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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Leeds Rhinos 34 Wigan Warriors 10

13th March 2009

By Leeds Rhinos

The Rhinos enjoyed a successful return to Headingley Carnegie by out playing Wigan to record a 34-10 win over the Warriors.

Ryan Hall scored twice for Leeds whilst Carl Ablett produced a man of the match winning performance with some powerful runs. The night was capped by a successful return from injury for full back Brent Webb.

WP – Home MPU

Matt Diskin was ruled out by the neck injury that kept him out of the win at Warrington five days earlier so Jamie Jones-Buchanan started at hooker whilst Brent Webb was amongst the replacements for his return. Wigan unsurprisingly named an unchanged team from the one that had demolished Bradford a week earlier.

The Rhinos made the best possible start to the game when Rob Burrow earned his side a repeat set with the first Leeds 40:20 at home since June 2007. The Rhinos moved the ball across the field towards the South Stand before switching direction. Kevin Sinfield gliding across the face of the Wigan defence before passing to Kallum Watkins. The youngsters then had the presence of mind to offload backwards which Ryan Hall picked up on the bounced and passed one handed back inside to Sinfield. The Leeds skipper spotted an onrushing Kylie Leuluai who came on to the ball at pace and blasted his way through the Wigan defence. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 6-0 after three minutes.

The Rhinos were at their clinical best as they penned Wigan inside their own half and worked through their sets to constantly ask questions of the visitors defence. Eventually the pressure told as a clever kick from Danny McGuire gave Scott Donald the chance to race through and beat Shaun Ainscough and the touchline to score. Sinfield, who had been accidentally poked in the eye by Sean O’Loughlin in the previous defensive set, stepped up to add the touchline conversion to make it 12-0 after 11 minutes.

The home side extended their lead six minutes later when Ian Kirke burst through in midfield. He managed to get the ball away following a crunching collision tackle and Donald fed the ball back inside to Sinfield. The captain showed great presence of mind again to spot Rob Burrow coming through and passed to the scrum half to score. Sinfield’s conversion making it 18-0.

Lee Smith rubbed salt into the wound soon after when he kicked his side’s second 40:20 of the night to set up the position for the fourth try. Ali Lauitiiti spotted an overlap outwide and threw a one handed 15 metre pass to Ryan Hall to score. Sinfield was off target by the Rhinos now led 22-0 after 29 minutes.

The biggest cheer of the night came soon after when Brent Webb made his return from injury however it was Wigan who scored next after 36 minutes. Thomas Leuluai spotted a gap outwide and threw a long pass to Ainscough to score in the corner. Pat Richards added the conversion to make it 22-6 at half time.

Wigan came out in determined mood at the start of the second half and looked to have cut the deficit even more two minutes into the half. Richards kicked ahead from inside his own half and the ball bounced horribly for Donald, straight into the path of Ainscough, who passed to Thomas Leuluai to score. However, video referee Phil Bentham spotted on the replay that Ainscough was offside at the original kick and the try was disallowed.

The visitors were denied for a second time after 47 minutes when Gareth Hock was denied a try following an obstruction in back play on Ablett.

Having been given those two let offs the Rhinos finally sprung into life in the second half and promptly scored their fifth try. Good work by Ashley Gibson and Scott Donald kept the ball alive down the Main Stand side before a well weighted bomb from Burrow was plucked out of the air by Hall to score his second try of the game. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 28-6 after 51 minutes.

The Rhinos extended that lead with 14 minutes remaining when Jamie Peacock was given the benefit of the doubt by video ref Bentham after O’Loughlin looked like he had initially got his hand under the ball as the England skipper crashed over. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 34-6.

Wigan did manage a consolation try through Hock with two minutes to go but the Rhinos were comfortable 34-10 winners and remain top of the engage Super League.

Leeds Rhinos: Smith, Donald, Gibson, Watkins, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Jones-Buchanan, Bailey, Ablett, Kirke, SInfield
Subs: Burgess, Lauitiiti, Peacock, Webb
Wigan Warriors: Richards, Roberts, Bailey, Carmont, Ainscough, S Tomkins, Leuluai, Fielden, Riddell, Palea’aesina, Hock, J Tomkins, O’Loughlin
Subs: Coley, Hansen, McIlorum, O’Carroll
Referee: Ian Smith
Attendance: 17,677

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