Play Off Match Report: Wigan 22 Leeds 12
Posted by cherryandwhite on September 28 2013 - 17:04

Extended News

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Wigan Warriors v Leeds Rhinos - Super League 18 Play Off Semi Final
Friday 27th September 2013
. Kick Off 8:00pm at DW Stadium.

Match Report

After falling at this stage of the play offs in the previous two seasons, Wigan made no mistake this time with an excellent display to see off Champions Leeds.

To be honest, apart from the spell ten minutes after half time, it never looked in doubt. The only moan really was that we bombed a couple of chances first half that could have put us in a commanding lead before half time.

Leeds couldn't be faulted for effort but they looked tired from really early on and this left them struggling to find rhythm in attack. Wigan hustled them on every last tackle and that took away one of Leeds major weapons.

It was the visitors who had the first burst and they were unlucky not to score in the right corner, but Ben Jones-Bishop clearly knocked on.

Wigan then took the lead on one of their first attacks. Penalty helped them down field and going left Pat Richards passed back inside to get Iain Thornley over. Pat then converted for 6-0 after just 6 minutes.

Amazingly that was the only score of the first half. Defences were well on top but Wigan were left ruing two big missed opportunities. One break saw Liam Farrell fail to find support whilst another on 36 minutes saw Pat Richards race away down the left. He was tackled 30 metres short but Wigan had a massive overlap towards the right, yet inexplicably Sam Tomkins stepped back towards the left. Unusually dumb play by him.

I think Leeds would have been quite content with the half time score of 6-0, especially when they levelled the score just 5 minutes after the restart. Great try. Carl Ablett with the break and great support play by Joel Moon, easy conversion by Sinfield made it 6-6.

Things looked ominous for Wigan at this point with a couple of big breaks by the Rhinos early second half but I think the return of both Scott Taylor and Ben Flower off the bench swung the contest back Wigan's way.

Two tries on 52 and 57 minutes took this game away from Leeds pretty quickly with both scores coming off their own errors. First the Blake Green and Liam Farrell combination, that was seen so often in the first half of the season, finally returned to see Ginger claim his first league match try since 3rd May against Salford.

Then a grubber from Smith kindly deflected into the hands of Darrell Goulding for a simple try - two extras from Richards making it 18-6.

In the final quarter Leeds only hope was coming from Rob Burrow and he tried his best on two occasions to create tries. One such move saw Joel Moon looking all the world a scorer in the left corner until Harrison Hansen forced an error a metre from the line. Very similar to Josh Charnley's effort on Jamie Shaul in the Cup Final.

That was a massive moment because the Rhinos needed a score. The clock was ticking away and Wigan managed to ice the outcome with Matty Smith and Goulding combining to send Charnley over with 8 minutes to go.

Leeds did get the last score of the game through Liam Sutcliffe but although they kept believing they could come back, it was never really on.

On the night of Pat Richards, Sam Tomkins and Lee Mossop's last appearances for Wigan at the DW Stadium, the night always seemed destined to end in victory. Wigan now just 80 minutes away from a league and cup double! Who'd have thought that six weeks ago as we endured, with much forlorn, the pre Wembley performance out in France!

Reaction to the Action

Coach Shaun Wane: "I'm very happy. I don't think we were at our best but we did enough to win the game. We need to improve. I don't think the week off did us any good - we were a bit underdone - but it was a tough arm wrestle tonight and it has put us in good spirits for next week. It was a gritty performance, which is what you need in a semi-final. I thought we defended tough. Leeds are a good team, they can play. But we concentrated in defence and we completed 100 per cent in the second half, which is a great effort. There is still a lot of work to be done. Warrington are a great team but there are areas where we can improve."

Leeds coach Brian McDermott: "We had big dig. Wigan came out fast, They looked more energised at start of the game. We were on the back foot right from the off, we never seemed to get a grip on the game. We were never far off but we always seemed to be yard behind. We could have been smarter but, in terms of effort, we couldn't have given any more. I'm a proud man in charge of a disappointed team. (Jamie Jones-Buchanan) shouldn't have been on the field. His ligament is hanging on by a thread. It's up to Jonesy whether he's available for the World Cup. If it goes, it goes, if not he could do a job."

Team Sheets

- Wigan Position Leeds 1
1 Sam Tomkins Full Back Zak Hardaker 1
2 Josh Charnley


Ben Jones-Bishop 2
3 Darrell Goulding Centre Kallum Watkins 3
17 Iain Thornley Centre Joel Moon 4
5 Pat Richards Winger Ryan Hall 5
6 Blake Green Stand Off Danny McGuire 6
7 Matty Smith Scrum Half Kevin Sinfield 13
20 Gil Dudson Prop Kylie Leuluai 10
9 Mike McIlorum Hooker Rob Burrow 7

Lee Mossop

Prop Jamie Peacock 10
11 Harrison Hansen 2nd Row J.Jones-Buchanan 11
12 Liam Farrell 2nd Row Carl Ablett 12
15 Ben Flower L.Forward Ryan Bailey 16
4 Jack Hughes Substitute Ian Kirke 17
21 Scott Taylor Substitute Chris Clarkson 18
23 Logan Tomkins Substitute Mitch Ahcurch 21
26 Dom Crosby Substitute Liam Sutcliffe 26
- Shaun Wane Coach Brian McDermott -

Score Sheet

Wigan Warriors 22 --- Leeds Rhinos 12

Tries (4):
Iain Thornley
Liam Farrell
Darrell Goulding
Josh Charnley


Tries (2):
Joel Moon
Liam Sutcliffe

Pat Richards 3/5
--- Goals:
Kevin Sinfield 2/2

Scoring and Incident Pattern

05mins:05 Wigan 04 Leeds 00 Try: Iain Thornley
- Wigan 06 Leeds 00 Conversion: Pat Richards (1/1)
Half Time Wigan Warriors 06 Leeds Rhinos 00
44mins:25 Wigan 06 Leeds 04 Try: Joel Moon
- Wigan 06 Leeds 06 Conversion: Kevin Sinfield (1/1)
51mins:08 Wigan 10 Leeds 06 Try: Liam Farrell
- Wigan 12 Leeds 06 Conversion: Pat Richards (2/2)
56mins:37 Wigan 16 Leeds 06 Try: Darrell Goulding
- Wigan 18 Leeds 06 Conversion: Pat Richards (3/3)
71mins:25 Wigan 22 Leeds 06 Try: Josh Charnley
- Wigan 22 Leeds 06 P.Richards Missed Conversion (3/4)
74mins:24 Wigan 22 Leeds 06 P.Richards Missed Penalty Goal (3/5)
76mins:20 Wigan 22 Leeds 10 Try: Liam Sutcliffe
- Wigan 22 Leeds 12 Conversion: Kevin Sinfield (2/2)
Full Time Wigan Warriors 22 Leeds Rhinos 12

Video Highlights


Phil Bentham (Video Referee: Ian Smith)

Match Attendance



Dry and mild.

Play Offs - Semi Final Results

Thu 26 Sept Warrington Wolves 30 Huddersfield Giants 12 10,042
Fri 27 Sept Wigan Warriors 22 Leeds Rhinos 12 14,600