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19th March 1999: Leeds 12 Wigan 26
Posted by Bilko on January 04 2016 - 22:31

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Friday 19th March 1999
Leeds Rhinos 12 Wigan Warriors 26
Headingley, Leeds
JJB Sports Super League 4 - Round 2 of 30

Kick Off: 7:30pm


Wigan Team


Kris Radlinski



Jason Robinson



Gary Connolly



Danny Moore



Paul Johnson  T2   


Greg Florimo    


Mark Reber    


Neil Cowie    


Mick Cassidy  T2   


Terry O'Connor    


Lee Gilmour  T   


Rob Ball    


Andy Farrell    G3 




Tony Mestrov    


Simon Haughton    


Wes Davies    


Brett Goldspink    


1. Iestyn Harris, 2. Paul Sterling, 18. Marvin Golden, 5. Francis Cummins, 22. Leroy Rivett, 13. Daryl Powell, 7. Ryan Sheridan, 15. Darren Fleary, 9. Lee Jackson, 10. Barrie McDermott, 16. Andy Hay, 21. Terry Newton, 12. Marc Glanville.
Interchange: 8. Martin Masella, 20. Jamie Mathiou, 24. Karl Pratt, 25. Kevin Sinfield.

Tries: Ryan Sheridan, Marvin Golden
Goals: Iestyn Harris 2


Wigan went into this game as the underdogs, a rare occurrence I know, but on Leeds' recent form and powerful forwards along with a home advantage, Leeds will always be a tough team to bear down. Lately all the talk has come from Leeds and RLHQ about how great a team Leeds is and how wonderful Harris is. Well Leeds started without a couple of regular first team players, most notably Morley, Farrell, Blackmore and Godden. But the Wigan team also had big injuries with the loss of influential play-make scrum half Tony Smith, second row forward Denis Betts and Andy Johnson all out. With Simon Haughton also making the subs bench despite not being 100% fit the Wigan team would rely heavily on the new partnership of Australians Florimo and Reber.

The game started at a fast and furious pace and it was a hard battle up front. This time the Wigan forwards O'Connor and Goldspink didn't give way to what we all now know as classic Leeds forward dirty play. Terry and Brett went at the Leeds defense and setup the Wigan backs magnificently with acres of space. But the backs still; needed to be alert and active to take the openings afforded to them. Florimo and Reber combined well and Farrell led by example as usual, and when you have backup from the likes of Gilmour, Robinson and Johnson there is a strong certainty of a score or two. With Farrell catching the Leeds side out a few times with short kickoff's Wigan had lots of possession to create chances with also.

The first try came from a very lucky rebound off the posts, and quick thinking Sheridan collected the loose ball and scored. Poor Radlinski would have deal with the kick easily but for the intervention of the upright. That woke up the Wigan attack and soon after Lee Gilmour raced over for a great try from a short kick off. Wigan regained possession and passed the ball left via Cassidy and Reber and then Gilmour spotted half a gap and went 20 meters to score a vital try.

When Wigan introduced Simon Haughton he was eager to get involved and you could tell that when he made a great midfield break and then actually offloaded to the supporting Johnson who outpaced the defense to score. Wigan were beginning to click now, but were still letting Leeds back into the game by giving away silly penalties. Leeds had a Golden try disallowed by the video ref but the next time Golden made sue he touched down, stepping inside Moore and eluding the tackle of Johnson.

Harris missed a final second penalty and the half ended 12-10 to Leeds. Wigan deserved more though as they dictated play, but all credit to Leeds who defended well. These two sides may have been without some key player, but were providing us with an evenly matched and entertaining game of Rugby League.

Maybe one of Leeds' problems was Harris having to stay at full back, which I have always said is not his best position. And several times he was found wanting during this game, letting high kicks bounce, being out of position for Wigan breaks and being outpaced as well. He creativity wasn't at it's best either during this game as Wigan snuffed out the Leeds challenge in the second half. Gilmour fended off three tacklers and side stepped another two players to setup a play for Cassidy who plunged over at the posts for a fine try.

Next Paul Johnson got in on the act and scored the try in the 65th minute that broke the Leeds players spirit. Johnson picked up the ball from the play-the-ball and eluded a couple of lunges, a grasp from Powell and then raced the length of the field and outpaced Harris to the line. It was a gem of a try that really was a game breaker and was well deserved as Wigan started dominating play. Next in on the act was Cassidy again. The thrill of the next try was seeing support play at it's best. Robinson ran around the Leeds defense and down the right hand touchline, Radlinski supported to take the pass from Robinson who then stepped back in behind to take the ball from Radlinski. Robinson moved the ball quickly left to give Cassidy a run at the line, which he did magnificently to score to the left-hand corner.

Leeds were defiantly found wanting tonight and even the partisan home crowd, ferocious tackling and pacey? Harris could not inspire a victory, and if that's how Leeds perform when a couple of first team players are out injured then they will struggle in the league this year.

As far as the scoring went that was it, but the truth was that a depleted Wigan side that matched the depleted Leeds side and then ran away with the game in the second half. Florimo showed his organisational skills and his distributional abilities and combined well with Reber and Farrell. Reber was bought as a hooker, but after his performances at scrum-half Wigan have an extra bonus player to call on in the middle. Cassidy also had a very big game at hooker, supporting well and tackling like a machine, as always. His skills and bravery were an inspiration to the team and when all the players are fit John Monie would be hard pushed to place Cassidy anywhere other than in the first 13 on the park. When Haughton, Betts and Andy Johnson are all fit Monie will have some great options in the back row. Will Reber switch to hooker and Cassidy back to the second row when Smith is fit. Will Betts replace Gilmour in the starting line up, who knows? Not even John Monie yet I think !

Half Time: 

Leeds 12 Wigan 10




Russell Smith (Castleford)


Live Coverage on Sky Sports 1

Super League 4 - Round 2 Results
Fri 19 Mar - Leeds Rhinos 12 Sheffield Eagles 26 - 15,160
Sat 20 Mar - Sheffield Eagles 20 London Broncos 26 - 3,269
Sun 21 Mar - Huddersfield Giants 14 Halifax Blue Sox 17 - 4,657
Sun 21 Mar - Hull Sharks 3 Bradford Bulls 8 - 6,577
Sun 21 Mar - St Helens 34 Gateshead Thunder 22 - 5,910
Sun 21 Mar - Wakefield Wildcats 22 Salford City Reds 10 - 4,004
Sun 21 Mar - Warrington Wolves 19 Castleford Tigers 14 - 4,738

Top of the JJB Sports Super League 4 - After This Round
1st Place:l Wigan - Played - 2 - Won - 2 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 0 - Points: - 4
2nd Place:l St Helens - Played - 2 - Won - 2 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 0 - Points: - 4
3rd Place:l Bradford - Played - 2 - Won - 2 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 0 - Points: - 4
4th Place:l London - Played - 2 - Won - 2 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 0 - Points: - 4
5th Place:l Warrington - Played - 2 - Won - 2 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 0 - Points: - 4
6th Place:l Wakefield - Played - 2 - Won - 1 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 1 - Points: - 2
7th Place:l Halifax - Played - 2 - Won - 1 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 1 - Points: - 2


Top 5 Qualified for Play Offs

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