Match Report: Wigan 20 Leeds 6
Posted by cherryandwhite on February 12 2012 - 11:02
Wigan bounced back from opening day disappointment with an easy victory over champions Leeds. Click Read More.
Extended News

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Wigan Warriors v Leeds Rhinos - Stobart Super League XVII Round 2.
Saturday 11th February 2012. Kick Off 5:45pm at DW Stadium.

Match Report

Simple but effective - that's how I would describe this win. "It was like watching two different teams" was the common post match consensus when comparing last week to this week.

The bottom line was that this time was that all our key men performed. The Spine of the team (Positions 1, 6, 7, 9 and 13) needs to perform for any team to have success in big games and they all contributed far, far better than against Huddersfield.

Leeds though were extremely disappointing. Ok, they might use the excuse of the World Club Challenge being on the horizon but I can't remember too many matches against Leeds in which we eased to victory. Once we got 12-0 up around the half hour mark, I never felt that we looked like we'd lose.

That's probably the biggest positive for me. At 14-6 we could have panicked and collapsed under momentum of a Leeds comeback. But we kept calm and sticked to the basic gameplan. Our defence barely buckled all night with the only Leeds threat coming from Rob Burrow's probing runs at hooker.

Coach Wane decided to stick Jack Hughes at Centre in place of the injured George Carmont. It was clear from pre season that Wane saw Hughes as cover for centre, even though 95% of his academy appearances have been as a back row forward, and he did a good job I thought. Not much in attack to be fair but very solid defensively. Thought Tom Spencer, making his debut, had a solid 10 minute spell off the bench as well.

It looked like Wigan had made a perfect start when Josh Charnley had scored in the right corner after just 4 minutes but the video referee Richard Silverwood chalked it off for obstruction. In fairness they are consistently bad in deciding these decisions but I come back to the same point - they might as well ban dummy running when matches are televised. Just ban it - in fact just have players standing around doing sod all, that'll make a good product for tv won't it? Actually it will it seems, its a sport called Rugby Union!

Anyway......after that it was a bit of a midfield battle. A bit of alarm for Wigan when Jamie Jones-Buchanan made a good break up the left wing but that proved to be a rare break.

Once the 10 minute mark had past, Wigan began to turn the screw. We all saw how poor our kicking game was against Huddersfield but it was much better tonight. On 12 Minutes Thomas Leuluai got a good kick away towards the right corner, despite being cleaning panned by Carl Ablett, which forced Ryan Hall to concede a drop out.

Wigan didn't score from that drop out but the try soon came with a bit of class opening Leeds up down the right. Good simple passing saw Finch, Leuluai, Tomkins and Goulding all combine to get Charnley chiming into a huge overlap. Still had 40 metres to go but his pace was far too good for the Rhinos defence. Note the class step he put in to mug the experienced full back Brent Webb as well. A pleasure to watch. He rounded under the sticks, which made the conversion easy for Pat Richards.

A rare error from Wigan gifted Leeds a chance to get back into the game on 18 minutes but although they forced a drop out, they were far too flat in attack to trouble Wigan.

Wigan's second try can be attributed solely to Weller Hauarki. He shown poor discipline in conceding two penalties that got Leeds on the back foot, the second of which saw him having a bit of biff with Mike McIlorum. Referee Thierry Alibert didn't stop the clock, so 100 seconds went by whilst he dealt with that incident but Wigan soon scored from the penalty they got.

Second tackle and Sam Tomkins burst through a missed tackle by Rob Burrow down the right wing before sending Charnley over for his second of the night.

On 33 minutes Wigan had another opportunity after a good kick from Finch towards the left wing saw Pat Richards taken out in the air by Danny McGuire. It was a clear tactic of his in the game here at DW Stadium last season but he didn't get away with it this time. Sadly Wigan wasted the penalty but the fact Leeds greeted our knock on with a huge cheer told you that they were mightily relieved this score was only 12-0.

Time drifted to half time and the second half starting in quiet fashion as well. Wigan got a penalty on 49 minutes and it was an easy decision for Pat to take the two. It created a three score lead that always looked a winnable lead.

Even when Leeds hit back five minutes later with a barge over try from Darrell Griffin, they never really kicked on from that. An easy Sinfield conversion made it 14-6 but with him and McGuire both being totally anonymous, they lacked punch to fightback.

Wigan wrapped up an hard fought but easy win with a score on 64 minutes. Charnley had score two tries on seven occasions last season but had never got on to claim a hat-trick so this first one of his Wigan career was a long time coming. Sean O'Loughlin sent Darrell Goulding chiming at the line, but his excellent offload back to the captain that created the overlap for Josh to touch down easily. Richards touchline conversion to make it 20-6 was a final dagger in Leeds heart. This game was won with 15 minutes to go.

So all in all a good response to last week. I think the pack effort again was solid and workmanlike with Eric Lauaki and Ben Flower contributing solidly. Quite of lot of Wigan fans will be eating humble pie after this game, as seen by the thread on our message board. A lot of doom and gloom last week but that performance showed that whilst we might not be the top team this year, we will still be a very competitive outfit.

