Match Report: Wigan 28 Leeds 10
Posted by Bilko on July 24 2009 - 23:38
An outstanding effort which saw Wigan put 28 unanswered points past Leeds saw them win the "Big One" at the JJB tonight.

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Wigan Warriors v Leeds Rhinos - Engage Super League XIV Round 22.
Friday 24th July 2009. Kick Off 8:00pm at JJB Stadium.

Match Report

Well you can only praise the club's marketing department for the "Big One" effort because the crowd tonight for me played a massive part in that victory.

At 10-0 down we looked dead and we were being run over in the middle of the park but somehow we found a huge try to only be 10-6 down at the break and from that we never looked back.

I honestly can't believe we've won 28-10 in the end because Leeds ere all over us in the twenty minutes prior to half time. But the second half was total domination for Wigan and I think we've laid down a huge marker for the rest of the season which says we will be a threat in both league and cup. The Wire fans thought they had the cup semi sewn up five weeks ago when we lost in Wales - I bet they are worried now!

Leeds could have scored twice in the opening four minutes but after that early burst the first twenty minutes was very even. No side was really on top but that all changed when the substitutes took affect twenty minutes in.

We brought on Stuart Fielden and Iafeta Paleaaesina but they were poor I thought in this spell - totally dominated by Ali Lauitiiti and Luke Burgess who came on for Leeds.

Leeds were punching holes straight up the middle of the field and got the games first try in the 21st minute. Rob Burrow sent Danny McGuire over and Kevin Sinfield's conversion made it 6-0.

That soon became 10-0 after Mike Ratu, on debut Leeds, broke clear and although he was caught short, a quick play the ball allowed Scott Donald to score in the corner. Sinfield couldn't convert.

Leeds like I said were all over Wigan and probably needed one more try to take themselves towards a rout victory. But Wigan managed to hang in and fight back. Perhaps it was a huge run from Feka that lifted our spirits. Sadly it resulted in a knock on but he went on a blitz down the right win and made so huge yards - after which we never looked back and totally dominated the rest of the game.

Four minutes before half time an offside penalty got us into good field position. Their were many excellent Cherry & White performances on the night but Cameron Phelps was probably the highlight and he sent George Carmont over from close range to cut the deficit. Crucially Pat had his kicking boots on to convert and make it only 10-6 to Leeds. Definitely had my half time pint feeling that we were lucky to be in that position but we gladly took that luck.

Second half and wow. It's a long, long time I've seen Leeds dominated so much but I genuinely can't remember them getting close to threatening our line. Maybe I'm a bit blinkered but it was an awesome second half.

Two minutes after the break we got a crucial try. Sam Tomkins, who had an excellent game as well tonight, put in a neat kick which Carmont collected. He threw a wild pass to Leuluai which ended up loose in the in goal for Harrison Hansen to pounce on. "Dead" was my call but the video ref proved he grounded it before it went dead. I actually think Leuluai was taken out for a penalty try anyway but video referee Ian Smith awarded a try to Hansen which Richards converted to make it 12-10.

It was a narrow lead on paper but I genuinely thought it was a huge advantage. Although Leeds had a dominant 10 minute spell from 20 minutes onwards, overall it was a pretty even defensive effort.

But all the territory was now towards Wigan. Joel Tomkins was denied after Pat Richards was rightly ruled to have knocked on a bomb by Phelps. The referee declared No Try but gave Wigan. a penalty for tackling in the air on Richards. Moments later though a fight broke out and Wigan. got a second penalty on the Leeds goal line. They tapped and eventually scored with Joel Tomkins crashing through a huge gaping hole in Leeds' right side defence on 57 minutes. Pat hit a crucial conversion to make it 18-10.

It really still should have been a tense last twenty minutes but Leeds didn't really come close. Not helped in truth by a three minute delay on 66 minutes when Danny Buderus left the field with a bad (probably broken) ankle injury. That allowed Wigan. to regroup and halted the little Leeds momentum they had. Wigan. were all over them and well deserved the winning try they got in the 71st minute. What a try as well - a beauty worthy of winning any match. Richards broke down the right, found Leuluai in support, who in turn sent Sam Tomkins to over for the match winner. The conversion made it 24-10 and game over.

Leeds tried a short kick off and won it but Wigan. eventually got the ball back and desperation from the Rhinos saw them conceded three late penalties which gifted Wigan. chances to "take the two" and kill the final six minutes off the clock. They kicked the first to but missed the last one at the death. Didn't matter a superb 28-10 win was secure and it's been a long time since we could feel like this but bring on the Saints next week. Can't wait for the derby. Normally been dreading the enemy in recent years but not now - bring them on!

Reaction to the Action

Wigan Coach Brian Noble: "I thought the second half was up there with what we have done because of the crowd, the emotion and the fact we were playing the champion team. I thought they punched holes in us in the first half, they were all over us. But, boy, did we respond. We had energy, we had vigour, we were meeting their bigger blokes as we should have done in the first half. We also looked after the ball a bit better, forced a few errors and we know we will score points if we get to the right end of the field. (Sam Tomkin's is) still a work in progress. I love him to bits, and I think he loves himself to bits. He's very exciting and it is great for the game we have someone like that coming through - but let's not put him in the universe team yet."

