• Wigan Warriors
  • 00 - 08

  • Leeds Rhinos
  • Wigan Warriors
  • HT 00 - 00
  • Leeds Rhinos
23rd September 2021 | KO 19:45 | DW Stadium | Super League Play Off

Wigan Warriors 0 Leeds Rhinos 8

SL.Rd21. Warriors v Rhinos. Thurs 23rdSept2021. © MATTHEW MERRICK PHOTOGRAPHY

Leeds Rhinos booked their place in the Betfred Super League semi finals with an 8-0 win over Wigan Warriors at the DW Stadium, thanks to a second half try from man of the match Ash Handley and penalty goal from Rhyse Martin.

Thirteen members of Leeds’ matchday squad featured in last year’s play off clash with Catalans Dragons as Richard Agar’s side look to go a step further in 2021. Mikolaj Oledzki and Zane Tetevano were welcomed back to Leeds’ squad (Oledzki after a foot injury and Tetevano after a three match ban), while Kruise Leeming moved into the halves with Rob Lui, prompting Brad Dwyer to return to the starting thirteen. Tom Briscoe was the only player in Leeds’ squad who had been through the play offs before, as the two time Grand Final winner lined up alongside Ash Handley. Zak Hardaker and Brad Singleton, who both won Grand Final titles with the Rhinos, lined up for Adrian Lam’s side.

A tight first half didn’t produce any points as Leeds and Wigan were locked in a tight arm wrestle. Both sides looked to try and open the game up early on. Wigan half back Jackson Hastings almost kicked a 40/20, only for the ball to hold up and bounce into the arms of Richie Myler, before Leeds tried to use a penalty for a head high tackle on Brad Dwyer to open up the Warriors’ left side but Tom Briscoe offloaded the ball over the sidelines to turn possession over.

With ball in hand, the Rhinos attempted to dominate territory as early kicks by Lui and Leeming pinned Hardaker and Liam Marshall back on their own try line; Hardaker being forced into conceding a goal line drop out on two occasions. Wigan looked to counter off the back of the Rhinos’ errors but a wayward offload by Hardaker was collected by Martin and then the full back knocked the ball on off the back of a fifth tackle kick.

A forward pass by Leeming to James Donaldson prompted Harry Smith to kick towards the posts, thinking there was a chance for points on the first tackle. Hardaker and John Bateman were there to follow up Smith’s kick but the ball didn’t bounce kindly and Handley managed to reclaim for Leeds. The Rhinos winger could have closed the first half out with a try too as Lui’s cross field kick was allowed to bounce but as Leeming kicked the ball on again, Willie Isa was quicker to react and beat Handley to take the ball. As the half time hooter sounded, both sides went into the changing rooms scoreless.

 

Wigan began the second period with the best opportunities but it was Leeds broke the deadlock through Handley. A knock on by Myler from a high bomb put the Warriors on Leeds’ try line early in the half but after Gildart and Bateman came close to getting through the Leeds defence, Hastings produced a poor kick and Smith brought the ball away. A penalty against Dwyer put the home side in range again minutes later but Bateman provided a heavy and forward pass for Smith and Leeds survived. Going back down the field, the Rhinos didn’t looked to have done enough as Leeming was forced to kick high on the fifth tackle but Jake Bibby couldn’t take the ball under pressure and Handley was to gather and score the opening try of the game.

The Rhinos continued to cause problems for Lam’s side after they were caught not square but Leeming’s final pass was poor as it was too long for Lui, who was stood in front of the posts, but too short for Martin, who knocked on to prevent Marshall bringing the ball away. In a reoccurring trend for the Warriors, they lacked the final touch to try and get back in the game; Smith trying to thread Marshall down the edge with a grubber kick but Luke Briscoe was up to the challenge to take the ball.

As the game approached it’s climax, the visitors’ mindset changed as they tried to quash any chance of a Wigan fightback. A Liam Marshall knock on near his own line could have seen Lui or Matt Prior bound their way over but instead, on the fifth tackle, Leeming went for a drop goal attempt but dragged it wide to give the home side a seven tackle set.

Wigan knew time was running out for them but the Rhinos remained defiant and as Lui sprinted out of the line to pressure Smith, the Wigan youngster dropped the ball and possession turned back to Leeds. Driving upfield, Leeming’s dart out of dummy half set up Oledzki to drive towards the posts, but the prop had the ball stripped and every Leeds player pointed to go for two. Martin stepped up to convert to take Leeds within touching distance of the last four.

There was late drama as Joe Shorrocks charged down Myler’s fifth tackle kick but as Oli Partington reclaimed the bouncing ball, and was subsequently tackled by Smith, the Wigan forward struck his opposite number after the tackle was complete and the penalty was overturned in Leeds’ favour, all but sealing the Rhinos’ place in the semi finals, where they will meet either Catalans Dragons or St Helens.

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Wigan Warriors 0 Leeds Rhinos 8

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Wigan Warriors 0 Leeds Rhinos 8

SL.Rd21. Warriors v Rhinos. Thurs 23rdSept2021. © MATTHEW MERRICK PHOTOGRAPHY

Leeds Rhinos booked their place in the Betfred Super League semi finals with an 8-0 win over Wigan Warriors at the DW Stadium, thanks to a second half try from man of the match Ash Handley and penalty goal from Rhyse Martin.

