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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Leeds Rhinos 10 Wigan Warriors 12

5th April 2008

By Leeds Rhinos

Leeds lost their first home game of the season 14-10 to a determined Wigan side with neither team able to score in the second half. The Rhinos scored through Scott Donald and Kylie Leuluai in the first half but a try on the half time hooter by Thomas Leuluai proved the match winner for Wigan. The Rhinos were looking for their first win over Wigan in four meetings in the league having lost both home and away games last season and the previous meeting in 2006. Former Rhino Mark Calderwood was missing from the Wigan side but Richard Mathers made his return to his beloved Headingley Carnegie.

The Rhinos started brightly and put pressure on a young Wigan side in the opening exchanges. They eventually got the try their possession deserved when Scott Donald took advantage of some quick thinking by Matt Diskin, who shipped the ball wide after an up and under hand bounced around 20 metres out from the visitors line. Donald had time and space to race the corner and video ref Phil Bentham said that he got the ball down before touching the corner post. Kevin Sinfield's conversion attempt was wide so it remained 4-0 after 10 minutes. However, it was not long before the visitors had struck back and it was Pat Richard, the man who was a thorn in the Rhinos side last season, who struck. He made the extra man out wide and glided through to score. He converted his own try and then added a penalty five minutes later to give his side a 8-4 lead at 22 minutes. The Rhinos came back strongly forcing back to back sets on Wigan, who were lucky to be still at 13 men when Stuart Fielden went in with his elbow into the face of Sinfield on the floor. As seems traditional for the Champions this season, they also had to deal with extreme weather as a hail storm whipped through the stadium. Leeds edged back in front with three minutes left on the clock as Kylie Leuluai span in the tackle to touch down for his first try of the season between the posts. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 10-8. However, with the last play of the half, Tommy Leuluai showed anything his cousin could do he could match as he took an offload close to the Rhinos line to crash over under pressure from Brent Webb. Richards added the conversion to make the half time score 14-10 to the Warriors.

WP – Home MPU

Wigan carried on where they had left off at the start of the second half as they dominated the opening exchanges forcing Leeds to twice drop out from their own line. However, a knock on by O'Loughlin was the closest they came to breaching the Rhinos defence again. The Rhinos finally came to life after the break 16 minutes in when a rampaging run by Jamie Peacock lifted the crowd and his team mates. Both Lee Smith and Scott Donald were having good games in defence and attack for the Rhinos. Smith got the Rhinos great field position when he chased a crossfield kick from Sinfield and dragged Richards in to touch. It looked like he had earned himself a try when five tackles later he was on the end of a pass from Carl Ablett to score in the corner. However, Steve Ganson adjudged that Jordan Tansey's pass to Ablett was forward. The Rhinos pressed hard for a winner but a knock on by Ablett as he tried to offload near the line was the final chance and Wigan held on for the win.

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