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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Wigan Warriors 16 Leeds Rhinos 24

17th February 2006

By Leeds Rhinos

The Rhinos have come back from 16-0 down to defeat Wigan 24-16 at the JJB Stadium.

Leedsmade a bright start at JJB Stadium and could have taken the lead after just four minutes. Rob Burrow made a great break up field but was stopped by a high tackle that went unpenalised. The Rhinos moved the ball to the right hand side and good work by Mathers and McGuire set up Senior, but the Great Britain international knocked on with the line at his mercy. The Rhinos continued to mount pressure on the Wigan line and Ryan Bailey was only just held up by a brilliant tackle by Sean O'Loughlin. Leeds were left to rue their missed chances when Joel Tomkins was quickest to react to a loose ball and touch down. The chance had come from a high kick to the corner which former Rhino Mark Calderwood flicked back inside and Tomkins beat three other people to the touchdown and then had a nervous wait whilst the video ref decided his fate. The try was given by Tickle missed the conversion leaving it 4-0 after 20 minutes.

WP – Home MPU

The Rhinos had done little wrong in the game and continued to build pressure on the Wigan line. However the home defence showed incredible strength and was just able hold their line. Leeds finally looked to have broken the line when Ali Lauitiiti touched down after 31 minutes but the video ref ruled that his ball carrying arm had already touched the ground and the giant Kiwi was penalised for a double movement. Once again Wigan took their opportunity when it came. Having survived via the video ref they went up field and former Castleford player Wayne Godwin spotted a gap out wide and squeezed his way over. Tickle added the conversion to make it 10-0. Almost straight from the kick off Wigan were in again. Paleaasesina powered his way up field before the way was moved wide and Pat Richards kicked ahead and young full back Chris Ashton was on hand to score. Tickle added the conversion to make it 16-0 after half time. Tony Smith no doubt will have had stern words with his players at half time and they certainly came out fired up for the second half.

Within ten minutes the visitors were across for their first try with Shane Millard using his power to go from dummy half. Sinfield added the conversion to breath life into the Leeds fightback. The comeback was well and truely on two minutes later when Danny McGuire got away from the attempted tackle by Harrison Hansen to race through and score. Sinfield again added the conversion to bring Leeds back to within a score of levelling the score making it 16-12 after 53 minutes.

The second half settled down after that with both teams guilty of poor handling at times. The game was played between both teams 20 metre lines with Wigan content to grind out their sets of six and try and defend their lead. Kevin Sinfield had spent a spell on the bench earlier in the game but he was sent back on to rally his troops and that is exactly what he did with eight minutes to go. He forced dummied his way over from close range then added the conversion to give the Rhinos the lead for the first time. The win was confirmed in the last minute when Jamie Peacock produced a brilliant off load to release Danny McGuire who galloped upfield before passing to Rob Burrow to touch down. Sinfield added the conversion to complete the comeback, Leeds scoring 24 unanswered second half points to win 24-16.

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