Semi Final Match Report: Leeds 37 Wigan 28
Posted by cherryandwhite on July 15 2012 - 13:11
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Leeds Rhinos v Wigan Warriors - Carnegie Challenge Cup Semi Final.
Saturday 14th July 2012. Kick Off 5:30pm at Galpharm Stadium, Huddersfield.

Match Report

Simple reason why Wigan lost this contest for me. Beyond any of your refereeing arguments, or whatever, the difference was that Leeds came onto that pitch knowing this was a big match. We came on the pitch as if it was a normal regular season round. That's disappointing!

The mental preparation was clearly way off. We just weren't switched on. Making garbage errors both in attack and defence that pretty much gifted them 16-0 and then 30-12 leads.

Don't get me wrong, that's not to suggest Leeds didn't deserve what they got. They were excellent all match really. Very clinical in punishing those errors and Kevin Sinfield's last tackle kicks were text book throughout the first half.

On the positive side, we scored some fantastic tries in attack and the fact we still ran this result so close leaves me with confidence for a Grand Final push because I'm convinced we won't turn up that slowly again. They will learn from this! Matty Smith will also hopefully provide that extra pivot that was missing at times and if we can get both Pat Richards and Tommy Leuluai back on the paddock and firing also then we should be ok. Time will tell.

Over the whole 80 minutes of this one though, no one can complain Leeds didn't deserve the win. However, as I often write in these reports, the first try of the second half is often vital and even more so in this game. The difference between 36-20 and possibly 30-26 was huge, and to concede that, to a blatantly clear knock on, is most galling of all. Had we got back to 30-26 I think we'd of won, and that's the only resentment I have over this result.

Leeds got off to blistering start, building up a 16-0 lead in just 11 minutes. First score was on 4 minutes. Lot of panning of Sam Tomkins for his defending of a bomb from Sinfield but credit the kick. I wish we could produce bombs like that! Sam couldn't take it in and it was a gift score for Ryan Hall in the left corner. Sinfield converted for 6-0.

You can only condemn Sam though for letting a 40/20 bounce out when he had an opportunity to pick up the ball. He had nothing to lose in trying to pick it up, so why didn't he at least try? That for me summed up our slow mentality at the start of this game. Leeds got the scrum and scored again with Ben Jones-Bishop over in the right corner. Sinfield missed the kick, only 10-0.

Then on 11 minutes came a third score. Poor error from Wigan bringing the ball out of the attack and then Leeds punish quickly with Zak Hardaker going under the posts before our defence could recover. Clear forward pass in the build up went missed but I'd rather take issue with Wigan's error to be honest. Three scores and all down to our own sloppiness for me. Easy conversion made it 16-0.

Leeds had another set on our line on 15 minutes but a brilliant one on one tackle from Darrell Goulding on Jamie Jones-Buchanan relieved that pressure. At this point, Wigan made changes with Ben Flower, Liam Farrell and Eric Lauaki coming on to replace Jeff Lima, Chris Tuson and Lee Mossop, and off the back of that, Wigan finally got a foothold in the game with two tries in two minutes.

First try was from a scrum move. Mike McIlorum's pass got George Carmont over, via a missed tackle from Jones-Buchanan. Easy conversion from Sam Tomkins made it 16-6. Then two minutes later a brilliant try from Gareth Hock. Lovely passing got Hock away from 60 metres out and he went all the way for the score. I actually thought he was very greedy in not passing to support but, luckily for him, full back Hardaker failed to stop him. Sam converted again for 16-12.

However, having got a foothold in the contest, to give that away again was so poor. Third tackle on the restart, O'Loughlin knocks on and less than a minute later Leeds score again with Hall claiming his second.  Conversion missed - 20-12.

