Leeds Rhinos 12-27 Wigan Warriors
Leeds 12 (12)
Tries: Cuthbertson, Moon
Goals: Sinfield (2)
Wigan 27 (14)
Tries: Sarginson, Williams, Burgess, Bowen (2)
Goals: Smith (3)
Drop Goals: Smith
Wigan bounced back from last weekend’s humiliating defeat in the south of France with a 27-12 victory over Leeds at the Magic Weekend.
Tries from Dan Sarginson, George Williams and Joe Burgess had given the Warriors a 14-12 first-half lead, with Adam Cuthbertson and Joel Moon responding for the Rhinos.
A brace from Matty Bowen and a late drop-goal from Matty Smith ensured Wigan secured the two points in front of a crowd of just over 40,000 on the opening day of the Magic Weekend.
Leeds started the brightest but it was Wigan who opened the scoring on seven minutes. The Warriors had kept the ball alive with Dan Sarginson forcing his way over out wide.
The Rhinos hit-back six minutes later however, with prop forward Adam Cuthbertson charging his way over the line after Leeds decided to run the ball on the last tackle.
Five minutes later and Leeds extended their advantage. Danny McGuire’s high-ball was knocked back into the in-goal area by Josh Charnley and Joel Moon pounced. Kevin Sinfield added the extras to put the Rhinos 12-4 ahead.
That was as good as it got for Brian McDermott’s side however as the Wigan defence held them out for the rest of the contest.
Two 60 metre solo efforts were scored by the Warriors just before the end of the first-half. The first came from man-of-the-match George Williams who broke the Leeds line and narrowly touched down in the corner ahead of the determined Zak Hardaker.
Joe Burgess then went over for his 16th try of the campaign to put the Warriors 14-12 ahead at the break.
It took almost 20 minutes for the next try to be scored. Matty Bowen collected the ball after Leeds winger Ash Handley knocked-on before running 80 metres to score. Matty Smith converted to give Wigan an eight point cushion.
Leeds were still in the tie but offered very few chances and head coach Brian McDermott will be critical of their lack of creativity on the last-tackle.
With five minutes remaining Bowen added his second try of the game after pouncing on Smith’s grubber kick.
Smith’s drop-goal with two minutes left on the clock was the icing on the cake and secured a 27-12 victory for the Warriors.
Wigan now move up to second in the table and have closed the gap on Leeds at the top to just two points.