Wigan edged out 26-24 victors against Leeds this evening after a thrilling encounter at the DW Stadium.
The Rhinos opened the scoring after just 3 minutes through a Kevin Sinfield penalty. Although when Kylie Leuluai thew a forward pass, gifting the host possession in a dangerous area, it was only a matter of time until the Warriors crossed for the first try. On 13 minutes Joel Tomkins showed good strength near the try line to offload to Josh Charnley who touched down, Pat Richards adding the extras.
Ben Jones-Bishop was again involved after making a superb break past Richards, to then pass inside to Lee Smith who was tackled 10 metres out by Sam Tomkins. The Wigan full back could have been sent to the sin bin for what was arguably a professional foul by not being square at the resulting from the play of the ball.
However Wigan got the ball back after Jamie Jones-Buchanan was adjudged to have knocked on in the tackle, although replays suggested Hansen stripped the ball from the second rower. It proved irrelevant however after Pat Richards spilled the ball forward from the resulting set, allowing Leeds prime field position to mount an attack. The pressure soon told with Webb scoring after receiving a pass from Sinfield and broke through the defence to touch down on the 26th minute. Sinfield converting.
The Warriors hit back though through Ryan Hoffman on 32 minutes after Richards palmed back a Brett French kick into Hoffman’s hands who simply touched the ball down. Richards brilliantly added the extras from out wide.
The Rhinos chanced their arm late on in the first half and went for the power-play on the last tackle by spreading the ball wide, with Zak Hardaker diving over in the corner, following a neat tip off from Carl Ablett. Sinfield missed the conversion leaving the half time score at 18-12 to the visitors.
Wigan started the second half superbly by regaining possession from the restart after Danny McGuire failed to take the ball. From the resulting attack the ball was spread wide by George Carmont to Richards, which looked forward, to allow the winger to touch down in the corner. Richards converted his own try to level the scores at 18-18.
Wigan took the lead 3 minutes later after Carmont touched down following a superb pass from Finch to put Hoffman through a gap, who then put Carmont in for a simple touch down. Richards adding the extras.
Wigan extended their lead to eight points on the hour mark after Peacock gave away a penalty for not being square at the play of the ball, Richards opting for the two points.
With 10 minutes to go, McGuire dabbed through to the corner and Hardaker gathered to touch down to give Leeds a lifeline. Sinfield converted out wide superbly to close the gap to just two points.
It looked like McGuire had won it for the Rhinos in the dying minutes when he kicked through from short range and chased through to touch down. However video referee Steve Ganson judged that McGuire had dropped the ball before kicking through, so the score was denied.
Final score: Wigan 26-24 Leeds.