Are we going to gift Leeds any more easy territory? Yes we are. 29th minute. This again summed Wigan's first half up. McIlorum picks up the play the ball and throws a pass as if he was blindfolded. A truly shocking pass to no one that summed up his performance. Another minute later and Leeds were in for their fifth score with Ryan Bailey reaching out from close range. Harrison Hansen and Sam Tomkins were on him but McIlorum was too lazy in getting involved for me. If he'd of got in there as a third man, Bailey couldn't of got an arm out to score. Conversion booted for 26-12.

From the restart, Leeds got their sixth try. This try wasn't so much from our own gift territory. Rob Burrow darted from dummy half and his footwork left McIlorum and O'Loughlin on their arses. Wigan managed to recover but Leeds eventually forced a drop out. From that a last tackle kick from Sinfield was caught in the right corner by Jones-Bishop for his second try. Conversion missed, but it was now 30-12.

Wigan had been blitzed, but somehow we got back to 30-20 before half time. First a Liam Farrell break was finished off by Ben Flower who flukely hacked on a shocking pass from Faz. Again I love the pearl and his breaks but his passing is appalling and he needs to sharpen that up for the crucial end to the season. Flower did well to score under the sticks and Sam had an easy conversion for 30-18. Then a penalty goal was added for a penalty after the clock had expired for 30-20 at half time.

I think every other side in Super League would have been done and dusted by half time playing like that, but here we were well in the game and still in contention for Wembley. Like I said though, the first try after the restart was crucial and it went to Leeds despite a blatant knock on. Hardaker finished it but McGuire blatantly knocked on in the build up. The fact he pulled up on the break told you that. But referee Ben Thaler and touch judges Barry Chuckle and James Child all sadly missed it. Sinfield converted for 36-20.

I'm a firm believer though that you earn your luck. We got a clear forward pass in last year's cup final and Leeds got away with this one. They earned that I think by just doing the basics far better than Wigan. They completed sets, didn't concede penalties and kicked brilliantly on the last. Those three things combined meant this was a long road back now for Wigan.

To our credit, we never gave up but Leeds by now we're giving everything to stop us in defence. We did claim two consolation scored that kept them sweating all the way. First Sean O'Loughlin completed a nice chip kick from Sam Tomkins on 58 Minutes but the missed conversion meant the score was only 36-24.

Sinfield cleverly added a drop goal five minutes later to re-establish a two score lead and by the time Charnley went over on 74 minutes it was too late for Wigan. A late penalty from Sinfield finished the scoring at Leeds 39 Wigan 28.

So all in all I think we just have to accept that this was Leeds day, they were deserved winners. Every little bit went for them but, like I said, I think they earned the luck by doing basics better than us and being mentally at it from the start. I'm quite pleased though how we still ran them close whilst scored some excellent tries. That's because I am convinced we won't turn out like that again. Remember in 2010 we got knocked out the cup by Leeds then went on to win the League Leaders Shield and Grand Final - I'm hoping this is a good omen for a repeat!

Reaction to the Action

Shaun Wane: "The bad start didn't help but we made too many errors throughout the game. A few in the first half were uncharacteristic. I said before the game the team that completes best would win and that's what happened. It was our worst performance. We didn't turn up today. We've defended all year better than that. But take nothing way from Leeds. They wanted it more which to me is gutting. They've some real warriors in their team. We've just spoken about (the Grand Final) in the dressing room. There are two ways of responding. But we won't sulk and I'm expecting real change in attitude at London next week."

Leeds coach Brian McDermott: "Wigan were white hot the last time we played and I don't think they were far off today. They kept coming at us and, if our pack hadn't been as tough as they were, we wouldn't have got the job done."