Leeds Coach Brian McClennan: "Wigan were very, very good. They got momentum in the second half and never let go. Well done to them, they kept the pace up and they did a job on us. I don't think we were going that well even at 10-0. Our execution was down a bit. I think they just kept building pressure and did a good job on us. They were the better team on the night."

Team Sheets

- Wigan Position Leeds -
21 Cameron Phelps Full Back Lee Smith 3
2 Amos Roberts Winger Scott Donald 2
22 Martin Gleeson Centre Michael Ratu 29
4 George Carmont Centre Keith Senior 4
5 Pat Richards Winger Ryan Hall 5
25 Sam Tomkins Stand Off Danny McGuire 6
7 Thomas Leuluai Scrum Half Rob Burrow 7
15 Andy Coley Prop Kylie Leuluai 8
9 Mark Riddell Hooker Danny Buderus 9
19 Paul Prescott Prop Jamie Peacock 10
14 Joel Tomkins 2nd Row Jamie Jones-Buchanan 11
16 Harrison Hansen 2nd Row Carl Ablett 18
26 Mark Flanagan L.Forward Kevin Sinfield 13
-
3 Darrell Goulding Substitute Ali Lauitiiti 12
8 Stuart Fielden Substitute Matt Diskin 14
10 Iafeta Paleaaesina Substitute Luke Burgess 21
24 Lee Mossop Substitute Simon Worrall* 23

*Simon Worrall was an unused substitute

Score Sheet

Wigan Warriors 28 --- Leeds Rhinos 10
Tries (4):
George Carmont
Harrison Hansen
Joel Tomkins
Sam Tomkins
--- Tries (2):
Danny McGuire
Scott Donald
Goals:
Pat Richards 5/6
--- Goals:
Kevin Sinfield 1/2

Scoring and Incident Pattern

20mins:14 Wigan 00 Leeds 04 Try: Danny McGuire
- Wigan 00 Leeds 06 Conversion: Kevin Sinfield (1/1)
24mins:03 Wigan 00 Leeds 10 Try: Scott Donald
- Wigan 00 Leeds 10 K.Sinfield Missed Conversion (1/2)
35mins:16 Wigan 04 Leeds 10 Try: George Carmont
- Wigan 06 Leeds 10 Conversion: Pat Richards (1/1)
Half Time Wigan Warriors 06 Leeds Rhinos 10
42mins:03 Wigan 10 Leeds 10 Try: Harrison Hansen
- Wigan 12 Leeds 10 Conversion: Pat Richards (2/2)
54mins:06 VIDEO REF NO TRY Joel Tomkins (Knock On by Richards)
56mins:42 Wigan 16 Leeds 10 Try: Joel Tomkins
- Wigan 18 Leeds 10 Conversion: Pat Richards (3/3)
66mins:13 LEEDS INJURY Danny Buderus (Broken Ankle)
70mins:18 Wigan 22 Leeds 10 Try: Sam Tomkins
- Wigan 24 Leeds 10 Conversion: Pat Richards (4/4)
74mins:53 Wigan 26 Leeds 10 Penalty Goal: Pat Richards (5/5)
77mins:10 Wigan 28 Leeds 10 Penalty Goal: Pat Richards (5/5)
80mins:00 Wigan 28 Leeds 10 P.Richards Missed Penalty Goal (5/6)
Full Time Wigan Warriors 28 Leeds Rhinos 10

Video Highlights

Referee

Phil Bentham (Warrington)

Penalties Conceded

Wigan 7 Leeds 13

Video Referee

Ian Smith (Oldham)

Match Attendance

20,295

Television

Weather

Dry Night.

League Table at Conclusion of Super League 14 Round 22

- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 St Helens 22 17 0 5 679 382 +297 34
2 Leeds Rhinos 22 16 0 6 589 385 +204 32
3 Huddersfield Giants 22 15 0 7 548 344 +204 30
4 Hull Kingston Rovers 22 13 1 8 514 428 +86 27
5 Wigan Warriors 22 12 0 10 538 429 +109 24
6 Castleford Tigers 22 12 0 10 496 529 -33 24
7 Wakefield Wildcats 22 11 0 11 511 515 -4 22
8 Warrington Wolves 22 11 0 11 523 531 -8 22
9 Harlequins 21 10 0 11 489 491 -2 20
10 Catalans Dragons 21 9 0 12 481 550 -69 18
11 Hull FC 22 9 0 13 430 520 -90 18
12 Bradford Bulls 21 7 1 13 462 556 -94 15
13 Salford City Reds 21 6 0 13 338 596 -258 12
14 Celtic Crusaders 22 3 0 19 307 649 -342 6

Round 22 Results
Fri 24 July Wigan Warriors 28 Leeds Rhino 10 20,295
Sat 25 July Harlequins 24 St Helens 44 4,258
Sat 25 July Celtic Crusaders 12 Bradford Bulls 34 3,089
Sat 25 July Hull Kingston Rovers 24 Hull FC 18 9,450
Sun 26 July Huddersfield Giants 36 Catalan Dragons 12 5,823
Sun 26 July Warrington Wolves 62 Salford City Reds 20 8,906
Sun 26 July Wakefield Wildcats 12 Castleford Tigers 20 8,371