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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Wigan Warriors 26 Leeds Rhinos 24

1st July 2011

By Leeds Rhinos

The Rhinos lost out 26-24 in a pulsating game at the DW Stadium despite leading at half time.

The Rhinos travelled to the DW Stadium to face Champions Wigan hoping for a win to kick start their second half the season.

WP – Home MPU

Leeds were without Weller Hauraki, who was suspended, whilst Danny McGuire and Ryan Hall faced late fitness test on leg injuries. Hall missed out but McGuire returned to the starting line up with Rob Burrow amongst the replacements. Carl Ablett started in the centres alongside Lee Smith with Brett Delaney in the second row and Chris Clarkson at loose forward.

The opening exchanges were bruising encounters with both teams looking to put down a marker. Likewise, referee Thierry Alibert signalled he was not going to stand for any messing around in the tackle and awarded a penalty to each side in the opening three minutes for interference.

Leeds took the lead after four minutes when Sinfield kick a penalty following a great break by McGuire after he snapped a loose kick from Paul Deacon.

Wigan were able to gain some ascendency after that early set back and they given an opportunity deep in the Leeds half when Brent Webb was penalised for back chat following a forward pass decision. The home side did not need a second invitation and an fine offload by Joel Tomkins gave Josh Charnley a simple try in the corner. Richards  added the conversion to make it 6-2 after 14 minutes.

The Rhinos found a response five minutes later and it came after a strong drive from Brett Delaney in midfield. Leeds got a quick play the ball and Webb put in a sublime kick off the side of his boot and Ben Jones-Bishop won the race to touch it down. Sinfield added the conversion to give his side the lead once again.

Leeds then had to produce some great goal line defence to keep Wigan out, most notably when they forced Charnley into an error as he went for the corner.

Having had that let off, the visitors went back down the other end of the field and scored their second try of the game. Ben Jones-Bishop and Lee Smith had combined to set up a great break down the touchline before Sinfield was taken out at dummy half by an offside Sam Tomkins a metre from the try line. The penalty was awarded but Tomkins could consider himself lucky not to be sent to the bin. Leeds dished out their own justice however when Webb brilliantly stretched out of the attempted tackle by Hansen to score. Sinfield converted to make it 14-6.

Wigan had been targeting Jones-Bishop with the cross field bomb all half and they got their reward with six minutes remaining until the break when Richards outjumped the Leeds man and tapped the ball back to Ryan Hoffman to score. Richards added the conversion to bring his side to within a score of the lead at 14-12.

The Rhinos finished the half on a high when Rob Burrow threw a high floating pass outwide which Carl Ablett tipped on in the tackle to Zak Hardaker to score in the corner. Sinfield was off target with the conversion attempt but his side let 18-12 at the break.  

Leeds endured a nightmare start to the second half and found themselves behind after six minutes. Wigan scored inside the first minute when the visitors failed to collect Richards kick off and Wigan were quickest to react to the bouncing ball. They went to the right and then switch play right across the field for Richards to score in the corner despite replays seeming to suggest it came from a forward pass. He converted his own try to level the scores.

Wigan then piled on the pressure and got another try five minutes later when they broke quickly down field with some crisp passing and George Carmont getting the last pass to go over. Richards was on target again to make it 24-18.

Richards extended his side's lead when Leeds were caught offside as he slotted over the penalty after 63 minutes.

Despite being two scores behind, the Rhinos never gave in and they got their reward after spell of pressure on the Wigan line. McGuire produced a great grubber kick which Hardaker raced on to to touch down. Sinfield added the touchline conversion to make it 26-24 with ten minutes to go.

It looked like the Rhinos had snatched victory with five minutes to go when McGuire kicked ahead to touch down himself but video referee Steve Ganson adjudged he had knocked on before he put boot to ball. It was a 50/50 call and like the earlier try for Richards, it was not the Rhinos night.

Wigan were able to close the game out and held on to win 26-24.

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