Team Sheets

- Leeds Position Wigan 1
4 Zak Hardaker Full Back Sam Tomkins 1
2 Ben Jones-Bishop Winger Josh Charnley 2
3 Kallum Watkins Centre Darrell Goulding 3
12 Carl Ablett Centre George Carmont 4
5 Ryan Hall Winger Anthony Gelling 24
13 Kevin Sinfield Stand Off Sean O'Loughlin 13
6 Danny McGuire Scrum Half Brett Finch 6
8 Kylie Leuluai Prop Jeff Lima 14
7 Rob Burrow Hooker Mike McIlorum 9
10 Jamie Peacock Prop Lee Mossop 10
11 J.Jones-Buchanan 2nd Row Harrison Hansen 11
15 Brett Delaney 2nd Row Gareth Hock 12
16 Ryan Bailey L.Forward Chris Tuson 17
-
17 Ian Kirke Substitute Liam Farrell 16
20 Darrell Griffin Substitute Epalahame Lauaki 21
25 Stevie Ward Substitute Ben Flower 23
31 Shaun Lunt Substitute Jack Hughes 26
- Brian McDermott Coach Shaun Wane -

Score Sheet

Leeds Rhinos 39 --- Wigan Warriors 28
Tries (7):
Ryan Hall 2
Ben Jones-Bishop 2
Zak Hardaker 2
Ryan Bailey
--- Tries (5):
George Carmont
Gareth Hock
Ben Flower
Sean O'Loughlin
Josh Charnley
Goals:
Kevin Sinfield 5/8
--- Goals:
Sam Tomkins 4/6

Scoring and Incident Pattern

03mins:42 Leeds 04 Wigan 00 Try: Ryan Hall
- Leeds 06 Wigan 00 Conversion: Kevin Sinfield (1/1)
06mins:28 Leeds 10 Wigan 00

Try: Ben Jones-Bishop

- Leeds 10 Wigan 00 K.Sinfield Missed Conversion (1/2)
10mins:46 Leeds 14 Wigan 00 Try: Zak Hardaker
- Leeds 16 Wigan 00 Conversion: Kevin Sinfield (2/3)
20mins:17 Leeds 16 Wigan 04 Try: George Carmont
- Leeds 16 Wigan 06 Conversion: Sam Tomkins (1/1)
22mins:28 Leeds 16 Wigan 10 Try: Gareth Hock
- Leeds 16 Wigan 12 Conversion: Sam Tomkins (2/2)
25mins:37 Leeds 20 Wigan 12 Try: Ryan Hall (2)
- Leeds 20 Wigan 12 K.Sinfield Missed Conversion (2/4)
30mins:27 Leeds 24 Wigan 12 Try: Ryan Bailey
- Leeds 26 Wigan 12 Conversion: Kevin Sinfield (3/5)
33mins:56 Leeds 30 Wigan 12 Try: Ben Jones-Bishop (2)
- Leeds 30 Wigan 12 K.Sinfield Missed Conversion (3/6)
37mins:45 Leeds 30 Wigan 16 Try: Ben Flower
- Leeds 30 Wigan 18 Conversion: Sam Tomkins (3/3)
40mins:00 Leeds 30 Wigan 20 Penalty Goal: Sam Tomkins (4/4)
Half Time Leeds Rhinos 30 Wigan Warriors 20
49mins:07 Leeds 34 Wigan 20 Try: Zak Hardaker (2)
- Leeds 36 Wigan 20 Conversion: Kevin Sinfield (4/7)
57mins:52 Leeds 36 Wigan 24 Try: Sean O'Loughlin
- Leeds 36 Wigan 24 S.Tomkins Missed Conversion (4/5)
63mins:09 Leeds 37 Wigan 24 Drop Goal: Kevin Sinfield
73mins:03 Leeds 37 Wigan 28 Try: Josh Charnley
- Leeds 37 Wigan 28 S.Tomkins Missed Conversion (4/6)
79mins:20 Leeds 37 Wigan 28 Penalty Goal: Kevin Sinfield (5/8)
Full Time Leeds Rhinos 39 Wigan Warriors 28

Video Highlights

Top 5 Wigan Players as voted on our Message Board

Man of the Match: Gareth Hock
2nd: Ben Flower 3rd: Darrell Goulding 4th: Liam Farrell 5th: Jack Hughes

Referee

Ben Thaler

Penalties Conceded

Leeds 4 Wigan 4

Match Attendance

12,860

Weather

Dry.