Warriors Narrowly Defeted in Cup by Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos 23

Tries: Diskin, Burrow, Webb, Donald
Goals: Sinfield (3)
Drop Goal: Sinfield

Wigan Warriors 16

Tries: Calderwood, Leuluai
Goals: Richards (4)

Leeds Rhinos progressed into the last four of the Carnegie Challenge Cup with a 23-16 win against Wigan at Headingley-Carnegie on Saturday afternoon.

This was a typical hard fought tussle between these two sides with neither side ever in the ascendancy. Leeds opened up an eight point advantage 18-10 around the hour mark only for the Warriors to hit back.

A late Scott Donald try won it to make it 22-16 and a Sinfield drop goal ensured no way back for the Warriors, 23-16.

Warriors Head Coach Brian Noble decided against involving new arrival Cameron Phelps, the centre arrived in the UK on Wednesday and had just two training sessions ahead of the game. Pat Richards was preferred at full back with Mark Calderwood on the right wing.

Wigan took the lead on 2 minutes courtesy of a Pat Richards penalty, the Rhinos caught off side close to their own line.

The Rhinos opened their account just two minutes later, Matt Diskin twisting and turning from acting half back to dive over for the try. Kevin Sinfield added the extras, 6-2.

The home side came close to a second try on 14 minutes, a high Sinfield cross kick and both Donald and Goulding went in the air, the video referee deciding the ball had not been grounded and awarded a handover.

Wigan were awarded a penalty for obstruction and Richards made it two from two attempts on 25 minutes, 6-4.

On 27 minutes Leeds grabbed a second try, the video referee again involved, an awkward bounce and Rob Burrow snatched a loose ball to race away under the sticks, and Sinfield added the conversion to make it, 12-4.

Wigan pressed, Carmont held over the line that was followed by a Leeds drop out as Donald was called upon from a Barrett kick to the corner. On 37 Wigan got an important score with their first try of the game, Leuluai with a high kick and it was Mark Calderwood who jumped above Donald to ground the ball. Richards goal made it 12-10 at the interval.

Leeds had the better of the penalties early in the second half but it was Wigan who were denied a try on 51 minutes, Richards with the touch down but Carl Ablett was obstructed in the move.

On 57 minutes the Rhinos scored try number three, McGuire with the pass to send Diskin into space and Brent Webb was in support for the four points. Sinfield’s goal made it 18-10.

The Warriors fought right back, Carmont to Thomas Leuluai and the scrum half was in for the cherry and white’s second try of the match on 67 minutes. Pat Richards struck the extras, 18-16. Liam Colbon almost found a way through in the left hand corner after some quick Wigan hands, great defence from Hall and Webb stopped the try.

It was tense and nervous but it was a Scott Donald try late on that ensured the home sides progression. Keith Senior with some hard yards down the middle and as the ball was spun left it was the winger who dived in at the corner on 77 minutes.

The kick was missed but Kevin Sinfield ensured no chance of a draw with a late drop goal to make it 23-16.

A brave effort by Wigan but it was the Rhinos that progress. Trent Barrett awarded the Carnegie Challenge Cup man of the match.

Leeds Rhinos: Brent Webb, Ryan Hall, Gareth Ellis, Keith Senior, Scott Donald, Danny McGuire, Rob Burrow, Kylie Leuluai, Matt Diskin, Ryan Bailey, Jamie Peacock, Carl Ablett, Kevin Sinfield
Subs: Jordan Tansey, Luke Burgess, Simon Worrall, Nick Scruton

Wigan Warriors: Pat Richards, Mark Calderwood, Darrell Goulding, George Carmont, Liam Colbon, Trent Barrett, Thomas Leuluia, Andy Coley, Mickey Higham, Paul Prescott, Gareth Hock, Phil Bailey, Harrison Hansen
Subs: Stuart Fielden, Iafeta Paleaaesina, Michael McIlorum, Joel Tomkins

Referee: Richard Silverwood

Attendance: 10,129

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