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Leeds Rhinos

2017 Super League Champions

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Wigan Warriors 34 Leeds Rhinos 0

21st July 2017

By Phil Daly

Picture by Paul Currie/SWpix.com - 21/07/2017 - Rugby League - Betfred Super League - Wigan Warriors v Leeds Rhinos - DW Stadium, Wigan, England - Ryan Shutton of Wigan Warriors is tackled by Jack Ormondroyd of Leeds Rhinos and Cameron Smith

  1. A young Rhinos side produced a spirited display at Wigan but lost out to the Warriors 34-0 at the DW Stadium.

Brian McDermott was without fifteen first team members for the trip to Wigan and handed debuts to three teenagers in Harvey Whiteley on the bench and Alex Sutcliffe and Harry Newman in the starting line up. It was the third youngest Leeds team ever fielded in the Super League era.

The aim was played in wet conditions which had a significant impact on both teams in the first half with a high error count. Leeds thought they had opened the scoring when Anthony Gelling lost the ball in the wet, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, skipper on the night, was quickest to react and flicked up a pass to Newman, who broke clear and thought he was over only for play to be pulled back for the original knock on.

WP – Home MPU

Wigan then crossed for two quick tries, the first from Michael McIlorum as he slid over from dummy half. Leeds had appealed for a forward pass in the build up but referee Ben Thaler was happy to award the try. Sam Tomkins then scored a second try for the home side as he chased his own kick and slid through to touch down. George Williams converted the first try to give his side a 10-0.

The Rhinos were forced to produced some heroic goal line defence after that and Wigan were twice denied by the video referee James Child due to some desperate defence by Leeds.

The dam finally broke when they were awarded a try by the video referee for Isa at the third attempt. Williams missed the conversion and left the score at 14-0 at half time.

Leeds rarely threatened the Wigan line and when 17-year-old full-back Jack Walker went close he lost his grip on the ball as he stretched out for the corner.

It was a similar story in the second half, with the Rhinos pinned inside their own half for long periods but with Wigan unable to press home their advantage.

Centre Oliver Gildart went over for two tries in five minutes in the third quarter but it was only in the last 10 minutes when the champions began to flex their muscles.

Quick hands by Tomkins and centre Anthony Gelling provided just enough space for winger Tom Davies to finish athletically at the corner to bring up Wigan’s century of Super League tries in 2017 and Gildart broke clear to get Williams over for his second try.

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