Flashback: Five Top Super League Meetings vs Wigan Warriors
As St Helens’ Totally Wicked Stadium prepares to host this week’s round of fixtures, including Wigan v Leeds, here is a look back at some of our favourite away Super League meetings against the Warriors.
No Leeds fan expected to go to Central Park and see the Rhinos win in 1998, but Graham Murray’s side were unstoppable in a 15-8 win. Winger Francis Cummins crossed twice to edge Leeds in front but it was his centre partner Brad Godden that took the limelight, brushing off five Wigan defenders to ground the ball late in the match to claim the Rhinos’ first away win at Wigan in the Super League.
In 2002, Leeds came back from 26-10 down to beat Wigan 32-26 at the JJB Stadium. Tries from Martin Aspinwall, Shaun Briscoe, Sean O’Loughlin, Craig Smith and future Rhino Gary Connolly looked to have secured the result for the Warriors after only 40 minutes but two tries each from Keith Senior and Danny McGuire helped Leeds get back in the match. Andy Hay and Wayne McDonald also crossed the whitewash as the Rhinos entered their Play Off campaign with a win.
Leeds recorded their biggest win against Wigan in 2005 at Emerald Headingley. Five players crossed twice for the World Champions, who surmounted 13 tries in front of a home crowd. Rob Burrow, Chev Walker, Andrew Dunnemann and Barrie McDermott scored to give the Rhinos a 24-0 lead at the break before Burrow, Walker and McDermott got their second tries of the game. Danny McGuire and Mark Calderwood both recorded a second half doubles while Keith Senior and Ali Lauitiiti completed a comprehensive Leeds performance.
There may not have been as many tries as in previous years but when Leeds and Wigan met in the 2012 Play Offs, it was a nail biting clash. Kallum Watkins got the Rhinos off to the best possible start, running the length of the field. Kevin Sinfield added two penalty goals and a drop goal to ensure the Rhinos had an 11-0 lead at the break but Wigan came out fighting in the second half; Harrison Hansen and Pat Richards putting the Warriors in the lead. Sinfield sealed the Rhinos place at Old Trafford though, slotting another penalty for Leeds to win 13-12.
Leeds’ last win at the DW Stadium came at the end of the 2013 season, as Brian McDermott’s side recorded a 20-6 result. In Man of Steel style jersey’s, Ben Jones-Bishop showed speed to run the length of the field and score in the corner. Pat Richards put Wigan 6-4 in front at half time but tries from Joel Moon, Kallum Watkins and Carl Ablett saw the Rhinos finish third in the final league table.