Leigh 50 Wigan 34
Leigh 50 Wigan 34
Match report as Wigan Warriors lose 50-34 against Leigh Centurions at the Leigh Sports Village
Oliver Gildart, Josh Ganson and Romain Navarrete replace Liam Farrell, Sam Powell and Callum Field in Shaun Wane’s side
- Liam Marshall, Josh Ganson (2), George Williams, Oliver Gildart, Frank-Paul Nuuausala and Joe Burgess with Wigan’s tries
Wigan lost out to neighbours Leigh Centurions in a high-scoring game at Leigh Sports Village on Thursday night.
Liam Marshall put Wigan ahead early on before Leigh scored three tries through Ryan Hampshire, Danny Tickle and Lachlan Burr to go 18-4 in front. Wigan fought back though thanks to tries from Josh Ganson and George Williams but a penalty goal from Ben Reynolds saw Leigh 20-14 to the good at half-time.
Oliver Gildart scored the opening try of the second-half to bring Wigan within two before Leigh scored three unanswered tries through Mitch Brown and a Liam Hood double. Frank-Paul Nuuausala pulled one back for Wigan but it was cancelled out by Leigh tries from Cory Paterson and Matty Dawson. Joe Burgess and Ganson scored late on for Wigan but the game finished 50-34 to the Centurions.
Oliver Gildart made a welcome return for Wigan after a ten-week absence with a back injury. Liam Farrell (suspension) and Sam Powell (concussion) missed out and were replaced by Josh Ganson and Romain Navarrete.
Neil Jukes also made three changes to his Leigh outfit that were defeated by Leeds Rhinos last time out. Ben Reynolds, Glenn Stewart and Harrison Hansen came in for Curtis Naughton, Matty Fleming and Atelea Vea, with former Warrior Hansen making his 350th Super League appearance.
Wigan won a penalty in the third minute and scored from the next set as Leigh struggled to deal with Wigan’s pace and Oliver Gildart assisted Liam Marshall who raced over out wide. George Williams failed to convert but Wigan had a 4-0 lead.
The Warriors were on top early on but it was Leigh who scored next as Ryan Hampshire made an intercept on his own 20-metre line to stop a Wigan attack and dart 80 metres down the left wing to score. Ben Reynolds’ conversion put his side 6-4 ahead.
Leigh got on top of Wigan midway through the first-half with two consecutive penalties which saw them start a set 20 metres from Wigan’s line. Former Wigan forward Danny Tickle soon burst onto a flat ball from Josh Drinkwater to dive over. Reynolds added the extras and Wigan were 12-4 down.
The home side made more metres when full-back Gregg McNally caught a last tackle kick and brought Leigh to the halfway mark. Later in the set, Mitch Brown patted down a Drinkwater high ball to Lachlan Burr who scored with his first touch after coming off the bench. The conversion was on target and Leigh were 18-4 to the good after 25 minutes.
Wigan hit back five minutes later though after a couple of determined sets up the field. Young hooker Josh Ganson scooted from dummy-half to bulldoze his way over, Williams couldn’t convert but Wigan still trailed 18-8.
The Ganson try seemed to boost confidence into Shaun Wane’s side and from the next attack Oliver Gildart burst through a gap in the Leigh defence to throw a dummy before giving it inside to the supporting Williams who finished a superb try. Marshall added the extras and Wigan were just 18-14 behind.
Leigh were awarded a penalty due to a Wigan ball steal with two minutes of the half remaining and Reynolds successfully kicked the penalty goal to make the score 20-14 in favour of the hosts at the break.
HALF TIME: Leigh Centurions 20–14 Wigan Warriors
The Cherry and Whites started the second-half well and in similar fashion to the first half scored early on as they passed it along the line for Oliver Gildart to touch down in the corner on his return. Marshall failed to convert but Wigan were now just two points behind.
Leigh extended their lead though five minutes later as Brown wrestled his way over the line after scooting from dummy-half. Reynolds added the conversion to put Leigh 26-18 in front.
Wigan showed lacklustre defence on their own line and Liam Hood scored twice in the space of three minutes, both from close range and both converted by Reynolds. Leigh now in command and 38-18 to the good.
Shaun Wane’s side struck back as a quick restart gave them field position and Frank-Paul Nuuausala charged onto a pass from Micky Mcilorum to score. Marshall added the additional points but Wigan were 38-24 down with 20 minutes left.
The Warriors needed to firm up their defence but Leigh soon countered Nuuausala’s effort as they passed it through quick hands to Cory Paterson who executed strongly in the corner. Reynolds’ conversion was successful and the Centurions were 44-24 ahead.
Marshall then went over for Wigan in the corner but the try was chalked off by the video referee owing to the winger being in touch.
The Centurions scored their eighth try of the night in the 73rd minute when Reynolds used an overlap on the right side to kick it through for Matty Dawson to touch down. Reynolds added the two points from the kick and Wigan trailed 50-24 with seven minutes remaining.
Wigan scored two late consolation tries from Burgess and Ganson with Marshall adding one of two conversions however the home side ran out winners.
FULL TIME: Leigh Centurions 50–34 Wigan Warriors
Leigh Centurions – 50
Tries: Hampshire, Tickle, Burr, Brown, Hood 2, Paterson, Dawson
Goals: Reynolds 9/9
Wigan Warriors - 34
Tries: Marshall, Ganson 2, Williams, Gildart, Nuuausala, Burgess
Goals: Williams 0/2, Marshall 3/5
Leigh Centurions: 18. Gregg McNally, 5. Matty Dawson, 1. Mitch Brown, 11. Cory Paterson, 19. Ryan Hampshire, 20. Ben Reynolds, 7. Josh Drinkwater, 24. Jamie Acton, 14. Eloi Pelissier, 10. Dayne Weston, 15. Danny Tickle, 13. Harrison Hansen, 12. Glenn Stewart.
Interchange: 21. Liam Hood, 16. Antoni Maria, 29. Lachlan Burr, 23. Sam Hopkins.
Wigan Warriors: 21. Lewis Tierney, 36. Tom Davies, 5. Joe Burgess, 4. Oliver Gildart, 35. Liam Marshall, 6. George Williams, 7. Tommy Leuluai, 8. Frank-Paul Nuuausala, 9. Micky McIlorum, 19. Ryan Sutton, 20. Willie Isa, 28. Jack Wells, 11. Joel Tomkins.
Interchange: 17. Taulima Tautai, 26. Romain Navarrete, 32. Liam Forsyth, 33. Josh Ganson.
Referee – Robert Hicks