Match Report: Leeds 12 Wigan 27
Posted by Bilko on June 01 2015 - 13:09
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Leeds Rhinos v Wigan Warriors - First Utility Super League Round 16 (Magic)
Saturday 30th May 2015. Kick Off 7
:00pm at St James Park, Newcastle.

Match Report

Last week our fourth worst defeat of all time! This week we do a right good job on the league leading Leeds Rhinos and keep them to nil for the last 62 minutes of the contest. Nope.....I can't weigh it up either.

This should settle doubts though that may have crept in after the cup exit and the heavy defeat in France. Wigan were excellent in this match.

When you play Leeds it's never any different. They try to offload for fun and are miserly in gifting teams penalties. You've got to be prepared to be ultra disciplined and beat them by working damn hard and grinding them down.

Wigan did all the hard work to a tee and got their rewards for it with a bit of patience. The first 18 minutes of the second half in particular were key. It was midfield ping pong for a long time with little sign of getting up to the try line to pile on some pressure.

The game was waiting for a big error or a big penalty and I reckon Shaun Wane will be delighted that it was his side that came out on top in that battle. We did the same against Saints on Good Friday. For all the daft things we've done in away games this year, it's good to have that in your locker.

I thought the pack as a whole really did a great job. When we played Leeds at Headingley in March, Jamie Peacock and Adam Cuthbertson absolutely beasted us with a combined 286 metres between them. On Saturday at Newcastle we reduced that to 188 metres. I thought we really muscled up on them and that's pleasing from a pack still missing Tony Clubb and Liam Farrell whilst Joel Tomkins is still filling in the centres.

Saying that though, you did fear another try would be costly for Wigan having found themselves 12-4 down after 20 minutes. I made the point during Wish FM commentary that had Micky McIlorum been spelled, like normally would happen, at that time, I don't think we'd have come back with Sam Powell in at hooker.

That 12-4 lead had come for Leeds after Wigan had started well to score first with Dan Sarginson finishing well in the left corner, Matty Smith failing to convert.

Wigan though might have had territory but they made some sloppy errors near the Leeds line and it was from these that they would find themselves under most pressure during the game. When they had time to set their defensive line, it all worked perfectly, but when Leeds scooped up these loose balls, we were always on the back foot.

It played a part in two Leeds tries being scored in 13th and 18th minutes with first Cuthbertson crashing over near the posts before Joel Moon scored a sneaky try after Josh Charnley failed to get a kick in the air dead. Kevin Sinfield converted both for that 12-4 score.

Next ten minutes up to the half hour were spent worrying what could happen if Leeds scored next. It's would have been a long, and probably impossible, way back from 16 or 18-4 and at that point I was saying on the radio that "we don't look like we have a break in us at the moment".

I was made to look a mug with that statement but I think it was right at the time. Two breaks somehow saw us recover to lead at half time and they were both bolts out of the blue. First George Williams burst clear down the left in the 33rd Minute and just about beat Zak Hardaker to finish in the left corner. That made it 12-8 and two minutes before the interval came the try that got that lead.

A clearance bomb when up from Leeds but rather than letting the ball bounce safely, which was the easy option because Leeds had no pressure on the kick, Matty Bowen sprints after the ball and catches it on the full. This immediately gets him on the front foot and he timed a pass superbly to Burgess who left Hardaker for dead before racing 50 metres under the posts. Easy conversion for Smith made it 14-12 to Wigan at the break.

I mentioned the first 18 minutes of the second half earlier. Leeds were perhaps just getting on top when it was them who made the crucial error that broke the back of this game. Good hustling in defence from Wigan helped and when Hardaker passed to Ash Handley on the wing, Burgess forced an error which left a loose ball for Bowen to collect. Not many would have backed him 70 metres down the wing but the two nearest chasers ironically were Danny McGuire and Jamie Peacock, the same two players that Joel Tomkins left for dead at Wembley in 2011. Bowen skinned them easy and finished under the posts, Smith converting for 20-12.

Game still wasn't won but I really can't remember Wigan gifting Leeds any chances. Superb discipline, composure and attitude to work hard to see out the win. This holding of the nerve was seeing Leeds begin to get more and more frustrated and they didn't really threaten to comeback.

In the end Wigan sealed the performance with a second try for Bowen in the 76th Minute and a drop goal from Smith two minutes later finishing a 27-12 victory. Wigan needed a big response to the Catalan defeat and certainly produced it in the big St James Park arena.

As for the "Magic Weekend", it really did work well in Newcastle and I'd be surprised if the RFL don't return there next year. We didn't get much Magic in the first two of these events, when we lost 34-18 and 57-16 to St Helens in 2007 and 2008, but we are now unbeaten in the last seven with six wins and a draw. In the grand scheme of things, this win may only be two points for the league ladder but claiming victories in big stadiums can only be a good thing to achieve.

