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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Wigan Warriors 28 Leeds Rhinos 10

24th July 2009

By Leeds Rhinos

The Rhinos lost out at the Warriors after leading at half time but the biggest worry will be a leg injury to hooker Danny Buderus.

The Rhinos dominated the first half but conceded a soft try in the final minutes to leave the score 10-6 at the break and the Warriors stormed into the lead after the break and never looked back/

WP – Home MPU

Buderus was stretchered off midway through the second half with a lower leg injury that looked serious at the time.

Leeds were without full back Brent Webb, who was ruled out by injury but did welcome back skipper Kevin Sinfield and winger Scott Donald.

Wigan were without influential forward Phil Bailey but we hoping to keep up their own recent good run of form ahead of their derby clash with St Helens the following week and the Carnegie Challenge Cup semi final a week later.

Lee Smith started at full back for the Rhinos whilst 21-year-old Mike Ratu made his first start at centre after two appearances off the bench this season.

Leeds made a blistering start with a thundering tackle by Jamie Jones-Buchanan from the kick resulted in the ball being spilled and the visitors immediately taking possession on the Wigan line. Unfortunately, they could not make the most of it with Keith Senior knocking on but the tone had been set.

Four minutes later, Leeds had another great chance when Rob Burrow and Danny Buderus combined to set Danny McGuire away. He burst down field but was tackled six metres short by Amos Roberts.

The Rhinos had to rely on some robust defence to keep Wigan out after ten minutes. Uncharacteristically, Kevin Sinfield missed a one on one tackle however his team mates got him out of jail but producing some booming tackles to rock the Warriors back and eventually they threw the ball in to touch in desperation to find a way through.

The game carried on the same manner for the first quarter before eventually the Rhinos got the first points of the game with a well crafted try for McGuire. Once again it was Buderus and Burrow who combined to set up McGuire and this time there was no stopping him as he went over between the posts. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 6-0 after 20 minutes.

Three minutes later the Rhinos had another great chance. Burrow’s kick on the last tackle was blocked by Thomas Leuluai but Buderus was quickest to react and raced back to collect the loose ball. But instead of just lying on the ball to cool down the situation he was alive to the opportunity and set up an 80 metre break. Having regained his feet he fed the ball to Carl Ablett who released Ratu, who powered up field before being pulled down ten metres short. McGuire kept up the pressure with a well weighted kick to force a repeat set. The pressure had to tell and eventually it did, a brilliant short pass from Ratu to Donald gave him just enough space to get over in the corner,. Video referee Ian Smith gave the final clearance and the Rhinos were 10-0 in front. Sinfield was off target with the conversion but Leeds were building a handy lead.

However, just as they seemed to be in command of the game, the Rhinos allowed Wigan in for a try with four minutes remaining in the first half. The chance was created by Sam Tomkins and finished off by George Carmont, who cut back inside to wrong foot the Rhinos defence and score. Pat Richards added the conversion to make the half time score 10-6 to the Champions.

The lead was short lived at the start of the second half with Wigan crossing after just three minutes. Once again Tomkins and Carmont combined to create the chance before Carmont offloaded Leuluai. He managed to hack the ball on and Harrison Hansen spectacularly dived through the air to touch the ball down one handed within a hairs width of the dead in goal line. Richards added the conversion to make it 12-10 to the home side.

Wigan sensed their chance to increase their lead and piled on the pressure on the Leeds line. They were denied a try for Joel Tomkins when video referee Ian Smith adjudged that Richards had knocked on after jumping higher than Donald to grab Cameron Phelps high kick. However, Donald appeared to be penalised for taking Richards out in the air and Wigan could continue their momentum. They gained another penalty soon afterwards when Jamie Jones-Buchanan was penalised for grabbing the head of Lee Mossop in the tackle. Eventually, the pressure had to tell and Joel Tomkins was not denied with his next chance as he forced his way over in the corner. Richards added the conversion to make it 18-10 after 57 minutes.

The Rhinos were dealth a blow with 13 minutes when Buderus was stretchered from the field. The ball had been spilled loose and he attempted to fly hack the ball ahead only to connect with the back of the Wigan defender who had dived on the ball. It appeared little more than a knock at first but the worst fears were confirmed when the stretcher was called for.

It got worse for Leeds with seven minutes to play when Wigan broke through on half way and Thomas Leuluai set up Sam Tomkins to score next to the posts. Richards was on target again and made it 24-10 to the home side.

As the Rhinos chased the game, their discipline let them down and they allowed Richards three kickable penalty chances in the final six minutes to seal the victory. He took the first two but missed the last to leave the final score at 28-10 to the Warriors.

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