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Friday 26th March 2021 Leigh Centurions 18 Wigan Warriors 20 Headingley Stadium, Leeds
(Switched from Leigh Sports Village, Leigh due to Covid-19 Restrictions)
Betfred Super League 26 - Round 1 of 25
Kick Off 8:20pm
- Wigan - Leigh 3 Zak Hardaker T G2 1 Ryan Brierley G3 6 Jai Field 5 Lewis Tierney 11 Willie Isa 24 Keenan Brand 22 Jake Bibby T2 3 Iain Thornley T 30 Umyla Hanley 2 Matty Russell 20 Harry Smith 6 Blake Wallace 7 Thomas Leuluai 7
9 Sam Powell 9 Liam Hood T 10
13 John Bateman 11 Ben Hellewell T 12 Liam Farrell 18 Matty Gee 14
Interchange: 15 Morgan Smithies 16 Nathaniel Peteru 19 Liam Byrne 19 Nathan Mason 21 Ethan Havard 27 Josh Eaves 25 Joe Shorrocks 28 Matty Foster
The first 35 minutes of this season opener was a complete disaster for Wigan. They were dominated in every department by a spirited Leigh side and lost debutant Jai Field to injury.
The 18-0 deficit was a fair score. Leigh were all over Wigan at marker and were forcing errors left right and centre. They were out enthused and tries from Liam Hood, Iain Thornley and Ben Hellewell left Wigan in total disarray. The only excuse you could offer was that Leigh had two friendlies to Wigan's one.
The injury to Jai Field left everyone wondering what chance could Wigan have from this situation but initially John Bateman had switched to centre to cover the absence but with the first half closing he was swapped with Liam Farrell probably playing at centre for the first time in his Wigan career.
The switch worked because Bateman's offload got Jake Bibby over for 18-4 on 37 minutes and he was involved again before Bibby got Hardaker over for 18-8. The conversions were both missed but that was a flattering reward for that first half.
However the signs were showing that Leigh had shot their energy bolt and in truth Wigan, without sparkling too much, controlled the second half against an increasingly tired looking Leigh side.
Leigh had opportunity to increase the lead and that probably would have won had they scored but two quick fire tries from Joe Bullock and a second Bibby on 62 and 66 minutes had turned an 18-8 deficit into a 20-18 lead with Hardaker converting these two.
That proved enough. Leigh only had one chance to threaten but Wigan looked more in control with a better forward effort laying platform for Harry Smith to have better options on the last and two kicks pinning Leigh right in the corner to start a set highlighted his potential.
Wigan very ugly in this opener but relieved to get the victory and will be delighted to move on with two points on the board.
04:23 Leigh 04 Wigan 00
Try: Liam Hood
Leigh 06 Wigan 00
Conversion: Ryan Brierley (1/1)
22:59 Leigh 10 Wigan 00
Try: Iain Thornley
Leigh 12 Wigan 00
Conversion: Ryan Brierley (2/2)
25:38 Leigh 16 Wigan 00
Try: Ben Hellewell
Leigh 18 Wigan 00
Conversion: Ryan Brierley (3/3)
36:01 Leigh 18 Wigan 04
Try: Jake Bibby
Leigh 18 Wigan 04
Missed Conv: Zak Hardaker (0/1)
38:45 Leigh 18 Wigan 08
Try: Zak Hardaker
Leigh 18 Wigan 04
Missed Conv: Zak Hardaker (0/2)
Half` Time Leigh Centurions 18 Wigan Warriors 4 62:00 Leigh 18 Wigan 12
Try: Joe Bullock
Leigh 18 Wigan 14
Conversion: Zak Hardaker (1/3)
65:26 Leigh 18 Wigan 18
Try: Jake Bibby (2)
Leigh 18 Wigan 20
Conversion: Zak Hardaker (2/4)
Full Time Leigh Centurions 18 Wigan Warriors 20 Referee:
0 (Non Fans in Attendance due to Covid-19 Regulations)
Betfred Super League 26 - Round 1 Results
|Fri 26 Mar||St Helens 29 Salford 6 (at Leeds)||0|
|Fri 26 Mar||Leigh 18 Wigan 20 (at Leeds)||0|
|Sat 27 Mar||Wakefield 22 Leeds 28 (at Leeds)||0|
|Sat 27 Mar||
Catalan 29 Hull KR 28 (GP) (at Leeds)
|Sun 28 Mar||Hull FC 22 Huddersfield 10 (at Leeds)||0|
|Sun 28 Mar||Castleford 21 Warrington 12 (at Leeds)||0|
2020 Betfred Super League 26 Table - After This Round
|-||Team||P||W||D||L||F||A||Diff||Pts||Diff %||Pts %|
|7||Hull Kingston Rovers||1||0||0||1||28||29||-1||0||96.5%||0|
|12||Salford Red Devils||1||0||0||1||6||29||-23||0||20.6%||0|
Top 6 Qualify for Play Offs /
Bottom Club Relgated