Thirteen members of Leeds’ matchday squad featured in last year’s play off clash with Catalans Dragons as Richard Agar’s side look to go a step further in 2021. Mikolaj Oledzki and Zane Tetevano were welcomed back to Leeds’ squad (Oledzki after a foot injury and Tetevano after a three match ban), while Kruise Leeming moved into the halves with Rob Lui, prompting Brad Dwyer to return to the starting thirteen. Tom Briscoe was the only player in Leeds’ squad who had been through the play offs before, as the two time Grand Final winner lined up alongside Ash Handley. Zak Hardaker and Brad Singleton, who both won Grand Final titles with the Rhinos, lined up for Adrian Lam’s side.

A tight first half didn’t produce any points as Leeds and Wigan were locked in a tight arm wrestle. Both sides looked to try and open the game up early on. Wigan half back Jackson Hastings almost kicked a 40/20, only for the ball to hold up and bounce into the arms of Richie Myler, before Leeds tried to use a penalty for a head high tackle on Brad Dwyer to open up the Warriors’ left side but Tom Briscoe offloaded the ball over the sidelines to turn possession over.

With ball in hand, the Rhinos attempted to dominate territory as early kicks by Lui and Leeming pinned Hardaker and Liam Marshall back on their own try line; Hardaker being forced into conceding a goal line drop out on two occasions. Wigan looked to counter off the back of the Rhinos’ errors but a wayward offload by Hardaker was collected by Martin and then the full back knocked the ball on off the back of a fifth tackle kick.

A forward pass by Leeming to James Donaldson prompted Harry Smith to kick towards the posts, thinking there was a chance for points on the first tackle. Hardaker and John Bateman were there to follow up Smith’s kick but the ball didn’t bounce kindly and Handley managed to reclaim for Leeds. The Rhinos winger could have closed the first half out with a try too as Lui’s cross field kick was allowed to bounce but as Leeming kicked the ball on again, Willie Isa was quicker to react and beat Handley to take the ball. As the half time hooter sounded, both sides went into the changing rooms scoreless.

 

Wigan began the second period with the best opportunities but it was Leeds broke the deadlock through Handley. A knock on by Myler from a high bomb put the Warriors on Leeds’ try line early in the half but after Gildart and Bateman came close to getting through the Leeds defence, Hastings produced a poor kick and Smith brought the ball away. A penalty against Dwyer put the home side in range again minutes later but Bateman provided a heavy and forward pass for Smith and Leeds survived. Going back down the field, the Rhinos didn’t looked to have done enough as Leeming was forced to kick high on the fifth tackle but Jake Bibby couldn’t take the ball under pressure and Handley was to gather and score the opening try of the game.

The Rhinos continued to cause problems for Lam’s side after they were caught not square but Leeming’s final pass was poor as it was too long for Lui, who was stood in front of the posts, but too short for Martin, who knocked on to prevent Marshall bringing the ball away. In a reoccurring trend for the Warriors, they lacked the final touch to try and get back in the game; Smith trying to thread Marshall down the edge with a grubber kick but Luke Briscoe was up to the challenge to take the ball.

As the game approached it’s climax, the visitors’ mindset changed as they tried to quash any chance of a Wigan fightback. A Liam Marshall knock on near his own line could have seen Lui or Matt Prior bound their way over but instead, on the fifth tackle, Leeming went for a drop goal attempt but dragged it wide to give the home side a seven tackle set.

Wigan knew time was running out for them but the Rhinos remained defiant and as Lui sprinted out of the line to pressure Smith, the Wigan youngster dropped the ball and possession turned back to Leeds. Driving upfield, Leeming’s dart out of dummy half set up Oledzki to drive towards the posts, but the prop had the ball stripped and every Leeds player pointed to go for two. Martin stepped up to convert to take Leeds within touching distance of the last four.

There was late drama as Joe Shorrocks charged down Myler’s fifth tackle kick but as Oli Partington reclaimed the bouncing ball, and was subsequently tackled by Smith, the Wigan forward struck his opposite number after the tackle was complete and the penalty was overturned in Leeds’ favour, all but sealing the Rhinos’ place in the semi finals, where they will meet either Catalans Dragons or St Helens.

Team Performance

Goals

0

2

Tries

0

1

Player Performance

PlayerTRGLDGYCRCI+I-
Richie Myler0000000
Luke Briscoe0000000
Harry Newman0000000
Tom Briscoe0000000
Ash Handley1000000
Robert Lui0000000
Kruise Leeming0000000
Matt Prior0000000
Brad Dwyer0000000
Bodene Thompson0000000
James Donaldson0000000
Rhyse Martin0200000
Zane Tetevano0000000
Interchanges
Konrad Hurrell0000000
Mikolaj Oledzki0000000
Tom Holroyd0000000
Cameron Smith0000000
PlayerTRGLDGYCRCI+I-
Zak Hardaker0000000
Liam Marshall0000000
Oliver Gildart0000000
Willie Isa0000000
Jake Bibby0000000
Jackson Hastings0000000
Harry Smith0000000
Brad Singleton0000000
Sam Powell0000000
Oliver Partington0000000
John Bateman0000000
Liam Farrell0000000
Morgan Smithies0000000
Interchanges
Liam Byrne0000000
Ethan Havard0000000
Kai Pearce-Paul0000000
Joe Shorrocks0000000
Stats Key
  • TR: Tries
  • RD: Red Cards
  • GL: Goals
  • I+: Interchange On
  • DG: Drop Goals
  • I-: Interchange Off
  • YC: Yellow Cards