Team Sheets

- Leeds Position Wigan 1
1 Zak Hardaker Full Back Matty Bowen 1
27 Ash Handley

Right Wing

Josh Charnley 2
3 Kallum Watkins Centre Joel Tomkins 11
4 Joel Moon Centre Dan Sarginson 4
5 Ryan Hall Left Wing Joe Burgess 5
13 Kevin Sinfield Stand Off George Williams 6
6 Danny McGuire Scrum Half Matty Smith 7
17 Adam Cuthbertson Prop Dom Crosby 8
9 Paul Aiton Hooker Mike McIlorum 9

Jamie Peacock


Lee Mossop

14 Stevie Ward 2nd Row John Bateman 14
15 Brett Delaney 2nd Row Larne Patrick 25
12 Carl Ablett L.Forward Sean O'Loughlin 13
7 Rob Burrow Substitute Ben Flower 6
11 Jamie
Substitute Taulima Tautai 24
16 Mitch Achurch Substitute Ryan Sutton 28

Brad Singleton


Connor Farrell

- Brian McDermott Coach Shaun Wane -

Score Sheet

Leeds Rhinos 12


Wigan Warriors 27

Tries (2):
Adam Cuthbertson
Joel Moon


Tries (5):
Dan Sarginson
George Williams
Joe Burgess
Matty Bowen 2

Kevin Sinfield 2/2
--- Goals:
Matty Smith 3/5
--- --- Drop Goals:
Matty Smith 1

Scoring and Incident Pattern

06mins:03 Leeds 00 Wigan 04 Try: Dan Sarginson
Leeds 00 Wigan 04

Missed Conv: Matty Smith (0/1)

12mins:25 Leeds 04 Wigan 04 Try: Adam Cuthbertson
Leeds 06 Wigan 04 Conversion: Kevin Sinfield (1/1)
17mins:48 Leeds 10 Wigan 04 Try: Joel Moon
Leeds 12 Wigan 04 Conversion: Kevin Sinfield (2/2)
32mins:13 Leeds 12 Wigan 08 Try: George Williams
Leeds 12 Wigan 08

Missed Conv: Matty Smith (0/2)

37mins:51 Leeds 12 Wigan 12 Try: Joe Burgess
Leeds 12 Wigan 14

Conversion: Matty Smith (1/3)

Half Time Leeds Rhinos 12 Wigan Warriors 14
57mins:32 Leeds 12 Wigan 18 Try: Matty Bowen
Leeds 12 Wigan 20

Conversion: Matty Smith (2/4)

75mins:08 Leeds 12 Wigan 24 Try: Matty Bowen (2)
Leeds 12 Wigan 26

Conversion: Matty Smith (3/5)

77mins:51 Leeds 12 Wigan 27 Drop Goal: Matty Smith
Full Time Leeds Rhinos 12 Wigan Warriors 27

Video Highlights


Phil Bentham

Penalties Conceded

Leeds 5 Wigan 4

Match Attendance

40,871 (Magic Weekend Day 1 Aggregate Attendance)


Dry and Cloudy.

League Table at Conclusion of Super League 20 - Round 16

- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 Leeds Rhinos 16 11 1 4 468 328 +140 23
2 St Helens 16 11 0 5 387 279 +108 22
3 Wigan Warriors 16 10 1 5 424 290 +134 21
4 Huddersfield Giants 16 8 2 6 346 236 +110 18
5 Warrington Wolves 16 8 0 8 382 320 +62 16
6 Castleford Tigers 16 8 0 8 345 330 +15 16
7 Catalan Dragons 16 7 2 7 421 425 -4 16
8 Widnes Vikings 16 7 1 8 388 276 +12 15

Top 8 Qualify for "Super 8s" after Round 23 / Top 4 Qualify for Play Offs

9 Hull FC 15 7 0 8 291 292 -1 14
10 Hull Kingston Rovers 15 6 0 9 348 425 -77 12
11 Salford Red Devils 15 5 1 9 296 393 -97 11
12 Wakefield Wildcats 15 2 0 13 234 636 -402 4

Round 16 - Magic Weekend Results
Sat 30 May Salford Red Devils 16 Widnes Vikings 38 40,871
Sat 30 May Hull FC 46 Hull Kingston Rovers 32
Sat 30 May Leeds Rhinos 12 Wigan Warriors 27
Sun 31 May Catalan Dragons 22 Huddersfield Giants 22 26,970
Sun 31 May St Helens 20 Warrington Wolves 16
Sun 31 May Castleford Tigers 56 Wakefield Wildcats 16