Match report as Wigan Warriors beat Leeds Rhinos in a dramatic finish at the Emerald Headingley Stadium
The Warriors win the game 8-9 after Sam Tomkins’ drop-goal proved the difference
- Oliver Gildart with Wigan’s only try in what is the Warriors’ first win at Leeds since 2012
Wigan secured a dramatic victory as Sam Tomkins’ late drop-goal proved the difference between the two teams.
In a tight first half Leeds took the lead through Tom Briscoe’s try on the 23rd minute and Kallum Watkins converted to make it 6-0.
Watkins extended his side’s advantage just after the hour mark with a penalty goal.
However, the Wigan fight back started on the 71st minute after Oliver Gildart went over in the corner. Sam Tomkins converted from the touchline to make it 8-6.
A penalty goal five minutes from time, again from Tomkins, saw Wigan draw level at 8-8.
The Warriors won the match with just two minutes to go as Tomkins opted for a drop-goal and he executed it perfectly to give Wigan a first win at Leeds in over six years.
Shaun Wane made two changes to the side that beat Catalan Dragons last weekend as Ben Flower was ruled out so Romain Navarrete came into the starting 13. Joel Tomkins replaced Gabe Hamlin on the interchange bench whilst Taulima Tautai came in on the bench too.
Brian McDermott made four changes for the Rhinos as Liam Sutcliffe, Josh Walters, Brett Ferres and Brad Dwyer all missed out. Joel Moon, Brett Delaney, Adam Cuthbertson and Anthony Mullally all came in to the 17-man squad.
Both sides cancelled each other out in the opening 20 minutes and it was Leeds who struck first just after the half way mark as Tom Briscoe eased over in the right corner. Richie Myler flung a pass out wide to the winger who was free to go over the line untouched. Kallum Watkins converted from the touchline to give the Rhinos a 6-0 lead.
Wigan had a chance to get on the scoreboard soon after as a well-worked move found Sam Tomkins with an extra man over on the left side. However, the pass was off target and the ball slipped from the full-back’s hands and the Wigan attack came to an end.
A similar situation occurred at the other end a minute later, as Watkins knocked on from Myler’s pass which highlighted a first half of errors and little chances. Defences continued to be on top after Briscoe’s try which separated the teams at the break.
Leeds Rhinos 6–0 Wigan Warriors
Five minutes into the second half, Sam Powell was sin binned by referee Ben Thaler after Ashton Goulding ended in a dangerous position in the tackle. Leeds charged up the field from the resulting penalty, as Watkins found a gap in the Wigan line but Myler over ran the pass and fumbled the ball in what would have been a certain try.
The home side stretched their advantage to eight points after they received a penalty for lying-on in the tackle. Leeds opted to take the two and Watkins made it 8-0 with the boot.
Wigan got on the scoresheet nine minutes from time as Oliver Gildart darted over on the left side. The Cherry and Whites got the ball out wide with neat offloads by John Bateman and Liam Farrell providing Gildart the space to touch down. Tomkins added the two points from the touchline to make it 8-6.
The Warriors levelled things up with just five minutes to go after a penalty was conceded by the Rhinos for a high tackle on Sam Powell. Tomkins stepped up to the take the kick and converted to make it all square at 8-8.
In dramatic fashion, Wigan took the lead for the first time in the game as Tomkins scored a one pointer in the 77th minute. From 35 metres out and on an angle on the last tackle, Tomkins went for the drop-goal and succeeded to edge Wigan in front.
Leeds got the ball back from the restart after the ball went ten metres and bounced into touch. From that, the Rhinos pummelled the Wigan line and had a drop-goal attempt charged down. Leeds had the ball back with another set of six, from that Richie Myler went for the one-pointer but missed meaning Wigan took the win!
Leeds Rhinos 8–9 Wigan Warriors
Leeds Rhinos – 8
Goals: Watkins 2/2
Wigan Warriors – 9
Goals: Tomkins 2/2
Drop-goal: Tomkins 1/1
Leeds Rhinos: 1. Ashton Goulding, 2. Tom Briscoe, 3. Kallum Watkins, 22. Ash Handley, 5. Ryan Hall, 6. Joel Moon, 7. Richie Myler, 15. Brett Delaney, 9. Matt Parcell, 10. Brad Singleton, 11. Jamie Jones-Buchanan, 13. Stevie Ward, 12. Carl Ablett
Interchange: 8. Adam Cuthbertson, 16. Anthony Mullally, 27. Cameron Smith, 28. Mikolaj Oledzki
Wigan Warriors: 1. Sam Tomkins, 22. Liam Marshall, 14. John Bateman, 4. Oliver Gildart, 5. Joe Burgess, 6. George Williams, 7. Sam Powell, 8. Tony Clubb, 9. Tommy Leuluai, 25. Romain Navarrete, 19. Willie Isa, 12. Liam Farrell, 13. Sean O’Loughlin
Interchange: 3. Dan Sarginson, 11. Joel Tomkins, 15. Ryan Sutton, 17. Taulima Tautai
Referee: Ben Thaler