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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Leeds Rhinos 24 Wigan Warriors 36

10th August 2002

By Leeds Rhinos

Leeds were left to reflect on a 15 minute spell either side of half time which cost them the points at Headingley on Saturday.

Minutes before the break Leeds led 14-8 after coming back from 6-0 down, they had a man advantage with Mick Cassidy in the sin bin. However, the Rhinos then had Matt Adamson sin binned and conceded a last gasp try to Jamie Ainscough that tied the game up at 14-14. Cassidy returned for Wigan at the re-start and Wigan blitzed the home to take a lead they were never to surrender.

WP – Home MPU

The Warriors now sit seven points above Leeds going into the final six matches of the season, and have almost made sure of a place in the top three at the end of the season.  Terry Newton struck the first blow but, after Ben Walker and Julian O'Neill had traded penalties, Francis Cummins and Matt Diskin put the Rhinos into a 14-8 lead.

Jamie Ainsough's try levelled the game at the interval, and his second on 46 minutes, along with three O'Neill goals, gave them a 22-14 lead.

Returning captain Andrew Farrell crossed to push them out further and, despite Tonie Carroll replying, Adrian Lam made sure of the points before Keith Senior's consolation.  Wigan had been delayed in their journey over the Pennines by a punctured tyre on their coach, but the team themselves were pumped up and made a good start by scoring the first try, on ten minutes.

Farrell, who was returning from a month on the sidelines with a groin injury, threaded a grubber kick through and Leeds old-boy Terry Newton beat Francis Cummins to the ball to touch down.  Julian O'Neill retained the kicking duties despite Farrell's absence, and had a superb evening with the boot, slotting over eight goals from as many attempts.

Ben Walker, who had missed with a penalty attempt after five minutes, pulled two points back for the Rhinos on 23 minutes, but O'Neill restored a six point advantage with a goal of his own soon afterwards.

The Rhinos began to dominate the match at this stagem and levelled with arguably the try of the game, when Keith Senior offloaded in O'Neill's tackle and Cummins raced 50 yards to touch down, Walker's conversion levelling the scores.

Mick Cassidy was sin-binned on 32 minutes after a fourth penalty for interference, and Leeds took immediate advantage for Matt Diskin to dive in from dummy half after Danny Ward was stopped short.  However, when Leeds' Matt Adamson found himself spending ten minutes on the sidelines himself for the same offence on 37 minutes, Wigan took full advantage to turn the game on its head.

Firstly, Terry Newton's long ball allowed Ainscough to score in the corner, with O'Neill's excellent touchline goal levelling the game at half time.  The stand off added a penalty three minutes after the break, and Cassidy used the extra man's advantage to give Ainscough an indentical second score, which was again goaled by O'Neill.

On 53 minutes, Farrell announced his return by brushing off Ryan Sheridan and Tonie Carroll to race to the line, two more O'Neill goals giving Wigan a commanding 30-14 advantage going into the final quarter of the match.

Leeds saw a try for Chev Walker ruled out for a forward pass by Kevin Sinfield as they attempted to his back, but they did manage to cut the gap when Sinfield and Walker combined to send in Carroll on 72 minutes, Walker's goal making the gap eight points.

But Farrell sent in-form Adrian Lam over almost immediately to celebrate the scrum half's new contract and put the Warriors out of reach before Karl Pratt sent Keith Senior in at the corner with the final play of the game.

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