Match reports / Rugby League

Match report: Leeds Rhinos 26-18 Wigan Warriors

Wigan suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time since July last year.

A late Carl Ablett try saw Leeds Rhinos edge a tight affair as they beat Wigan Warriors 26-18 at Headingley Carnegie.

The Cherry and Whites were unable to make a winning return after suffering their first defeat against Hull FC at the DW last week.

Leeds took the lead seven minutes in after winning a penalty due to Wigan being caught offside. Ashton Golding added the penalty goal to put his side 2-0 up.

The Warriors quickly replied though with the first try of the game as George Williams used fine footwork to step five Rhinos men to touch down from close range. Morgan Escaré’s conversion was successful and the visitors were 6-2 in front.

The home side took the lead again midway through the first-half though as Kallum Watkins made a quick break to draw Liam Marshall into the tackle and assist the supporting Ryan Hall who then darted over. Golding added the extras to put Leeds 8-6 to the good.

Leeds extended their lead just minutes later as Joel Moon darted through a gap in the Warriors defence to score from metres out.

England international Williams showed great footwork again as he weaved in and out of the Leeds defence before wrestling his way over. Escaré arrowed his conversion over and Wigan were only 14-12 behind.

Watkins looked to go over late on in the half but the video referee ruled it out for a push from Tom Briscoe on Liam Marshall as they went for the high ball.

Moments after the chalked off Leeds try, Brett Ferres was sent to the sin bin as the referee ruled a crusher tackle. Oliver Gildart was forced to leave the action.

The Rhinos went into the changing rooms leading by just two points following a feisty last 10 minutes.

Gildart reappeared for the second half but lasted just a minute before being withdrawn for the remainder of the game.

Wigan looked to use their one-man advantage and had an overlap on the left edge a couple of minutes following the restart but Leeds managed to keep Williams and Marshall out.

The hosts were awarded a penalty in the 49th minute due to Wigan’s markers not being square. Golding slotted the two from the penalty goal to put Leeds 16-12 ahead.

Warriors youngster Nick Gregson was denied a try after a dangerous attacking set on the Leeds line. The back-rower burst onto a flat ball to cross the whitewash but the video referee ruled no try due to a double movement.

From the following set Leeds marched up field and stretched their lead. England centre Watkins stormed down the right channel to make a 50-metre break and crash over.

Marshall brought Wigan back into the game as he put the burners on, the winger pouncing on a loose ball following a Briscoe knock-on, before sprinting 50 metres and scoring his sixth try in five games. The conversion was good and the Warriors were down just 20-18 with 15 minutes remaining.

The 20-year-old has looked like a seasoned regular since coming into the side, crossing over on his debut before notching four tries in a man of the match performance against Warrington.

Both sides knew the next try would be crucial and it went Leeds’ way as Ablett sealed the two points collecting Moon’s inside pass to barge over. Golding converted to secure a 26-18 victory for his side.







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