches

Date Opposition Competition Result Score
25th May 2008 Wakefield (A) SL13 Round 15 Won 38-30
16th May 2008 Warrington (H) SL13 Round 14 Won 38-14
12th May 2008 Whitehaven (H) C.Cup Round 5 Won 100-8
4th May 2008 St Helens (N) SL13 Round 13 Lost 16-57
27th April 2008 Bradford (A) SL13 Round 12 Lost 12-26
20th April 2008 SM Pia (H) C.Cup Round 4 Won 74-04

Opposition Form Guide - Last Six Matches

Date Opposition Competition Result Score
23rd May 2008 Bradford (A) SL13 Round 15 Won 30-14
16th May 2008 Wakefield (H) SL13 Round 14 Won 58-12
11th May 2008 Harlequins (A) C.Cup Round 5 Won 36-26
3rd May 2008 Bradford (N) SL13 Round 13 Won 40-26
25th April 2008 Hull KR (A) SL13 Round 12 Won 36-22
18th April 2008 Celtic (H) C.Cup Round 4 Won 38-16

League and Cup Stats

Top 5 Try Scorers
Pat Richards 10
Liam Colbon 9
Harrison Hansen 8
George Carmont 7
Mark Calderwood 6

Scott Donald 15
Danny McGuire 11
Rob Burrow 10
Brent Webb 10
Keith Senior 9

Top Goal Kickers
Pat Richards 84
Leeds: Kevin Sinfield 77

Top Points Scorers
Pat Richards 208 (10 tries, 84 goals)
Leeds: Kevin Sinfield 162 (2 tries, 77 goals)


Gareth Hock: 2 tries in two games and in outstanding all round form.


Mick Higham has not scored in his last 30 away matches since Apr 2006.

Stuart Fielden Games without a Try now stands at....

44 appearances since he scored twice at Odsal - February 24th 2007.

Ticket Details

Stand ConAdultsiors Concs/Juniors
West Terrace £18 £12
Paddock Seating £21 £15
North & Carnegie Stands £23 £10

Discounts before 1pm Fridays on Ticket Hotline: 0871 66 33 552
Click Here for Stadium Seating Map

UK Media Coverage

TV LIVE (2:10pm-4:30pm)
TV Post Match (4:30pm-5:15pm)
Local Radio Full Match Commentary BBC Radio Manchester
National Radio Full Match Commentary BBC 5 Live Sports Extra
Radio at Venue Full Match Commentary BBC Radio Leeds 92.4
Internet Audio Full Match Commentary Click Here for Details

International TV Coverage

Country Type Date Local Time Channel
USA Delayed Mon 2 June 5:30am
Canada Delayed Mon 2 June 5:30am

Match Betting

Team Odds
Leeds Rhinos 1/4 Fav
Wigan Warriors 7/2
Match Draw (80 Mins) 25/1

Handicap Match Betting with Totesport

Wigan have a 12 point Start at odds of 4/5 with BET 365

Weather Forecast

Click Here

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