Well you can only praise the club's marketing department for the
"Big One" effort because the crowd tonight for me played a
massive part in that victory.
down we looked dead and we were being run over in the middle of
the park but somehow we found a huge try to only be 10-6
down at the break and from that we never looked back.
I honestly can't believe we've won 28-10 in the end because
Leeds ere all over us in the twenty minutes prior to half
time. But the second half was total domination for Wigan and I think we've laid down a huge marker for the rest
of the season which says we will be a threat in both league and
cup. The Wire fans thought they had the cup semi sewn up five
weeks ago when we lost in Wales - I bet they are worried now!
Leeds could have scored twice in the opening four minutes
but after that early burst the first twenty minutes was very
even. No side was really on top but that all changed when the
substitutes took affect twenty minutes in.
We brought on Stuart Fielden and Iafeta Paleaaesina but they
were poor I thought in this spell - totally dominated by Ali
Lauitiiti and Luke Burgess who came on for Leeds.
Leeds were punching holes straight up the middle of the
field and got the games first try in the 21st minute. Rob Burrow
sent Danny McGuire over and Kevin Sinfield's conversion made it
That soon became 10-0 after Mike Ratu, on debut Leeds, broke clear and although he was caught short, a quick
play the ball allowed Scott Donald to score in the corner.
Sinfield couldn't convert.
Leeds like I said were all over Wigan and probably needed one more try to take themselves
towards a rout victory. But Wigan managed to hang in and fight back. Perhaps it was a
huge run from Feka that lifted our spirits. Sadly it resulted in
a knock on but he went on a blitz down the right win and made so
huge yards - after which we never looked back and totally
dominated the rest of the game.
Four minutes before half time an offside penalty got us into
good field position. Their were many excellent Cherry & White
performances on the night but Cameron Phelps was probably the
highlight and he sent George Carmont over from close range to
cut the deficit. Crucially Pat had his kicking boots on to
convert and make it only 10-6 to Leeds. Definitely had my half time pint feeling that we were
lucky to be in that position but we gladly took that luck.
Second half and wow. It's a long, long time I've seen Leeds dominated so much but I genuinely can't remember them
getting close to threatening our line. Maybe I'm a bit blinkered
but it was an awesome second half.
Two minutes after the break we got a crucial try. Sam
Tomkins, who had an excellent game as well tonight, put in a
neat kick which Carmont collected. He threw a wild pass to
Leuluai which ended up loose in the in goal for Harrison Hansen
to pounce on. "Dead" was my call but the video ref proved he
grounded it before it went dead. I actually think Leuluai was
taken out for a penalty try anyway but video referee Ian Smith
awarded a try to Hansen which Richards converted to make it
It was a narrow lead on paper but I genuinely thought it was
a huge advantage. Although Leeds had a dominant 10
minute spell from 20 minutes onwards, overall it was a pretty
even defensive effort.
But all the territory was now towards Wigan. Joel Tomkins was denied after Pat Richards was
rightly ruled to have knocked on a bomb by Phelps. The referee
declared No Try but gave Wigan. a penalty for tackling in the air on Richards. Moments
later though a fight broke out and Wigan. got a second penalty on the
Leeds goal line. They tapped and eventually scored with Joel
Tomkins crashing through a huge gaping hole in Leeds' right side
defence on 57 minutes. Pat hit a crucial conversion to make it
It really still should have been a tense last twenty minutes
but Leeds didn't really come close. Not helped in truth by a
three minute delay on 66 minutes when Danny Buderus left the
field with a bad (probably broken) ankle injury. That allowed
Wigan. to regroup and halted the little Leeds momentum they had.
Wigan. were all over them and well deserved the winning try
they got in the 71st minute. What a try as well - a beauty
worthy of winning any match. Richards broke down the right, found Leuluai in
support, who in turn sent Sam Tomkins to over for the match
winner. The conversion made it 24-10
and game over.
Leeds tried a short kick off and won it but Wigan. eventually got the ball back and desperation from the
Rhinos saw them conceded three late penalties which gifted
Wigan. chances to "take the two" and kill the final six
minutes off the clock. They kicked the first to but missed the
last one at the death. Didn't matter a superb 28-10
win was secure and it's been a long time since we could feel
like this but bring on the Saints next week. Can't wait for the
derby. Normally been dreading the enemy in recent years but not
now - bring them on!