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Challenge Cup

Leeds Rhinos 14-18 Wigan Warriors: Highlights, player ratings and talking points

Wigan Warriors’ grip of the Challenge Cup continues as they progressed to the next round after battling back to defeat Leeds Rhinos 18-14.

After throwing away a 14-0 lead themselves last week, the Warriors returned the favour in a classic cup tie.


Two in two weeks for Tom
There has been a lot of talk about one young Leeds Rhinos forward with Sam Walters expected to join Wigan Warriors so Tom Holroyd’s exceptional season has gone under the radar. He made it two tries in two weeks against the Warriors as he powered over from close range after Harry Newman and Cameron Smith had rolled Leeds down field.

Wardle break matched by Myler tackle
Wigan were under the pump until some lovely footwork from Jake Wardle carved Leeds open. Richie Myler produced a lovely tackle to deny him but that turned the tide of the momentum in the match.

Wigan denied twice by forward passes
The Warriors had the momentum and could have scored twice as Bevan French looked dangerous out the back. The fullback was denied a try after setting Liam Marshall away because the pass back inside was deemed forward and likewise French’s pass to the brilliant Wardle as he crashed over was also deemed forward.

Strange moment as Kendall saves Wigan’s blushes
Leeds needed something to turn the tide again and a lovely Aidan Sezer kick looked to do that. Abbas Miski and French waited for the ball to go dead but it didn’t. Sezer pushed passed and collected it and looked set to tee up a try however official Chris Kendall said Sezer pushed Miski and gave a penalty.

Superb Sezer tees up Newman
When Harry Newman’s rugby league career ends, the centre could head to the circus the way he juggled the ball here. A lovely burst and offload from Sezer looked to be in vain as the ball cannoned off Newman’s chest but he was able to regather and dummy past French to score.

French gets his own back
Leeds were on top but let the pressure off Wigan with a Derrell Olpherts knock on which invited a Wigan attack. The Warriors moved the ball through hands and French bounced off Newman to touch down in the corner.

Wigan start second half lightning fast
Before the first minute of the second half was up, Wigan were within four points of the Rhinos. A dart from Sam Powell caught Leeds off guard and allowed him to send Liam Farrell away and he had support from French who sped away for a second.

Comeback complete
After Leeds squandered their own attacking possession, Wigan earnt some more field position and a lovely short ball allowed young Junior Nsemba to go through and level matters at 14-all but Harry Smith missed the conversion.

Myler knock on leads to vital Wardle try
Leeds fans were up in arms as Richie Myler was adjudged to have fumbled the ball on the ground after claiming a high kick. Wigan showed their potency from scrums yet again with a lovely short ball to Jake Wardle allowing him to crash over.

Newman decision costs Rhinos
Leeds could still pinch it and looked like they might do when Harry Newman carved open the Warriors. Like he did in the first half, Newman elected to throw the dummy despite having Richie Myler in support he was tackled and that was Leeds’ last real chance.

Talking Points:

The Newman conundrum?
Harry Newman is undoubtedly one of the most gifted and most excited players in Super League but perhaps he lets his emotions get the better of him some times. It is well documented that the centre had a bust up with Tom Holroyd recently and today he and Richie Myler had a bit of an argument after he didn’t pass to the fullback. It poses Rohan Smith with an interesting conundrum as he manages an undoubtedly world class star.

Kicking key
In the first half Aidan Sezer was kicking well but that was when Leeds were dominating. Harry Smith’s kicking boot meanwhile penned Leeds deep for much of the second half and in many ways he was the difference.

Leeds a team of two halves
Once again Leeds were brilliant for one half of rugby but lukewarm in the other and that is ultimately what cost the Rhinos today.

Player Ratings:

Leeds Rhinos
1 Richie Myler – 7
29 Liam Tindall –
3 Harry Newman – 6
4 Nene MacDonald – 6
16 Derrell Olpherts – 6
20 Morgan Gannon – 6
8 Mikolaj Oledzki – 7
14 Jarrod O’Connor – 7
18 Tom Holroyd – 7
12 Rhyse Martin – 6
19 James McDonnell – 6
13 Cameron Smith – 7
17 Justin Sangare – 6
15 Sam Lisone – 7
25 James Donaldson – 7
26 Cory Johnson – 6

Wigan Warriors
2 Bevan French – 8
23 Abbas Miski – 7
3 Toby King – 7
4 Jake Wardle – 9
5 Liam Marshall – 7
32 Ryan Hampshire – 8
7 Harry Smith – 9
16 Ethan Havard – N/A
9 Sam Powell – 8
10 Liam Byrne – 7
13 Morgan Smithies – 7
12 Liam Farrell – 8
19 Joe Shorrocks – 7
15 Kaide Ellis – 7
20 Patrick Mago – 6
22 Brad O’Neill – 6
27 Junior Nsemba – 8

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