Reaction to the Action

Shaun Wane: "It was a big improvement. I'm very content tonight. I knew the players would respond and they have done. It's been a tough week. I couldn't wait for this game to come and neither could the players. Last week against Huddersfield, that wasn't us. Today we showed a lot of character, guts, enthusiasm and a lot of skill against a very talented Leeds team. It was all down to the work of our middle unit. When they run hard and bash people, it makes it very easy for the halves to play. It's about making sure we turn up with the same attitude against Bradford next week. I thought Jack Hughes looked outstanding. He had a real solid game against a talented player in Carl Ablett. Tom Spencer enjoyed a taste of a big game. He's one for the future, he's a real good kid."

Leeds coach Brian McDermott: "Whether we had the World Club Challenge next week or not, we were going to go head strong for this and try and build some momentum. We were playing a team that lost their first game and who were in front of a big home crowd. Wigan were always going to be tough today. We talked about this being a 12-round world title fight and it had a feel to that. We just couldn't land enough punches. I thought Wigan were good. They beat us to the ball, they beat us to the tackle, they beat us to the ground and they had a better kick chase, not by a huge margin. I didn't think we were massively poor but there were too many areas where we were off tonight."

Team Sheets

- Wigan Position Leeds 1
1 Sam Tomkins Full Back Brent Webb 1
2 Josh Charnley Winger Lee Smith 14
3 Darrell Goulding Centre Carl Ablett 12
26 Jack Hughes Centre Zak Hardaker 4
5 Pat Richards Winger Ryan Hall 5
6 Brett Finch Stand Off Kevin Sinfield 13
7 Thomas Leuluai Scrum Half Danny McGuire 6
23 Ben Flower Prop Ryan Bailey 16
9 Mike McIlorum Hooker Rob Burrow 7
10 Lee Mossop Prop Jamie Peacock 10
11 Harrison Hansen 2nd Row J.Jones-Buchanan 11
12 Gareth Hock 2nd Row Brett Delaney 15
13 Sean O'Loughlin L.Forward Weller Hauraki 19
14 Jeff Lima Substitute Kylie Leuluai 8
17 Chris Tuson Substitute Paul McShane 9
21 Epalahame Lauaki Substitute Chris Clarkson 18
32 Tom Spencer Substitute Darrell Griffin 20
- Shaun Wane Coach Brian McDermott -

Note: Leeds 9. Paul McShane was an Unused Substitute.

Score Sheet

Wigan Warriors 20 --- Leeds Rhinos 6
Tries (3):
Josh Charnley 3
--- Tries (1):
Darrell Griffin
Pat Richards 4/4
--- Goals:
Kevin Sinfield 1/1

Scoring and Incident Pattern

15mins:11 Wigan 04 Leeds 00 Try: Josh Charnley
- Wigan 06 Leeds 00 Conversion: Pat Richards (1/1)
28mins:19 Wigan 10 Leeds 00 Try: Josh Charnley (2)
- Wigan 12 Leeds 00 Conversion: Pat Richards (2/2)
Half Time Wigan Warriors 12 Leeds Rhinos 00
49mins:38 Wigan 14 Leeds 00 Penalty Goal: Pat Richards (3/3)
54mins:44 Wigan 14 Leeds 04 Try: Darrell Griffin
- Wigan 14 Leeds 06 Conversion: Kevin Sinfield (1/1)
64mins:44 Wigan 18 Leeds 06 Try: Josh Charnley (Hat-Trick)
- Wigan 20 Leeds 06 Conversion: Pat Richards (2/2)
Full Time Wigan Warriors 20 Leeds Rhinos 06

Video Highlights

Top 5 Wigan Players as voted on our Message Board

Man of the Match: Mike McIlorum
2nd: Josh Charnley 3rd: Brett Finch 4th: Gareth Hock 5th: Darrell Goulding


Thierry Alibert

Penalties Conceded

Wigan 6 Leeds 9

Match Attendance

15,370 (1,372 Leeds Supporters in North Stand)



Dry - Cold Toes.

League Table at Conclusion of Stobart Super League 17 - Round 2

- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 Huddersfield Giants 2 2 0 0 86 22 +64 4
2 St Helens 2 2 0 0 72 34 +38 4
3 Warrington Wolves 2 1 1 0 70 30 +40 3
4 Catalan Dragons 1 1 0 0 34 12 +22 2
5 Wigan Warriors 2 1 0 1 36 26 +10 2
6 Wakefield Wildcats 2 1 0 1 42 36 +6 2
7 Castleford Tigers 2 1 0 1 36 30 +6 2
8 Leeds Rhinos 2 1 0 1 40 36 +4 2
9 Hull Kingston Rovers 2 1 0 1 38 44 -6 2
10 Bradford Bulls 2 1 0 1 32 46 -14 2
11 Hull FC 1 0 1 0 20 20 - 1
12 Salford City Reds 2 0 0 2 20 62 -42 0
13 London Broncos 2 0 0 2 34 84 -50 0
14 Widnes Vikings 2 0 0 2 20 98 -78 0

Round 2 Results
Fri 10 Feb St Helens 38 Salford City Reds 10 15,547
Sat 11 Feb Catalan v Hull FC - POSTPONED -
Sat 11 Feb Wigan Warriors 20 Leeds Rhinos 6 15,370
Sun 12 Feb Huddersfield Giants 66 Widnes Vikings 6 8,869
Sun 12 Feb Warrington Wolves 50 London Broncos 10 10,834
Sun 12 Feb Castleford Tigers 12 Bradford Bulls 20 8,054
Sun 12 Feb Wakefield Wildcats 10 Hull Kingston Rovers 22 8,612