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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Wigan Warriors 16 Leeds Rhinos 52

22nd August 2008

By Leeds Rhinos

eeds Rhinos recorded their biggest ever win at Wigan with a spectacular display to beat Wigan 52-16 at the JJB Stadium. The champions produced an impressive second half showing to blow the Warriors away, scoring nine tries in the process and surpass the previous best set in 2005 when the Rhinos won 38-14. The Rhinos travelled to the JJB Stadium looking to avenge defeat to the Warriors in their last visit. Youngster Kallum Watkins returned to the first team squad with a spot on the bench whilst Jordan Tansey earned a place on the wing after his hat trick performance against Castleford the previous week. Carl Ablett, who witnessed the birth of his daughter Ruby 24 hours earlier, was in the centres for the Champions.

The Rhinos started strongly but fell behind after seven minutes to a controversial try. Leeds were on the attack when Danny McGuire kicked towards the posts on the last tackle. Trent Barrett, making his final home appearance for the Warriors, appeared to knock on under pressure from Brent Webb. Joel Tomkins picked up the loose ball before passing to Mark Calderwood on halfway to score. Ashley Klein diverted the decisiont to video referee Steve Ganson and the St Helens official took an age to adjudicate on the score. Eventually, he declared the try valid and Cameron Phelps added the simple conversion to make it 6-0 to the home side. Leeds had the opportunity to hit back after 13 minutes when McGuire produced a great offload to Matt Diskin, but as the hooker reached for the line, Thomas Leuluai managed to knock the ball from his grasp and the chance was gone. The visitors though kept their head and continued to build pressure on the Wigan line. Brian Noble's men had to produce some incredible defence to keep the Rhinos out but when they gained another set from a knock on on the last tackle, it proved too much for the Warriors. A quick pass by Diskin released Brent Webb, who spung out of the tackle to score. Sinfield added the conversion to level the score on 21 minutes. Two minutes later the Rhinos were in front when Luke Burgess reacted quickest when Calderwood failed to deal with a grubber kick from McGuire to score and mark his new three year deal in the best possible style. Sinfield converted to make it 12-6 after 24 minutes. Next it was Wigan's turn to enjoy a purple patch and they too had a try disallowed before crossing for a score. Firstly, George Carmont knocked on trying to stretch for the line then Carl Ablett produced a brilliant tap tackle to stop a certain try. However, they did get a score at the end of that same set, a cross field kick by Tim Smith was batted down by Calderwood into the arms of Cameron Phelps, who touched down to make it 12-10. He could not convert his own try but the game was back in the balance with 11 minutes left in the half. However, the Rhinos then got a crucial break. Tim Smith threw a floated pass out wide but it only found his namesake Lee in the Rhinos side who gallopped in from half way for an interception try. Sinfield converted to make it 18-10 after 32 minutes. Leeds were clearly not satisfied with that margin of lead and continued to pile on the pressure looking to make the most of their dominance of the home side. They were awarded a penalty in front of the posts with a minute left in the half but Sinfield took a quick tap and two tackles later, Kylie Leuluai crashed over for his sixth try of the season. Sinfield added the conversion on the hooter to make it 24-10 at the break.

WP – Home MPU

The Rhinos further turned the screw right from the kick off. Sinfield's perfectly weighted restart bounced once before going out of play giving Leeds head and feed 20 metres out. From the scrum, Burrow found McGuire, he passed to Webb, who stepped back across three would be defenders before going over for the try after 43 minutes. Six minutes later the Rhinos crossed for their sixth try of the season. Senior and Tansey combined brilliantly to open up the Wigan defence before the latter passed to Lauitiiti who relished racing in from 15 metres out. Sinfield converted both tries to make it 36-10 after 51 minutes. It got even better for the Rhinos with 26 minutes still remaining in the half when the Wigan defence was caught napping out wide and Senior bulldozed his way through before gliding round to score near the posts. Sinfield added the conversion which meant the Rhinos now led 42-10. After that initial mauling at the start of the second half, Wigan finally found their feet on the hour mark and finally managed to get across the whitewash through Eamon O'Carroll after they had gained a repeat set when Lee Smith was penalised. Phelps added the conversion to make it 42-16 after 64 minutes. Normal service was resumed six minutes later however when Lee Smith made the extra man out wide and then cut back inside to avoid the tackle of Richard Mathers to score in the corner. Sinfield missed his first kick of the night from the touchline but the Rhinos now led 46-16 and were heading for their biggest ever win at Wigan. The Rhinos brought up the half century with two minutes remaining. McGuire tip toed through the Wigan defence before kicking to the corner for Kallum Watkins to chase. The young man got to the ball first and deftly dribbled ahead before diving to touch the ball down in the corner. Sinfield added a great touchline conversion to make the final score 52-16 to the champions.

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