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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Wigan Warriors 18 Leeds Rhinos 2

12th July 2007

By Leeds Rhinos

The Rhinos were held tryless for the first time this season after losing 18-2 in the wet at the JJB Stadium.

Despite some heroic defence by the Rhinos at times, the wet conditions played a massive part in the outcome and the home side were able to adapt to the slippery ball slightly better than Leeds.

WP – Home MPU

The Wigan solicitors handed their side a boost before kicking by winning an appeal over the RFL and the side on the pitch were hoping to complete a hat trick of wins over Leeds this season.

The Rhinos made their second trip across the Pennines in less than a week hoping to build on the win over St Helens six days earlier. The Rhinos started brightly forcing three repeat sets on the Warriors line but they were unable to break the line and the home side cleared their lines.

Wigan eventually settled into the game and forced a repeat set after dragging Ryan Hall back in goal after the youngster leapt brilliantly to take a cross field bomb. From the drop out, Ryan Bailey was penalised for a high shot on Paleaaesina and Pat Richards calmly struck over the penalty to make it 2-0 after 14 minutes.

Wigan then turned the screw. Firstly, Brent Webb knocked on Barrett's clearly kick down field under the shadow of his own posts before Hall was unable to get out from his in goal after taking a Thomas Leuluai grubber kick. Three tackles later, Webb was penalised for holding down 17 metres out in front of the posts and Richards doubled the lead.

The remainder of the half was a battle with the elements. Heavy evening rain in Wigan had made the pitch slippery and persistent drizzle fell in the first half it was inevitable that both teams would struggle to keep hold of possession.
The Rhinos had an opportunity to cut the home sides lead in half when they were awarded a penalty 25 metres out but, with Kevin Sinfield off the field, Rob Burrow elected to take a quick tap. However, the move came to nothing when Jordan Tansey had the ball ripped from his grasp by Paleaaesina next to the post.

Leeds then had to defend their own line after Webb again knocked on under pressure but a brilliant piece of last ditch defending kept the Warriors out in the corner.

The Rhinos got a let off at the start of the second half when young winger Liam Colbon brushed the touchline with his boot after being put in for a simple try by David Vaeliki. Video ref Steve Ganson did not take long to rule out the score after 46 minutes.

However, two minutes later Pat Richards did extend the lead with Richards' third penalty of the night after Jamie Thackray was penalised for offside 40 metres out.

Leeds were able to hit back almost straight away when Bryan Fletcher was penalised for an incorrect play the ball 26 metres from his own line Sinfield kicked the penalty to make it 6-2 after 50 minutes.

It always looked like an error could make the difference between the sides in the conditions and Wigan got the break through when Brent Webb failed to knock a ball dead. Colbon was on hand to touch the ball down, although replays seem to suggest he knocked the ball on at least twice as he grabbled for the ball. Richards added a touchline conversion to make it 12-2 to the home side.

The Rhinos were left to rue a host of missed half opportunities in the next fifteen minutes as Burrow, Senior, McGuire and Bailey were all guilty of losing control of the ball in the wet conditions. With nine minutes remaining Wigan once again came back at Leeds and Australian test star Bryan Fletcher was on hand to power his way over and put the ball down one handed. Richards added the conversion to make it 18-2.

Gareth Ellis was sin binned in the closing minutes by referee Ben Thaler for back chat to compound the Rhinos frustrations and end a thoroughly miserable night for the travelling Leeds faithful.

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