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24th October 1998: Wigan 10 Leeds 4
Posted by Bilko on February 10 2006 - 17:18

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Saturday 24th October 1998
Wigan Warriors 10 Leeds Rhinos 4
Old Trafford, Manchester
JJB Sports Super League 3 - Grand Final

Kick Off: 6:30pm

 

Wigan Team
1

. 

Kris Radlinski

   
5

. 

Mark Bell

   
3

. 

Danny Moore

   
4

. 

Gary Connolly

   
2

. 

Jason Robinson  T   
6

. 

Henry Paul    
7

. 

Tony Smith    
16

. 

Terry O'Connor    
9

. 

Robbie McCormack    
10

. 

Tony Mestrov    
17

. 

Stephen Holgate    
20

. 

Lee Gilmour    
13

. 

Andy Farrell    G3 

Interchange:

8

. 

Neil Cowie    
12

. 

Simon Haughton    
14

. 

Mick Cassidy    
25

. 

Paul Johnson    

Leeds 

1. Iestyn Harris, 22. Leroy Rivett, 3. Richie Blackmore, 4. Brad Godden, 5. Francis Cummins, 13. Daryl Powell, 7. Ryan Sheridan, 8. Martin Masella, 21. Terry Newton, 25. Darren Fleary, 11. Adrian Morley, 17. Anthony Farrell, 12. Marc Glanville.
Interchange: 14. Graham Holroyd, 20. Jamie Mathiou, 24. Marcus St Hilaire, 27. Andy Hay.

Tries: Richie Blackmore
Goals: (None)

Report: 

The inaugural JJB Super League Grand Final saw John Monie's Wigan Warriors defeat Leeds Rhinos 10-4 in a tight encounter on a wet Saturday evening at Old Trafford.

A crowd of 43,533 was enthralled by the game, despite terrible conditions, with the result not certain until the final kick of the match, when Wigan captain Andy Farrell added his second penalty of the night.

Jason Robinson won the Harry Sunderland trophy as the Man of the Match, and it was his try shortly before half time that put the Warriors in the lead, one which they were never to surrender.

Defence was certainly the order of the day in a marvellous encounter, with the Leeds back three of Adrian Morley, Anthony Farrell and Marc Glanville outstanding in the face of massive Wigan pressure throughout the match.

Robbie McCormack and Henry Paul, joining Mark Bell in playing their final game for the Warriors, were also excellent, while skipper Farrell was an absolute rock on both attack and defence.

Robinson may have been the pick of the backs, but Richie Blackmore always looked a danger against Danny Moore, while Gary Connolly and Brad Godden enjoyed a fine duel.

The game burst to life in the 21st minute when, after Iestyn Harris had split the Wigan defence only to be hauled down ten yards out, the ball was moved wide by Ryan Sheridan for Blackmore to slide over and open the scoring.

Harris narrowly missed with the conversion attempt, having already done the same with a penalty from a similar wide position, and Graham Murray's men had to be content with a 4-0 lead, despite having the better of the opening quarter.

Wigan began to come back into the game in the final ten minutes before the break, Robinson making a 35-yard break inside his own half before Mestrov and Paul found half-gaps.

Tony Smith's kick to the corner dipped over Cummins but under the diving figure of Robinson as Wigan threatened the Leeds line for the first time before, in the 37th minute, they finally made the pressure count.

Robinson picked the ball up at dummy half and moved infield before racing between Darren Fleary and Jamie Mathiou and past Harris from 20 yards out to dive under the posts. Farrell added the simple conversion, giving Wigan a 6-4 lead at the interval.

The second half began with similar intensity, and Francis Cummins' fine tackle on Farrell after the Wigan skipper had broken clear was wasted when Mark Glanville conceded a penalty a minute later.

Farrell added the two points from close range and suddenly Leeds were four points behind, and the deficit could have been extended had Bell had his effort disallowed by the video referee three minutes later.

The winger was adjudged to have knocked on after collecting a Neil Cowie bomb, regathering off Harris' chest to touch down, Leeds able to breathe a sigh of relief as the giant screen flashed 'No Try'.

Harris inspired a comeback from the Rhinos as they mounted pressure on the Wigan line, but his pass to Cummins went straight into touch before Rivett was pushed over the sidelines at the other side following a Blackmore pass which was ruled forward.

And Wigan heeded the warnings to pen the Rhinos in their own half, Mick Cassidy going to within inches before being hauled down under a fine last-ditch tackle from Ryan Sheridan as the Warriors wasted chance after chance for a drop goal.

The Leeds scrum half then had what was eventually their last chance when, with five minutes remaining, he burrowed to the line only for the ball to spurt free under a four-man tackle.

As the desperation mounted, Wigan moved back downfield and, after Holroyd had knocked on, he conceded a penalty forty metres out.

With little over a minute on the clock, Farrell decided to kick for goal, and his sweetly struck effort dissected the goalposts to seal a glorious, but hard-fought, 10-4 victory.

Half Time: 

Wigan 6 Leeds 4

Attendance: 

43,553

Referee: 

Russell Smith (Castleford)

Television: 

Live Coverage on Sky Sports 1

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