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Sunday 16th August 2020 Wigan Warriors 28 Leeds Rhinos 10 Totally Wicked Stadium, St Helens
(Switched from DW Stadium, Wigan due to Covid-19 Restrictions)
Betfred Super League 25 - Round 9 of 22
Kick Off 6:30pm
- Wigan - Leeds 6 Bevan French T2 5 Ash Handley 21 Dom Manfredi T 24 Luke Briscoe 1 Zak Hardaker G4 3 Harry Newman 23 Jake Bibby T 4 Konrad Hurrell 2 Liam Marshall 2 Tom Briscoe T 28 Harry Smith 23 Callum McLelland 31 Jackson Hastings 7
9 Sam Powell 9 Kruise Leeming 19
11 Willie Isa 12 Rhyse Martin G 12 Liam Farrell T 20 Bodene Thompson 30
Interchange: 15 Joe Greenwood 14 Brad Dwyer 16 Morgan Smithies 15 Liam Sutcliffe T 22 Mitch Clark 19 Mikolaj Oledzki 33 Joe Shorrocks 22 Cameron Smith
Wigan still didn't fire on all cylinders but a combination of classy tries and steely goal line defence led to another victory that keeps them top of the table.
Having been denied earlier by double movement, Liam Farrell finally claimed the 100th try of his Wigan career (258 appearances) with Sam Powell's pass sending through a gap. Zak converting for 6-0 after 15 minutes.
Leeds though were not without chances and having already had one try chalked for offside, they responded on 21 minutes with a superb offload by Matt Prior getting Tom Briscoe in the left corner. The quality of the offload must have mesmerised referee Robert Hicks and the touch judge because they both missed that Briscoe's foot was clearly in touch. No referral to video referee, so the try stood but Leeds missed conversion left Wigan still 6-4 up.
It looked like that would stand to the break and if anything it was Leeds who perhaps deserved to be slightly up but Wigan found a classy finish to in fact stretch their lead just before half time. Watch Bevan French's movement on this one. Him and Farrell combine offloads on the right wing on the half way line. It spreads left to Hastings who finds Marshall. He kicked inside for Bibby to hack on and French has ran an arch to go from right to support that on the left and 14 seconds after his initial offload he's under the posts. Hardaker converts for 12-4.
Into the second half, Wigan extended the lead further with another great try. Super passing combined Hastings, French, Isa and Hardaker flick a pass the parcel to get Dom Manfredi in the right corner. Hardaker couldn't convert, so it was just 16-4.
Wigan then hit a similar period to last week. Penalties conceded by Hardaker and Morgan Smithies invited Leeds on and although for the majority of the match Wigan looked to be enjoying defending, they eventually succumbed to a crash over by Liam Sutcliffe. Rhyse Martin converted and a 16-10 it looked like we were in danger of a huge sweat again.
Basically the sin binning to Luke Gale on 70 minutes for a dangerous tackle perhaps settled the match in the end but Hardaker failed with a second opportunity from a 40 metre penalty to ice the game and similar to last week, Wigan had got into position to drop goal for 17-10 but didn't go for it. Having said that Harry Smith was unlucky with the bounce of the ball from his chip ahead.
Adam Cuthbertson's butter mitts on about 4 or 5 occasions were proving expensive to the Rhinos momentum but it was a poor error elsewhere that allowed Jake Bibby to go over for a gift try, with five minutes to go, that finally sealed the result.
Hardaker converted, as he did for French completing a brace in the final minute despite looking offside from, Hasting's kick. That meant it was actually 28-10 in the end which I think was a fair reflection of what this game should have been, although Wigan can still get much sharper and dominant.
At the end of the day though, it was a performance won with three 20 year olds and two 19 year olds who are getting stronger every week. Bit of rawness perhaps holds us back from being 100% yet but it's no point peaking this early. Keep ticking over the results and then it's time to step up for cup ties and when the stretch to the season arrives. Every result takes the pressure off the season. Catalan in a fortnight will be another big test. If we can back up again, then the platform the rest of the season is well and truly laid.
14mins:25 Wigan 04 Leeds 00
Try: Liam Farrell
Wigan 06 Leeds 00
Conversion: Zak Hardaker (1/1)
20mins:26 Wigan 06 Leeds 04
Try: Tom Briscoe
Wigan 06 Leeds 04
Missed Conv: Rhyse Martin (0/1)
37mins:19 Wigan 10 Leeds 04
Try: Bevan French
Wigan 12 Leeds 04
Conversion: Zak Hardaker (2/2)
Half` Time Wigan Warriors 12 Leeds Rhinos 4 51mins:02 Wigan 16 Leeds 04
Try: Dom Manfredi
Wigan 16 Leeds 04
Missed Conv: Zak Hardaker (2/3)
64mins:25 Wigan 16 Leeds 08
Try: Liam Sutcliffe
Wigan 16 Leeds 10
Conversion: Rhyse Martin (1/2)
70th Minute Leeds Sin Bin
Luke Gale (Dangerous Tackle)
71st Minute Wigan 16 Leeds 10
Missed Penalty: Zak Hardaker (2/4)
74mins:09 Wigan 20 Leeds 10
Try: Jake Bibby
Wigan 22 Leeds 10
Conversion: Zak Hardaker (3/5)
79mins:23 Wigan 26 Leeds 10
Try: Bevan French (2)
Wigan 28 Leeds 10
Conversion: Zak Hardaker (4/6)
Full Time Wigan Warriors 28 Leeds Rhinos 10 Referee:
0 (No Fans in Attendance due to Covid-19 Restrictions)
Played as part of a double header at St Helens due to Covid-19 Restrictions..
This match was originally meant to be Round 11 of 29 in original fixture list and played on Friday 17th April 2020.
Betfred Super League 25 - Round 9 Results
Sat 15 Aug Wakefield 0 Catalan 58 (Played at St Helens) 0 Sat 15 Aug Huddersfield 18 Warrington 19 (Played at St Helens) 0 Sun 16 Aug St Helens 10 Castleford Tigers 0 0 Sun 16 Aug Wigan 28 Leeds 10 (Played at St Helens) 0 Postponed Hull FC v Salford Red Devils 0
2020 Betfred Super League 25 Table - After This Round
- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts 1 Wigan Warriors 8 6 0 2 191 114 +77 12 2 St Helens 8 5 0 3 196 91 +105 10 3 Catalan Dragons 7 5 0 2 216 141 +75 10 4 Warrington Wolves 8 5 0 3 143 110 +33 10 5 Huddersfield Giants 7 4 0 3 132 124 +8 8 6 Leeds Rhinos 7 4 0 3 151 150 +1 8 7 Castleford Tigers 8 4 0 4 144 144 0 8 8 Hull FC 8 3 0 5 163 230 -67 6 9 Salford Red Devils 7 2 0 5 124 166 -42 4 10 Wakefield Trinity 7 2 0 5 115 190 -75 4 11 Hull Kingston Rovers 7 1 0 6 94 209 -115 2
Top 4 Qualify for Play Offs / No Relegation