Wigan Warriors brush aside Rhinos
Seven-try Wigan return to winning ways in an impressive 46-8 win over reigning Super League champions Leeds Rhinos
Liam Marshall ran in a hat-trick of tries
- Joe Greenwood made his Wigan debut from the interchange bench
Wigan fell behind early on in the game as Brett Ferres swooped in to collect a loose ball from a Wigan error to score a simple try. However, from that point onwards the first half firmly belonged to the Warriors as they sprang into action and registered two quickfire tries through wing Liam Marshall. Wigan continued their dominance throughout the rest of the first-half and managed to take control of the game on the back of an influential performance by Josh Woods at stand-off who crossed for a deserved try before the break with Wigan leading 22-4.
The hosts continued their dominance throughout the second-half and when Man of the Match Liam Farrell crossed for a magnificent solo try the game was all but finished as a contest. Wigan’s second-half performance was most notable for their gallant defence and success in restricting an extremely talented Leeds Rhinos side to just one try.
Joe Greenwood made his first appearance for the Warriors from the interchange bench whilst Josh Woods retained his place at stand-off in place of the injured George Williams. Sean O’Loughlin and John Bateman made an immediate return to the Warriors starting line up after returning from England duty in Denver on Monday.
Leeds took the early lead in the game through Brett Ferres after he collected a spilled ball from the Wigan back field defence – the former England international dummied his way over the line to score. The opportunity arose as a result of John Bateman inadvertently colliding with a fellow Wigan teammate, Sam Tomkins, which dislodged the ball and gifted the Leeds’ back rower an easy finish. The conversion was unsuccessful from Sutcliffe leaving the score at 4-0 to Leeds. Wigan very nearly struck back immediately through Oliver Gildart however the attack fizzled out after the hot-heeled centre was hauled down after his initial break down the Leeds right-edge.
Wigan quickly regrouped and established some strong field position on the back of an intelligent grubber kick form Josh Woods, which allowed Wigan to gain a much needed repeat set. On the very next set Wigan registered their first score of the game as Liam Marshall latched onto a brilliant cut out ball from Woods to finish acrobatically in the corner. The conversion from out wide was successfully converted by Sam Tomkins. From this point onwards Wigan began to build some pressure and quickly capitalised upon this period of dominance as Marshall collected his second try of the game, finishing off a brilliant team move to crash over in the corner. The conversion was successfully converted to double Wigan’s lead and leave the scores at 12-4 Wigan.
The hosts dominance continued and as they lay siege to the Rhinos’ try-line, which after some indiscipline, resulted in Sam Tomkins converting two penalty goals from in front of the posts to stretch Wigan’s lead to 16-4.
Next over the line was Woods, with the talented young playmaker rewarded for some outstanding play as he collected a looping pass in centre field and convincingly stepped his way over the line. The conversion from in front of the posts was successful and left the score at 22-4 to Wigan.
Halftime - Wigan Warriors 22 – Leeds Rhinos 4
Leeds began the second half with a renewed sense of purpose and looked to have gone over for the first try of the second half through Luke Briscoe, however the video ref quickly ruled that Tom Davies had illegally been tackled in the air.
A period of defensive dominance from both sides ensued as both sides traded sets in an attempt to gain field position. However this deadlock was emphatically broken as Liam Farrell managed to find a gap in the Leeds defensive line and rounded Ashton Goulding with some impressive footwork to complete a superb solo effort. The conversion from the touchline was brilliantly converted by Sam Tomkins to stretch Wigan’s lead to 28-4.
After Farrell’s try Leeds dominated possession and field position however Wigan defence was firm, frustrating Brian McDermott’s side on numerous occasions. This defensive attitude was typified by John Batemans last-gasp effort to knock Richie Myler’s testing grubber kick over the dead ball line and prevent a certain try. After regaining possession for a sustained period captain Sean O’Loughlin provided a trademark short ball for Romain Navarette to burst through the Leeds defence. Thomas Leuluai quickly pounced on the resulting play of the ball and spun over the line from dummy half to increase Wigan’s lead. The conversion by Sam Tomkins was unsuccessful leaving the score at 32-4.
Joel Moon responded for the Rhinos, after he collected a bouncing ball to finish impressively to go over in the corner. The conversion by Liam Sutcliffe was unsuccessful leaving the scores at 32-8 Wigan.
Yet it was Wigan who would have the final say, with speedsters Tom Davies and Liam Marshall both crossing for scores. After Tony Clubb collected a loose offload from Leeds and raced downfield, the prop forward unselfishly passed to the supporting Davies to finish. The icing on the cake for the Riversiders was when Liam Marshall completed a superb hat-trick at the death after some fleet-footed work from replacement Morgan Escare in the build-up.
Full Time: Wigan Warriors 46 – Leeds Rhinos 08
Tries: Liam Marshall x3, Josh Woods, Liam Farrell, Thomas Leuluai, Tom Davies
Goals: Sam Tomkins 6/7, Penalty Goals: Sam Tomkins 3/3
Tries: Brett Ferres
Goals: Liam Sutcliffe 0/2
Wigan Warriors: 1.Sam Tomkins, 2. Tom Davies, 14. John Bateman, 4. Oliver Gildart, 22. Liam Marshall, 34. Josh Woods, 7. Sam Powell, 8. Tony Clubb, 9. Tommy Leuluai, 25. Romain Navarette, 19. Willie Isa, 12. Liam Farrell, 13. Sean O’Loughlin
Interchange: 30. Gabriel Hamlin, 40. Joseph Greenwood, 20. Morgan Escare, 17. Taulima Tautai, 18. Warriors Fans
Leeds Rhinos: 24. Jack Walker, 2. Thomas Briscoe, 4. Liam Sutcliffe, 34. Luke Briscoe, 5. Ryan Hall, 6. Joel Moon, 7. Richard Myler, 17. Mitch Garbutt, 9. Matt Parcell, 28. Mikolaj Oledzki, 27. Cameron Smith, 19. Brett Ferres, 8. Adam Cuthbertson.
Interchange: 23. Jack Ormonroyd, 1. Ashton Golding, 30. Josh Walters, 10. Bradley Singleton
Referee: Ben Thaler