We have been enjoying a brilliant Challenge Cup tie today.
In the sunshine at one of the most historic venues in rugby league and the home of the first ever Challenge Cup Final back in 1897 – Headingley – the competition’s two most successful sides locked horns.
It was been a fast paced, end to end battle with both sides having their spells but Leeds Rhinos lead against cup holders Wigan Warriors.
The Warriors’ woes have been exacerbated by the loss of Ethan Havard early.
The Warriors have already lost props Mike Cooper and Brad Singleton long term and Havard looks headed in the same way as the BBC Sport cameras picked him up wearing a sling.
Wigan need forwards and there has been a lot of talk about one young Leeds Rhinos forward with Sam Walters who is 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.
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.
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.
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.
As the game kept on swinging, the Rhinos notched a penalty to make it 8-0 before Harry Newman scored a lovely try.
The team with the most front rowers dominating in an insipid game, Leeds deserve it fully, but lets not get carried away neither of these teams will win the cup this year as the attacking is truly dire. Yawn.