Ben Guzdek reviews the latest clash between Wigan and Leeds dedicated to legend Rob Burrow.
|15th||Try: Liam Farrell. Conversion: Zak Hardaker (Wigan)||Wigan 6-0|
|21st||Try: Tom Briscoe (Leeds)||Wigan 6-4 Leeds|
|38th||Try: Bevan French. Conversion: Hardaker (Wigan)||Wigan 12-4 Leeds|
|52nd||Try: Dominic Manfredi (Wigan)||Wigan 16-4 Leeds|
|66th||Try: Liam Sutcliffe. Conversion: Rhyse Martin (Leeds)||Wigan 16-10 Leeds|
|75th||Try: Jake Bibby. Conversion: Hardaker (Wigan)||Wigan 22-10 Leeds|
|80th||Try: French. Conversion: Hardaker (Wigan)||Wigan 28-10 Leeds|
Following a bright start to the game, the Warriors came close to opening the scoring after just three minutes, as Farrell’s effort was ruled out for double movement.
Leeds were also denied a try just after the ten-minute mark, with Luke Briscoe standing in an offside position as the ball bounced through to him before he crossed the whitewash.
The scoreline were finally broken in the 14th-minute, as Farrell could not be stopped for a second time, with the 30-year-old finding a gap in the Rhinos’ line to go through for a landmark 100th try in Cherry and White. Zak Hardaker was on hand to add the extras to make it 6-0.
Seven minutes later, Leeds got their first of the afternoon, as Matt Prior did well to offload the ball out to the wing, with Tom Briscoe collecting to go over in the corner. The try was awarded on field, despite the winger’s foot being just out of play as he crossed the line.
Three minutes before the break, Wigan re-extended their eight-point lead.
A Liam Marshall kick was cleverly flicked on by Jake Bibby, directing the ball into the path of Bevan French who ran through to finish off an inventive move.
Lam’s side needed to be at their best defensively at the start of the second half, as the Rhinos looked to reduce the deficit.
Despite the pressure from Richard Agar’s side, it was Wigan who got the next try against the run of play.
Space opened up for Manfredi down the right side to go over, after quick hands from Willie Isa got the ball out to Hardaker, who provided the assist.
Leeds were able to reduce the Warriors’ lead in the 65th-minute, as Liam Sutcliffe gathered the ball to run through the space to go over. Rhyse Martin successfully kicked the conversion to make it 16-10.
Wigan came close to instantly responding, but Sam Powell was held up by the Rhinos defence as he looked to ground the ball.
Hardaker also had the opportunity to extend Wigan’s lead, but could not successfully convert a penalty from 35 metres out, which was awarded following a dangerous tackle by Luke Gale, who was shown a yellow card for the challenge.
With a man advantage, the Warriors were able to secure the victory, as Jake Bibby had plenty of space to run through for his second try in two weeks.
The evening was rounded off nicely as French used his lightning pace to chase a kick through to claim his second of the game. Hardaker added the extras as the game finished 28-10.
After being criticised publicly on Sky Sports by pundit Phil Clarke, Matt Prior had shown why Leeds signed him due to his terrific piece of skill to set-up Tom Briscoe in the corner.
With Prior looking to charge for the try line like the traditional prop-forward would contest, he stepped further towards the touchline, twisted his arm round his back and released the ball through to Briscoe.
It’s not something you see from a forward to say the least. Although I think everyone can agree that Briscoe’s heel was in touch which was something the officials should’ve picked up on.
Wigan: Bevan French, Dom Manfredi, Zak Hardaker, Jake Bibby, Liam Marshall, Jackson Hastings, Harry Smith, Ethan Havard, Willie Isa, Liam Farrell, Liam Byrne, Sam Powell, Joe Bullock.
Interchanges: Mitch Clark, Joe Greenwood, Joe Shorrocks, Morgan Smithies.
Leeds: Ash Handley, Tom Briscoe, Konrad Hurrell, Harry Newman, Luke Briscoe, Callum McLelland, Luke Gale, Tom Holroyd, Kruise Leeming, Matt Prior, Rhyse Martin, Bodene Thompson, Adam Cuthbertson.
Interchanges: Liam Sutcliffe, Cameron Smith, Mikolaj Oledzki, Brad Dwyer.