Magic Weekend: Wigan Warriors hold on to beat Leeds Rhinos
Last Updated: 17/05/14 10:52pm
Anthony Gelling: Scored the opening try for Wigan at the Etihad Stadium
Injury-depleted Wigan held off a second-half Leeds fightback to clinch an 18-14 victory on Magic Weekend in Manchester.
The Warriors led by eight points at half-time as Anthony Gelling and Blake Green both scored tries in a fiery first period which saw three players sin-binned following a mass altercation.
Michael McIlorum extended the advantage after the break but Leeds fought back when Carl Ablett crossed the whitewash and Ryan Hall added another try to his first-half score.
But the reigning champions dug in to complete a fantastic defensive performance and prevail against the league leaders, who had a late shout for a try denied by the video referee.
The Warriors were without seven regulars through injury and it looked as though the stand-ins were up against it when Leeds full-back Zak Hardaker had an early try disallowed for a forward pass.
But it was Wigan who scored first, centre Gelling palming the ball forward from Matty Smith's high kick and re-gathering to touch down.
Smith kicked the conversion and added a penalty on 19 minutes to make it 8-0 before the tempers which had been simmering for the opening quarter boiled over.
Referee Ben Thaler warned both captains after a flare-up but it clearly fell on deaf ears as McIlorum's high shot on Jamie Peacock on the very next play sparked a brawl involving all 26 players.
Three of them were removed as Thaler brandished yellow cards to Leeds prop Ryan Bailey, McIlorum and his Wigan team-mate John Bateman, with the incident also being put on report.
Wigan replacement Dom Crosby was also placed on report for an ugly tackle on winger Hall as tempers continued to hover near boiling point.
The Rhinos took advantage of the extra man to register their only try of the first half, Hall crossing at the corner after picking Ablett's pass off the ground.
Sinfield was unable to convert and watched his side fall further behind three minutes before the break when, with 13 players back on each side, stand-off Green dummied his way past the Rhinos captain to score at the corner, making it 12-4 at the interval.
It was a similar story in the second half as Leeds pressed without making much impression on their opponents' brilliant defence and Wigan went further ahead when McIlorum burst onto Green's short pass to touch down.
Smith's third goal opened up a 14-point lead but the Rhinos responded when Ablett jinked his way over on 58 minutes after Hardaker's weaving crossfield run pulled the Warriors defence out of position, and five minutes later Joel Moon slipped out an overhead pass for Hall to grab his second try.
Sinfield kicked one of the conversions as Leeds cut the deficit to just four points and Wigan, by now without the influential Green, were forced to hang on.
As Leeds piled forward a last-ditch tackle by George Williams brought down McGuire in full flight and Moon claimed a try after gathering Sinfield's high kick only to be denied by the video referee, who ruled a knock-on.
First Utility Super League
Tue 30th Jun
Hull K R34 - 28Salford Red Devils
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield Wildcats26 - 16Hull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington Wolves17 - 6Wigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds Rhinos46 - 18St Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants32 - 14Hull K R
Hull FC31 - 24Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils18 - 14Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers34 - 20Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St HelensvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 12th Jul
Hull FC0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Hull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Jul
Warrington WolvesvsSt Helens
Fri 17th Jul
Hull K RvsHull FC
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 18th Jul
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 19th Jul
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Jul
Hull FCvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Magic Weekend 2014, round 13
Jason Crookes will face a disciplinary committee to answer a Grade B charge following his sending-off at the weekend.
Stevo salutes Magic Weekend's 'rugby league bonanza' and hopes it can return to Etihad Stadium.
Highlights from Sunday's Magic Weekend matches including Huddersfield's win over Bradford.
- Wellens upset with loss
- Warrington back to their best
- Ferres return thrills Anderson
- Giants run riot against Bulls
- Tigers in talks over Sneyd
- Cas thrash woeful Wildcats
- Wane hails wounded Warriors
- Rovers claim bragging rights
- Betts: We showed character
- Vikings too strong for Salford
- London boss defends Drinkwater
- London edged out by Catalan
- Flanagan targets league shield
- Wildcats v Tigers: Teams
- Wolves v Saints: Teams
- Giants v Bulls: Teams
- Morley - Red Devils improving
- Vikings v Red Devils: Teams
- Wildcats grab Tiger Owen
- Jones-Buchanan: Leeds firing
- Grima still upbeat on survival
- Shenton seeks magic formula
- Returning Ferres fired up
- Radford: Rovers the favourites