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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Leeds Rhinos 36 Wigan Warriors 6

5th October 2007

By Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos are heading back to Old Trafford after beating Wigan Warriors 36-6 at Headingley Carnegie.

The Rhinos returned to Headingley Carnegie looking to book their place at Old Trafford at the second time of asking.
Wigan came across the Pennines for the third week running aiming to maintain the run which has seen them send Bradford and Hull out of the Play Offs.

WP – Home MPU

Both teams were clearly bumped up for the start and the Rhinos made the early in roads with Lee Smith taking a brilliant catch from a cross field kick by McGuire he was tackled short of the line. Wigan then went back up the other end and were only denied by a tremendous cover tackle by Scott Donald.

Leeds got the first points of the game after 12 minutes when Kevin Sinfield kicked a penalty when Wigan were penalised for not being square at the tackle.

Two minutes later the lead was extended by Brent Webb who finished off a move that cover 65 metres. Jamie Peacock powered his way through attempted tackles by Palaeasina and Fielden before drawing Pat Richards and passing to Webb to scamper over from 30 metres out. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 8-0.

In the two previous games against Wigan at Headingley Carnegie this season, the Rhinos have allowed the visitors to stay in the game with errors when they were on top however the Rhinos were obviously determined not to allow that to happen this time. When Kevin Sinfield was awarded another penalty after 22 minutes he had not hesitation in pointing to the posts and slotting over the kick to further build the lead to 10-0.

The Rhinos then had to withstand a spell of heavy pressure from Wigan but they did so with real passion and commitment in defence and came up with the perfect response with four minutes remaining in the half. Leeds had the Warriors on the back foot with a number of offloads deep in the visitors territory. Eventually the pressure told and Ali Lauitiiti powered his way to the line after making a massive impact since coming off the bench. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 16-0 to the Rhinos at half time.

The Rhinos nearly made the perfect start to the second half. Gareth Hock offloaded near half way and it appeared Ian Kirke may have knocked on before Danny McGuire hacked ahead and touched down. The decision was sent upstairs to video ref Phil Bentham and, whilst replays showed Kirke did not touch the ball with his hands, a further check of the grounding showed McGuire grounded the ball short of the line and then lost control.

Having established their lead, the Rhinos were looking to play mistake free rugby whilst not taking risks. It was almost exactly the same game plan Wigan themselves had employed in the Challenge Cup defeat back in March and it was kept the visitors at arms length.

However, with 25 minutes to go Wigan did finally get across the whitewash when Thomas Leuluai chipped ahead and the bounce beat Brent Webb. Trent Barrett was on hand to latch on to the bouncing ball and passed back inside to Pat Richards to score. The full back converted his own try to make it 16-6.

Leeds showed great resolve and came right back at the Warriors led by their skipper Sinfield. He flew past Trent Barrett and raced down field before passing back inside to Jamie Jones-Buchanan, who drew the last man and put Rob Burrow in for the try. Sinfield converted to make it 22-6 after 65 minutes.

Leeds increased their lead two minutes when video ref Bentham gave Webb the benefit of the doubt as he scooped up McGuire's grubber kick. Sinfield again converted to make it 28-6.

Carl Ablett was denied a try by the video ref after the replay showed he had touched the ball down over the dead ball line however it was not long before Leeds had extended the lead when Sinfield slotted over a drop goal with ten minutes remaining.

Wigan were lucky to have 13 men on the field after 72 minutes when Gareth Hock producing a cowardly late tackle on Matt Diskin that could have seriously injured the Leeds hooker. As it was he just got a ticking off by referee Ganson.
Rhinos took their own retribution two minutes later when Rob Burrow ducked and weaved his way through the defence before sprinting off to score in the corner and book the Rhinos place at Old Trafford. Sinfield's conversion making it 35-6 to the home side.

Sinfield rubbed salt in the Wigan wound with his second drop goal to take his tally to his 16 points as he led his side back to Old Trafford and a chance to win the Super League title.

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