Wigan Warriors came back to form on the first day of the Magic Weekend, banishing the memory of their Challenge Cup exit to Hull Kingston Rovers and their humiliating 58-16 defeat to Catalans Dragons a week earlier, with a 20-12 defeat of Leeds Rhinos in front of a record one-day Magic Weekend attendance of 40,871.
With this victory Wigan have gone second in the Super League table, and it will calm nerves at the DW Stadium after their recent tribulations.
Wigan took an early lead when George Williams kept the ball alive cleverly for Dan Sarginson to score, with the video referee overturning the advice of referee Phil Bentham to award the try, although Matty Smith couldn’t add the conversion.
Leeds took the lead in the thirteenth minute when Adam Cuthbertson scored from a Kevin Sinfield pass from dummy-half, and Sinfield added the goal.
And Leeds went further ahead five minutes later when Danny McGuire kicked into the Wigan in-goal. Josh Charnley knocked the ball back into the path of Joel Moon, who touched down for a try converted by Sinfield.
The Rhinos looked the more confident side for much of the first half, but Wigan came back into the game with two tries in the final five minutes of the half.
The first came from George Williams, who did well to break and score in the corner, despite a despairing Zak Hardaker tackle.
And then Joe Burgess scored after Bowen collected a deep kick from Hardaker and created the space brilliantly for his wingman to score from long range, with Smith converting the second try for a 14-12 interval lead.
Bowen scored a crucial try in the 58th minute when he picked up a spilled ball from Leeds winger Ash Handley and Smith’s goal opened up an eight-point lead.
And Bowen scored again in the 75th minute when he followed up a kick into the Leeds in-goal from Smith and Rob Burrow was unable to palm the ball dead.
Smith added the goal and then added a field-goal to seal the win.
A full report, photos and analysis of this game will feature in Monday’s edition of League Express.