Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Warriors End Rhinos Magic Run

Champions collided as Wigan and Leeds played their part in a pulsating finale to the Magic Weekend which saw the Warriors continue their 11 game winning streak while ending the Rhinos' unbeaten run in the Magic rounds.

 A frantic start by both sides saw an opening try for Man of Steel Sam Tomkins after an exquisite pass from Iain Thornley came from stretching the Leeds defence in the ninth minute, Thornley offloaded inches from line and Tomkins went over to give Wigan the lead which was joined by a Richards conversion.

However, Wigan were pegged back after a dangerous tackle by McIlorum on Sinfield saw the Leeds 'Sir Kev' kick over to reduce the gap to four at 2-6. Sinfield was on the board again as he went over in the 20th minute by taking an easy pass from Hardaker to level the score before adding the conversion to put Leeds in front at 8-6.

Wigan thundered back in front thanks to a combination of Smith, Powell and Tomkins after Bailey's knock on from the restart which stretched the defence and Tomkins' offload to the unmarked Richards saw a well worked Wigan score which was completed by Richards' conversion.

Wigan regained their six-point lead as Jones-Buchanan conceded an avoidable penalty for 'lifting' Lauaki after a tackle which Richards made Leeds pay for by converting from ten metres for a 8-14 lead.

Half time neared and Leeds pulled back with a clever play that saw Watkins acrobatically ground the ball under heavy Wigan pressure but Silverwood went to the screen and Ian Smith awarded the try which left a two point gap at 12-14.

Richards added a second penalty after Bailey obstructed Powell and the successful kick put Wigan 12-16 up with two minutes left of the half remaining. Leeds went further behind with a crucial mistake as Sinfield's kick ricocheted off Tuson and put Wigan on the attack with seconds left, Smith scooped the ball and sent Charnley on a chase to the line which he crossed spectacularly as the hooter sounded and Wigan went into the break with a 16-20 lead.

Wigan went over early in the second half only to have the Powell's try chalked off for an obstruction by Farrell but it was Leeds who registered the next score after a slick move which saw a lightning handed pass by Watkins to put Vickery in for a vital score to reduce the deficit to 16-20.

Seven minutes left on the clock and a mazy run by McGuire had the Wigan fans' ruing earlier mistakes as he crashed over for a try but hope was still alive as Silverwood went to the screen and after intense review, Ian Smith denied the try for an obstruction in the build up and Wigan retained the lead with a sigh of relief.

Richards received treatment for a nasty cut which had flared up from earlier in the game and Wigan resumed from halfway with the penalty.  Richards was forced off to have the wound re-treated meaning Tomkins had the chance to make Leeds score at least a converted try to avoid the loss but his kick missed the posts but went dead meaning Wigan kept possession. 

Leeds pushed to keep their Magic success rate intact and had a great chance after a short drop-out but some heroic tiring defence saw them hold on as Richards powered to force Vickery into touch resulting in an rapturous roar from the Wigan faithful who knew the win was theirs to celebrate.

The best game I have witnessed this season for sure as I left the scene with no voice left and in absolute delight after 80 minutes of ups and downs which included some betting success despite my prediction of a 10 point win narrowly missing out.