The bottom two sides in a fledgling Super League 2019 table met at the DW Stadium as the Wigan Warriors hosted the Leeds Rhinos. Wigan needed the points to overcome their points deduction, while the Rhinos needed a win before bad habits set in under the new stewardship of Dave Furner.

This was the last chance for Wigan to hit some form ahead of their World Club Series match against the Sydney Roosters a week on Sunday, but the Rhinos and their travelling band of fans were looking to upset the overwhelming bookies odds and pick up a victory.

The only change for the Warriors was a switch of Clubb changing places with Navarrete in the starting thirteen. The Rhinos had Dwyer and Peteru in the run on side with Cuthbertson and Parcell moved onto the bench.

A freak first try for the Rhinos came after just under two minutes. A high Richie Myler kick bounced off defender Tom Davies head into the hands of Ash Handley who went down the left wing to score in the corner. Tui Lolohea added the conversion from the touchline for a 6-0 lead.

On six minutes Dan Sarginson plucked a last-tackle George Williams cross-field kick from the air and walked over the line for a simple try. Zak Hardaker was acurate with the boot to level the scores.

After three consecutive sets camped on the Wigan line the Rhinos went in for their second as Brett Ferres crashed the line off a short pass to dive over by the right upright. Lolohea added the conversion to edge the Rhinos back into the lead

Wigan were back level again on twenty when a Thomas Leuluai grubber was grounded by Ben Flower behind the Leeds sticks. Hardaker was unable to add the extras as the video replays in the ground showed a clear Wigan knock-on in the build up. Wigan back within two of the Rhinos.

After chasing down and grounding another Williams grubber kick, Joel Greenwood put Wigan in front after the Rhinos had just been punished for a forward pass. Hardaker slotted the conversion between the uprights for 16-12.

As the decisions started to go against the Rhinos their discipline started to drop with silly penalties being conceeded.

On twenty-nine Joe Bullock barged his way through the Leeds defence to score from ten metres. When Hardaker added the conversion there was daylight between the sides at 22-12.

A Lolohea interception and fifty metre break should have seen Leeds third try but he didn’t have the legs to outpace the Wigan defence and the Warriors took a 22-12 lead into the interval.

Wigan were dominant in the opening minutes of the season half with the majority of possession and position but the Rhinos did a sterling job of defending their line. As the half wore on it became a real arm wrestle but after a high tackle by Handley, Hardaker kicked a thirty metre penalty to take the Warriors lead out to two converted tries on the hour mark.

Wigan won the game on sixty-six when George Williams went over on his back before stretching out to groundafter a twenty metre dash for the line. Hardaker was unable to add the conversion and the Rhinos had no hope of a comeback.

On sixty-nine, after the Rhinos regained the ball from the short kick-off, Leeds moved the ball left to right and Watkins went over in the corner. Lolohea pushed his kick in front of the posts, the deficit back to twelve.

Hardaker made the running before finding Liam Farrell in space to go in by the sticks on seventy-eight, giving the provider a simple kick to seal a 34-16 victory for the Cherry & White.

Wigan registered their first win of the season by getting one over the old enemy in front of their own supporters. They bombarded the Rhinos line but the winning margin was kept down thanks to some steadfast defence. The Rhinos were much improved over last weeks capitulation at Warington but they need to maintain their discipline to start picking up points.

Warriors: Hardaker (5G), Davies, Sarginson (T), Gildart, Marshall, Williams (T), Leuluai, Clubb, Powell, Flower (T), Greenwood (T), Farrell (T), O’Loughlin.  Subs: Navarrete, Isa, Hamlin, Bullock (T).

Rhinos: Walker, Briscoe, Watkins (T), Hurrell, Handley (T), Lolohea (2G), Myler, Peteru, Dwyer, Merrin, Ferres (T), Sutcliffe, Ward.  Subs: Donaldson, Oledzki, Cuthbertson, Parcell.

Referee: Ben Thaler.

Half-Time: 22-12.

Full-Time: 34-16.

Attendance: .


All views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the RLFANS.COM or its subsites.

Copyright 1999 - 2019 RLFANS.COM

You must be 18+ to gamble, for more information and for help with gambling issues see