Four Pointers: Leeds Rhinos 8-40 Wigan Warriors


Wigan Warriors came through a scrappy, nervy first half to run away as 40-8 winners on what was a great opening day on the 10th anniversary of the Magic Weekend in Newcastle.

This was the 4th consecutive year that Wigan have beaten the Rhinos at the Magic Weekend. The previous meeting between these two teams this season, ended in a 28-6 Wigan win at the DW Stadium.

This was a much needed win for the Warriors after losing their last 2 league games, Leeds’ poor season continues, as last years Champions stay rock bottom of the league.


The first 40 minutes of this game wasn’t easy to watch. It was a half that clearly consisted of a a team who was struggling for any sort of form and a team that had been struggling in recent weeks.

Going into this game, both sides had the two worst attacks in the league, and is showed. In the first 40 minutes, both defences where strong. However, both attacks where equally as poor, not creating much on the opponents line.

The only highlights of the first half was a great opening try from Watkins and quick brace from Willie Isa, who scored his first tries in a Wigan shirt.


As the second half started, you sensed a greater intensity in the Warriors. The started to run harder, hit harder and play some rugby. They scored 3 tries in the opening 12 minutes of the half and all but wrapped up the game early on.

You could see what Wigan had been missing these past few weeks and months, as it was the returning players scoring the points. Second half tries through Williams, Manfredi and Flower helped the Warriors to a convincing win.

The last 15-20 minutes where scrappy and rather poor again from the Warriors. You sensed they realised they’d won and just slowed down. But they had a great chance to score even more points and improve their terrible points tally in the league.


McDermott was clearly disappointed with the result, but praised his players efforts and yet again failed to rule out a Grand Final spot, McDermott said:

“I thought we gave it absolutely everything. We kept on having a crack, probably over-played a bit.”

“There was another chunk of effort this week. We’re clearly hamstrung with players missing and what’s gone on in pre-season and you get to the stage when things don’t go your way.”

“Your objectives shift as weeks go by and you keep losing games. I don’t think I’m giving up on the Grand Final – I know numerically we might just be out of touch at the moment.”

Wane was delighted with the result and the performance of his players in half of the game, and also praised his sides defence. Wane said:

“I thought we played well for 40 minutes, the first 20 minutes of each half.” he added, “I was really impressed with how we started each half.”

“Leeds are a competitive team. There’s loads of spirit in that team.” he added, “They’ve been scoring points so to keep them to 8 points was good. That was an outstanding effort.”


There where no fresh injury worries reported for Leeds on the day. However, a couple players may be charged later this week by the RFL. Mainly, Jones-Buchanan for a shoulder charge in the first half.

Zak Hardaker was sin binned in the second half for a professional foul, but no further action will be taken.

Wigan lost club Captain, Sean O’Loughlin early in the game through a quad injury. Wane said:

“Lockers has a problem with a quad, he’ll be struggling for the next few weeks I think.”


Leeds Rhinos (4) 8

Tries: Watkins, Achurch

Goals: Lilley 0/2

Wigan Warriors (12) 40

Tries: Isa 2, Williams, Manfredi, Flower, Gildart, Sarginson

Goals: Smith 6/7

Leeds: Hardaker, Handley, Watkins, Keinhorst, Golding, McGuire, Lilley, Galloway, Jones-Buchanan, Singleton, Ferres, Cuthbertson, Walters

Replacements: Mullally, Hallas, Achurch, Briscoe

Wigan: S. Tomkins, Manfredi, Gildart, Sarginson, Charnley, Williams, Smith, Crosby, Powell, Flower, Bateman, Isa, O’Loughlin

Replacements: Mossop, Tautai, Sutton, Burke

Referee: Robert Hicks, replaced by Joe Cobb on 18 minutes because of injury

Attendance: 39,331

Venue: St James’ Stadium, Newcastle

Date/Time: Saturday 21st May – 19:00pm GMT

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