Wigan go top after beating sloppy Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos looked to bounce back from a 48-0 loss last weekend as they faced a Wigan Warriors side without England prop George Burgess.

Wigan crossed the line within the opening three minutes as they shifted the ball left and Liam Farrell stretched over the line.

Unfortunately for the Warriors, the second-rower was tackled short of the line and was penalised for a double movement.

In the tenth minute, the Rhinos attacked down the short-side with Rhys Martin’s kick ricocheting off multiple players and gathered by Luke Briscoe who dropped over the line to score.

Or so he thought, Briscoe was offside after it bounced back of Martin and the score remained 0-0.

Having been denied three minutes in, Farrell picked up his 100th try in Wigan colours after he collected a short ball from Sam Powell and beat the tackle of Callum McLelland to score.

In the 20th minute, the Rhinos hit back as Matt Prior produced a pass fit for a half-back as he offloaded out the back with a spin pass to Tom Briscoe to dive over.

However, despite Robert Hicks awarding the try, on second viewing Briscoe had stepped on the touchline and the Warriors had every reason to feel hard done by.

Leeds were winning the territorial battle but just couldn’t break through a stern Wigan defensive line.

After keeping the Rhinos out in defence, the Warriors ended the half with some expansive play as Jackson Hasting’s cut-out ball found Liam Marshall, who kicked back inside for Jake Bibby, who kicked ahead himself.

The loose ball was picked up by Bevan French who crossed untouched.

Hardaker converted again to make it 12-4.

French nearly picked up a quickfire second right on the hooter but was denied by some desperate Rhinos defence.

HALF-TIME: Wigan Warriors 12-4 Leeds Rhinos

After 11 minutes of tight rugby from the Warriors, they flicked the switch as Bevan French and Willie Isa both caught and passed the ball quickly to give Dom Manfredi the ball and the winger ran 15-metres to score.

With an hour gone, the Warriors lead by 12, and they looked to suffocate the Rhinos by keeping them pinned inside their own half.

That changed in the 65th minute when Liam Sutcliffe picked up a crucial try for Leeds.

Luke Gale was screaming for the ball on the short side, and sucked in Harry Smith to pop the ball to Sutcliffe to score.

In the Warriors very next set, Powell crashed over under the sticks but Brad Dwyer, fresh onto the field wrapped up his opposite number and denied the Warriors the chance to extend the lead.

With ten minutes to go, Luke Gale found himself sent off after a dangerous tackle on Jackson Hastings

This allowed Hardaker to take a penalty shot at goal but the centre failed and the score remained 16-10, but Leeds would finish the game with 12-men.

Harry Smith should have wrapped up the victory for the Warriors as he kicked the ball along the floor to himself but couldn’t quite collect the loose ball.

It didn’t matter though as 30 seconds later Luke Briscoe dropped the ball in the tackle, which allowed Hastings to pick up the loose ball and pass to his former Salford team-mate in Jake Bibby to run away and score.

With 90 seconds remaining, Martin found himself over the line for the Rhinos but was held-up, and the resulting last tackle kick was cleaned up by Manfredi.

In the final minute, Jackson Hastings kicked along the floor and Bevan French, despite a hint of offside, collected the ball on the bounce, beat Handley one on one and slid under the posts.

FULL-TIME: Wigan Warriors 28-10 Leeds Rhinos


Wigan Warriors

French, Manfredi, Hardaker, Bibby, Marshall, Smith, Hastings, Bullock, Powell, Byrne, Isa Farrell, Havard

Interchanges: Clark, Greenwood, Shorrocks, Smithies

Tries: Farrell, French (2), Manfredi, Bibby

Goals: Hardaker (4/6)

Leeds Rhinos

Handley, L. Briscoe, Newman, Hurrell, T. Briscoe, McLelland, Gale, Holroyd, Leeming, Prior, Thompson, Martin, Cuthbertson

Interchanges: Dwyer, Oledzki, Sutcliffe, Smith

Tries: Briscoe, Sutcliffe

Goals: Martin (1/2)

Red Cards: Gale

Referee: R. Hicks

Touch Judges: J. Smith, M. Craven

Video Referee: C, Kendall

Image Source: @SeriousAboutRL (Twitter)

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