• Leeds Rhinos
  • 26 - 12

  • Wigan Warriors
  • Leeds Rhinos
  • HT 20 - 00
  • Wigan Warriors
3rd October 2020 | KO 14:30 | Totally Wicked Stadium | Coral Challenge Cup

Leeds Rhinos 26 Wigan Warriors 12

A brilliant team performance sent Leeds Rhinos to the Coral Challenge Cup Final for the first time since 2015, beating Wigan Warriors 26-12 at St Helens’ Totally Wicked Stadium.

Having fielded a number of young talents for their midweek Betfred Super League matches, both sides rotated their major players back into the match day squads with a place at Wembley at stake. Leeds welcomed back a brand new seventeen, including Brad Dwyer, who returned to face his hometown club for the first time since testing positive for Coronavirus three weeks ago, Konrad Hurrell, who had to isolate due to COVID track and trace, and Cameron Smith from injury. Four of Wigan’s team featured last Tuesday; Jake Bibby, Joe Greenwood, Joe Bullock and Harry Smith all retaining their places from the 44-0 loss to derby rivals St Helens.

Heavy rain had fallen since the early hours of the morning but Leeds immediately set the tempo in a dominant first half. Tom Briscoe had the best opportunity to get Leeds’ opening try inside of ten minutes after Ash Handley’s grubber kick had forced a repeat set for the Rhinos. Mikolaj Oledzki and Alex Mellor both came close but as Rob Lui and Richie Myler combined to open up space on the right side of the field, Briscoe couldn’t get round Joe Burgess. A ball steal by Wigan on Leeds’ next set gave the Rhinos their first points though; Rhyse Martin choosing to kick for goal and converting his first attempt of the afternoon.

The Leeds second rower was on hand once again for the first try of the game. A brilliant 70 metre 40/20 kick from Man of the Match Luke Gale pinned Wigan back on their own goal line and although Lui’s inside pass wasn’t read initially by Martin, the Papua New Guinea captain managed to step back inside and burrow his way through two Wigan defenders.

A head high tackle on Matt Prior from Sean O’Loughlin enabled Martin to kick a third conversion to take the score to 10-0 as Wigan continued to struggle in attack. The Leeds pack were holding strong and as a result, the Warriors had very few chances. The Rhinos used this pressure to build their advantage, working their way into Wigan’s half before Gale’s fifth tackle kick was batted back to Myler by Liam Sutcliffe. Quick thinking from the Rhino full back found the unmarked Handley in space to slide over. The decision was handed up to video referee Ben Thaler, who gave the try. Martin was on target to take the score to 16-0.

Before the clock hit 40 minutes, Alex Mellor nearly latched on to a grubber kick by Lui in the end zone but Thomas Leuluai managed to push the ball away from Mellor for a goal line drop out. As the clock was about to expire, a well timed move saw Konrad Hurrell find Briscoe in the corner, sending the Rhinos into half time 20-0 up.


A mistimed pass from James Donaldson almost proved fatal as Wigan had their first scoring opportunity of the game early in the second period. Former Leeds loanee Joe Greenwood almost grounded the ball after drives from Jake Bibby and Jackson Hastings but the substitute was held up well by Hurrell and company. Hastings’ following fifth tackle kick was allowed to be taken by Zak Hardaker but as the centre offloaded back to Bevan French, another kick through was wrapped up securely by Sutcliffe.

Leeds’ defence was called into action once again close to their own line after Hurrell had the ball stripped one on one by Liam Farrell. Moving the ball right, Thomas Leuluai’s pick up from Sam Powell’s pass looked questionable as Dom Manfredi went on to score in the corner. Video referee Thaler was required once again and called Leuluai’s pick up a knock on, keeping Wigan scoreless.

Hurrell nearly turned from provider in the first half to scorer in the second but Lui’s kick through the line was collected by Gale, who was in an offside position. Back to back penalties for the offside and a head high tackle from Dwyer set Greenwood up for a second attempt but Leeds’ defence miraculously managed to hold him up over the line once again.

Leeds worked their way comfortably back towards Wigan’s tryline with back to back sets. Inside the last 15 minutes, Handley used a darting run from Dwyer to push his way into the corner but the winger was judged to be held up by Dom Manfredi and Hardaker by both referee Chris Kendall and the video referee. A knock on by French from a Gale kick shortly after gave Leeds the ball back and an offload by Sutcliffe close to the tryline finally gave Handley his second.

Although Rhyse Martin missed the conversion, another penalty for a ball steal on Matt Prior gave the Leeds kicker another shot at goal; one which he slotted between the uprights to take the score to 26-0.

Substitute Harry Smith’s interception try got the first points for the Warriors with minutes remaining before a break away by Manfredi was supported by Hardaker, who took the inside pass to score against his former club. The centre kicked both goals but nothing could undo Leeds’ dominant performance, the Rhinos marching on to Wembley for the first time in five years with a 26-12 result.

Team Performance







Player Performance

Richie Myler0000000
Ash Handley2000000
Konrad Hurrell0000000
Liam Sutcliffe0000000
Tom Briscoe1000000
Robert Lui0000000
Luke Gale0000000
Ava Seumanufagai0000000
Kruise Leeming0000000
Mikolaj Oledzki0000000
Alex Mellor0000000
Rhyse Martin1500000
Matt Prior0000000
Tom Holroyd0000000
Brad Dwyer0000000
Cameron Smith0000000
James Donaldson0000000

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Stats Key
  • TR: Tries
  • RD: Red Cards
  • GL: Goals
  • I+: Interchange On
  • DG: Drop Goals
  • I-: Interchange Off
  • YC: Yellow Cards