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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Leeds Rhinos 18 Wigan Warriors 20

11th August 2006

By Leeds Rhinos

The Rhinos slipped to a narrow 20-18 defeat to Wigan at Headingley Carnegie.

The Rhinos slipped a bitter 20-18 defeat to Wigan at Headingley Carnegie with a last gasp conversion from Kevin Sinfield striking the post and bouncing away. Both teams came into this match desperate for the win but for contrasting reasons at different ends of the table. Wigan had returned to the foot of the table following their deduction of two points for cheating the salary cap in 2005 whilst the Rhinos had lost their last four games and second place in the table. The visitors got off to the best possible start with a try after six minutes. Danny Orr stepped his way passed Jamie Jones-Buchanan before floating a pass to David Vaealiki to score. Dobson missed the conversion but Wigan led. They could have increased the lead a minute later but for an excellent last gasp tackle by Scott Donald on Pat Richards. Wigan continued to mount pressure on the Leeds line in the opening quarter with Shane Millard and Jordan Tansey both having to act quickly on seperate occasions to stop scores.

WP – Home MPU

Leeds' best chance fell to Clinton Toopi but he was unable to take in Gibson's short pass. Wigan could have doubled their lead but had a try ruled out by video referee Steve Presley after 20 minutes. Great pressure by Tansey put Sean O'Loughlan under pressure as he went to ground the ball and it spilled free. Presley was called upon again two minutes later but at the other end. Vaealiki had attempted an intercept five metres from his own line however he knocked it forward. Ali Lauitiiti picked up the bouncing ball running towards his own post, span round and raced for the corner. Under pressure from Ashton he took off through the air and touch down one handed beating the flag and the touchline by the smallest of margins. Sinfield could not convert but the Rhinos had the lead in the next set. From the kick off Gareth Hock when high on Jamie Thackray to give Leeds and penalty. Clinton Toopi took the tap before passing back to Thackray who produced a great offload to Ian Kirke who strided 50 metres downfield to score. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 10-4 after 24 minutes.

Wigan managed to lessen the lead at half time with a penalty on the hooter from Dobson after Ali Lauitiiti was caught offside when Tansey knocked on leaving the score 10-6 at the interval. The Rhinos got the second half off to the best possible start with a try inside eight minutes. It was created by a great flowing move involving Toopi, Lauitiiti, Thackray, Sinfield and Senior before Ashley Gibson touched in the corner. Sinfield was unable to add the conversion but Leeds led 14-6. However, the Rhinos then fell asleep on defence and allowed Wigan in for a soft try. Orr released Vaealiki who brushed off the attempted tackles of Diskin and Jones-Buchanan before giving putting Ashton in for a simple try. Dobson added the conversion to make it 14-12 after 52 minutes. Two minutes later Dobson levelled the score with a penalty from in front of thee posts when Peacock was penalised for a high tackle.

Wigan then re-took the lead with 15 minutes remaining through former Rhino Mark Calderwood. There was a real mess ten metres from the Wigan line with the ball bouncing around before Calderwood picked it up and sprinted 40 metres upfield. Gibson made a great tackle to stop him but Ashton took a quick play the ball that caught the Leeds defence napping and he passed back inside to Calderwood, he held off the challenge of Jones-Buchanan and Tansey to score. Dobson added the conversion to make it 20-14 to the visitors. Dobson looked to seal victory with nine minutes to go but his attempted drop goal was well wide and the chance went begging. It looked costly when Ashley Gibson latched on a kick through by Sinfield to score in the corner with four minutes remaining. However, the Rhinos captain's conversion attempt hit the post and bounced away to maintain Wigan's narrow lead. Leeds ran out of time in the end and slipped to their fifth defeat in the row, the first time that has happened since the hapless 1996 season.

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