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Match Report: Wigan 16 Leeds 52
Posted by Bilko on August 23 2008 - 11:59

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Wigan Warriors v Leeds Rhinos.  Engage Super League XIII Round 26.
Friday 22nd August 2008. Kick Off 8:00pm at JJB Stadium.

Thoughts on the Match

Whilst off the field things look much brighter for Wigan - on the field this defeat just rubber stamps what has been a very disappointing campaign.

Back in February their was plenty of talk about "fortress JJB" and even banners around the stadium stated it. But it just hasn't been like that has it?

I remember in June talking about us being ok because we had loads of home games racked up towards the end of the season but here we are facing finishing 6th - which is a backward step from last year when we would have finished 4th but for the points deduction.

Wigan really should have been pushing Catalans for third this season in my view but have ended up falling way short.

Against our current play off rivals we've won just 4 of 13 matches. Be interesting to see if we can rise for the play offs but the prospect of Catalans away with no momentum is a daunting one.

Match Report from Sportinglife.com

Defending Super League champions Leeds kept the pressure on leaders St Helens with a crushing win at the JJB Stadium that dealt a hammer blow to Wigan's hopes of a home tie in the play-offs.

The Rhinos produced a polished performance to avenge their recent defeat by the Warriors and gave their points difference a healthy boost as they drew level with Saints, who go to Huddersfield on Sunday with work still to do if they are to finish top of the table.

Full-back Brent Webb scored two of their nine tries in a scintillating show to which the home side simply had no answer as they crashed to their heaviest home defeat of the season.

The champions were in determined mood from the start and, inspired by in-form second rower Ali Lauitiiti, ran in four converted tries to establish a 24-10 interval lead before adding five more after the break.

Wigan, who were without leading points-scorer Pat Richards, were boosted by the return of playmaker Trent Barrett and, making what could be his final appearance at the JJB Stadium, he was involved with the opening score, a contentious one that came virtue of a breakaway try from former Leeds winger Mark Calderwood.

Webb went up in the air with Barrett in pursuit of Danny McGuire's high kick and it took video referee Steve Ganson four minutes to deduce the ball came off the visiting player before loose forward Joel Tomkins re-gathered to send the winger 60 metres up field.

With front row forwards Stuart Fielden and Iafeta Paleaaesina tearing huge holes in the Leeds defence, Wigan were good value for their lead but the visitors continued to play the brighter rugby and they were rewarded with two tries in a three-minute spell.

Webb took Matt Diskin's pass close to the line and spun out of George Carmont's attempted tackle to score his 15th try of the season and then substitute Luke Burgess seized on a moment's hesitation by Calderwood to touch down McGuire's grubber kick.

Kevin Sinfield added both conversions to make it 12-6 but Wigan hit back 28 minutes when Calderwood, never far from the action on his likely final home appearance, palmed back Barrett's kick for Cameron Phelps to touch down.

In a game where errors were proving costly, Leeds winger Lee Smith was next to pounce, seizing on a dropped ball by Carmont to race 50 metres unopposed to the line for the visitors' third try.

And Leeds' enterprise was rewarded just before the break when they ran a penalty from in front of the posts and prop Kylie Leuluai crashed over from short range, with Sinfield kicking his fourth goal.

Leeds were on a roll by then and they increased their lead with the very first play of the second half.

They were awarded a scrum in a perfect attacking position after Sinfield's kick-off bounced into touch and Webb underlined his status as the best attacking full-back in the game when he produced some dazzling footwork to slice through for his second try straight from the set piece.

The Rhinos have begun to re-discover their early-season sparkle in recent weeks and their next try amply illustrated their devastating tryscoring ability when superb offloads by Keith Senior and Jordan Tansey paved the way for Lauitiiti to touch down for a richly-deserved score.

Leeds were becoming simply unstoppable and Senior typified their superior power and pace when he romped over for their seventh try on 54 minutes and Sinfield's seventh conversion made it 42-10.

Substitute Eamon O'Carroll pulled a try back for the home side but the champions continued to dominate and Smith scythed through the Wigan defence for his second try.

Seventeen-year-old substitute Kallum Watkins then put the seal on a magnificent victory when he chased McGuire's kick and hacked the ball ahead to touch down for a memorable score.

Reaction to the Action

Brian Noble: "Leeds were pretty hot tonight in certain spells, we probably couldn't handle them which was disappointing. It's important we recognise what went on, at 12-10 we got back into the game and gifted them a try, we let a couple of soft ones in. I thought Leeds were particularly good in the second half and they blew us away. We lacked a few people on the fringes. We aren't down and out, it's a great lesson for us in relation to how intense you have to be at the back end of the year. We get a week off now bit I am still confident we will be there or thereabouts in the play-offs. A couple of bounces of the ball didn't go our way, that happens against teams like Leeds and it reflects in the score. They worked us over in the middle and then came away and with Burrow and McGuire on the front foot, their kicking game was better than ours as well. We were disappointed with that, it's something we talked about. There is plenty to work on but it's not complete doom and gloom, we will get some players back for our last game of the season and then the serious business starts. We will have to see what happens this weekend, probably our points for and against aren't as good as some of the others so that may count against us, it will be difficult. We are in the play-offs which is the important thing "

