Mighty Warriors tame Rhinos
Visitors claim first win at Headingley since 2008
Last Updated: 30/07/10 10:37pm
Hansen: second-half try
Wigan confirmed their status as title favourites with a display of dominance at the home of the champions.
The Warriors were good value for their 26-12 win and now look virtually certain to finish the regular season top of the Super League standings.
First-half scores from Thomas Leuluai and George Carmont put the visitors in command, but Chris Clarkson halved the deficit when he crashed over on the stroke of half time.
Keith Senior took advantage of the harsh sin-binning of Wigan prop Andy Coley to battle his way over just after the break, but two Pat Richards penalties and further tries from Harrison Hansen and Martin Gleeson gave the Cherry and Whites their first win at Headingley since 2008.
After a predictably fiery start, Leeds were caught out down their left side as early as the ninth minute.
Stuart Fielden started the move when he shrugged off the tackle of Jamie Peacock in midfield and slung the ball right.
Gleeson's bullet pass sent Darrell Goulding scampering down the right and, as the cover arrived in the shape of Danny McGuire, the Cherry and Whites winger angled a kick inside for Leuluai to touch down.
Richards added the extras and Carl Ablett then came up with a nasty head-high shot on Sam Tomkins, which should have resulted in a red card, his brother Joel's reaction sparking an all-in brawl.
By that stage the game was almost at boiling point and Ryan Bailey was put on report in the 23rd minute for lifting his knee as he charged in to contact with Carmont.
But Wigan were not put off their stride and crossed again in 27th minute.
Clarkson coughed up possession 20 metres from the Rhinos line and, a couple of tackles later as the ball was spun left, Paul Deacon and Sam Tomkins combined to send Carmont over for a fine spinning finish.
Richards duly converted for a 12-0 lead, but Clarkson forced his way over on the half-time hooter, brushing Sam Tomkins to one side, after both Sinfield and then Webb kept the ball alive.
Sinfield's touchline conversion ensured the Rhinos were very much in the contest heading into the sheds.
A bemused Coley got 10 minutes in the sin-bin after going in marginally late on Rob Burrow and Leeds' pressure finally told in the 47th minute, as they pulled level after Burrow kicked into the corner and Sam Tomkins knocked on.
Leeds took full advantge after Burrow found Senior on the charge and Sinfield's conversion levelled the scores at 12-12.
But Richards booted the Warriors back ahead in the 52nd minute after Ablett interfered with Sam Tomkins close to the line.
Leeds struggled to make headway against a swarming Wigan defence and were punished once again by the clinical Warriors in the 62nd minute.
Sam Tomkins drifted left and popped a pass into a gap between Brett Delaney and Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Hansen running a great line at pace and racing past full-back Webb to touch down.
Richards converted before Gleeson sneaked over from dummy half in the corner, taking advantage of Ryan Hall's loss of concentration to scoot over on the undefended blind side.
That just about settled the contest and Richards made sure with yet another successful kick in the closing minutes.
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