Rhinos hold off Wigan challenge with 26-18 victory

Leeds Rhinos continued their revival with their fourth successive win, holding off a strong challenge from an enthusiastic and combative Wigan Warriors.

The Rhinos’ star was backrower Carl Ablett, who scored the winning try in the final minutes of the game, after he had had some lively exchanges with Wigan prop forward John-Paul Nuuausala, while he also played a key role in intercepting some key offloads from Wigan playmaker George Williams, who scored two superb first-half tries with great footwork near the Leeds line.

Kallum Watkins, playing his 200th Leeds game, scored the Rhinos’ third try with a beautiful run to the line after Ryan Hall and Joel Moon had scored first-half tries.

Wigan pulled the game back to 20-18 on 65 minutes when Liam Marshall picked up a ball spelled by Tom Briscoe from a Moon offload, but Ablett’s reply guaranteed that the points would be won by the Rhinos.

Rhinos: 1 Ashton Golding, 2 Tom Briscoe, 3 Kallum Watkins, 18 Jimmy Keinhorst, 5 Ryan Hall, 6 Danny McGuire (C), 4 Joel Moon, 17 Mitch Garbutt, 9 Matt Parcell, 10 Adam Cuthbertson, 12 Carl Ablett, 19 Brett Ferres, 11 Jamie Jones-Buchanan; Subs (all used): 7 Rob Burrow, 14 Liam Sutcliffe, 20 Anthony Mullally, 15 Brett Delaney.

Warriors: 22 Morgan Escaré, 36 Tom Davies, 4 Oliver Gildart, 32 Liam Forsyth, 35 Liam Marshall , 6 George Williams, 7 Thomas Leuluai (C), 8 Frank-Paul Nuuausala, 16 Sam Powell, 10 Ben Flower, 11 Joel Tomkins, 20 Willie Isa, 15 Tony Clubb, Subs (all used), 17 Taulima Tautai, 23 Nick Gregson, 19 Ryan Sutton, 26 Romain Navarrete.

A full report with photos and match analysis can be found in Monday’s issue of League Express.