Team Sheets

- Wigan Position Leeds -
1 Richard Mathers Full Back Brent Webb 1
2 Mark Calderwood Winger Lee Smith 5
21 Cameron Phelps Centre Carl Ablett 19
4 George Carmont Centre Keith Senior 4
14 Liam Colbon Winger Jordan Tansey 21
6 Trent Barrett Stand Off Danny McGuire 6
7 Thomas Leuluai Scrum Half Rob Burrow 7
8 Stuart Fielden Prop Kylie Leuluai 8
9 Mick Higham Hooker Matt Diskin 9
10 Iafeta Paleaaesina Prop Jamie Peacock 10
16 Harrison Hansen 2nd Row Gareth Ellis 12
15 Andy Coley 2nd Row Ali Lauitiiti 14
22 Joel Tomkins L.Forward Kevin Sinfield 13
- - - - -
19 Paul Prescott Substitute Nick Scruton 17
24 Eamon O'Carroll Substitute Luke Burgess 24
27 Lee Mossop Substitute Simon Worrall 28
32 Tim Smith Substitute Kallum Watkins 32

Score Sheet

Wigan Warriors 16 - Leeds Rhinos 52
Tries (3):
Mark Calderwood
Cameron Phelps
Eamon O'Carroll
- Tries (9):
Brent Webb
Luke Burgess
Lee Smith 2
Kylie Leuluai
Brent Webb
Ali Lauitiiti
Keith Senior
Kallum Watkins
Goals:
Cameron Phelps 2/3
- Goals:
Kevin Sinfield 8/9

Scoring and Incident Pattern

8th Minute Wigan 04 Leeds 00 Try: Mark Calderwood
- Wigan 06 Leeds 00 Conversion: Cameron Phelps (1/1)
21st Minute Wigan 06 Leeds 04 Try: Brent Webb
- Wigan 06 Leeds 06 Conversion: Kevin Sinfield (1/1)
24th Minute Wigan 06 Leeds 10 Try: Luke Burgess
- Wigan 06 Leeds 12 Conversion: Kevin Sinfield (2/2)
27th Minute Wigan 10 Leeds 12 Try: Cameron Phelps
- Wigan 12 Leeds 12 Conversion: Cameron Phelps (2/2)
31st Minute Wigan 12 Leeds 16 Try: Lee Smith
- Wigan 12 Leeds 18 Conversion: Kevin Sinfield (3/3)
39th Minute Wigan 12 Leeds 22 Try: Kylie Leuluai
- Wigan 12 Leeds 24 Conversion: Kevin Sinfield (4/4)
Half Time Wigan Warriors 12 Leeds Rhinos 24
41st Minute Wigan 12 Leeds 28 Try: Brent Webb
- Wigan 12 Leeds 30 Conversion: Kevin Sinfield (5/5)
49th Minute Wigan 12 Leeds 34 Try: Ali Lauitiiti
- Wigan 12 Leeds 36 Conversion: Kevin Sinfield (6/6)
53rd Minute Wigan 12 Leeds 40 Try: Keith Senior
- Wigan 12 Leeds 42 Conversion: Kevin Sinfield (7/7)
62nd Minute Wigan 16 Leeds 42 Try: Eamon O'Carroll
- Wigan 16 Leeds 42 C.Phelps Missed Conversion (2/3)
69th Minute Wigan 16 Leeds 46 Try: Lee Smith (2)
- Wigan 16 Leeds 46 K.Sinfield Missed Conversion (7/8)
77th Minute Wigan 16 Leeds 50 Try: Kallum Watkins
- Wigan 16 Leeds 52 Conversion: Kevin Sinfield (8/9)
Full Time Wigan Warriors 16 Leeds Rhinos 52

Referee

Ashley Klein

Video Referee

Steve Ganson

Penalties Conceded

Wigan 5 Leeds 6

Goal Line Drop Outs Forced

Wigan 0 Leeds 2

Match Attendance

14,778

Television

Match Weather

Dry.

League Table at Conclusion of Super League 13 Round 26

- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 St Helens 26 21 0 5 924 441 +483 42
2 Leeds Rhinos 26 20 0 6 833 401 +432 40
3 Catalans Dragons 26 16 2 8 670 591 +79 34
4 Warrington Wolves 26 14 0 12 670 675 -5 28
5 Wigan Warriors 26 13 2 11 632 682 -50 28
6 Bradford Bulls 26 13 0 13 687 609 +78 26
7 Wakefield Wildcats 26 11 0 15 562 730 -168 22
8 Hull Kingston Rovers 26 10 1 15 528 705 -177 21
9 Harlequins 26 10 0 16 535 739 -204 20
10 Huddersfield Giants 26 9 1 16 600 661 -61 19
11 Hull FC 26 8 1 17 530 663 -133 17
12 Castleford Tigers 26 7 1 18 577 851 -274 15

Round 26 Results
Fri 22 Aug Hull FC 26 Harlequins 6 12,269
Fri 22 Aug Wigan Warriors 16 Leeds Rhinos 52 14,778
Sat 23 Aug Catalan Dragons 32 Wakefield Wildcats 38 8,320
Sun 24 Aug Huddersfield Giants 22 St Helens 40 6,150
Sun 24 Aug Castleford Tigers 44 Warrington Wolves 24 5,902
Mon 25 Aug Bradford Bulls 42 Hull Kingston Rovers 18 10,353

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