Wigan Warriors 8-20 Leeds Rhinos: Highlights, player ratings and talking points

Leeds Rhinos inflict incredible 20-8 win over Wigan Warriors as John Bateman sees red in horror tackle

Wigan began the brighter of the two sides, forcing their way over the line in the opening quarter through a lovely Liam Marshall finish. Harry Smith failed to make the conversion as the Warriors led 4-0.

Credit to Leeds, though, their defence was incredible and they managed to keep out a determined Wigan attack despite consistent pressure.

And, with the Rhinos’ first attack of the night, Blake Austin was caught high by Patrick Mago, allowing Zak Hardaker to slot over a penalty goal to reduce the deficit to just two points against the run of play at 4-2.

Following the resumption, Leeds looked galvanised, and, after a great run by Zane Tetevano, Jarrod O’Connor spotted a gap to make a dive for the line. Hardaker’s conversion made it 8-4.

James Bentley sent the Rhinos fans into raptures moments later when he ran onto a pinpoint Aidan Sezer kick.

14-4 down and things got worse for Wigan when John Bateman was sent off for a horrendously late hit on Aidan Sezer which forced the Leeds halfback off the field.

That didn’t seem to disrupt the Rhinos too much, however, as Bentley slid over from his second off a great Cameron Smith pass. Hardaker again converted for a 20-4 lead.

Sam Powell managed to scamper over with four minutes to go as Wigan grabbed a late consolation, but Leeds ran out worthy 20-8 winners.

Highlights

Morgan Smithies and John Bateman charging down a Blake Austin kick led to Wigan’s first try of the night.

Zane Tetevano’s shot on Morgan Smithies forced the ball from the latter’s grasp.

Richie Myler’s tackle on Jai Field to stop the fullback from scoring was a joy to behold.

James Bentley’s celebrations when he scored both of his tries were full of emotion.

Talking points

1. Harry Smith’s kicking game

The influence of Lee Briers on Harry Smith has been quite obvious in 2022. But, it’s been most obvious in Smith’s kicking game which was phenomenal for 80 minutes on the field, especially in pinning the likes of Tom Briscoe and Liam Tindall in their own ten-metre areas.

2. O’Connor in dreamland

What a few weeks it has been for Jarrod O’Connor. He has spent most of the season in and out of the Leeds side, but has played at hooker for the past two weeks against Catalans and then Wigan despite the good form of Kruise Leeming and Brad Dwyer. Yet, O’Connor seems to be more in the mould of a ‘finals’ player with his superb defence and toughness bringing a hell of a lot to this Leeds outfit.

3. Bateman sees red

It was a shocking tackle from John Bateman that saw Aidan Sezer leave the field with for a head injury assessment so no wonder he saw red. Bateman knew he had made an awful mistake with how he treated Sezer straight after. And, he had no arguments when Liam Moore sent him off, either.

Player ratings

Wigan Warriors
23 Jai Field – 7
1 Bevan French – 5
21 Kai Pearce-Paul – 5
2 Jake Bibby – 5
5 Liam Marshall – 8
16 Harry Smith – 8
7 Tommy Leuluai – 6
8 Brad Singleton – 6
9 Sam Powell – 6

20 Liam Byrne – 5
11 Willie Isa – 5
13 John Bateman – 1
14 Morgan Smithies – 7
Substitutes
10 Patrick Mago – 7
15 Kaide Ellis – 5
19 Ethan Havard – 5
36 Mike Cooper – 6

Leeds Rhinos
16 Richie Myler – 9
20 Tom Briscoe – 8
33 Zak Hardaker – 8
4 Liam Sutcliffe – 7
29 Liam Tindall – 7
6 Blake Austin – 8
7 Aidan Sezer – 7
8 Mikolaj Oledzki – 7
24 Jarrod O’Connor – 9
10 Matt Prior – 6
11 James Bentley – 9
13 Zane Tetevano – 7
17 Cameron Smith – 8
Substitutes
9 Kruise Leeming – 7
19 Bodene Thompson – 7
22 Sam Walters – 6
25 James Donaldson – 6

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