Wigan Warriors recovered their two-point deficit tonight with a 34-16 victory over Leeds Rhinos at the DW Stadium.
Wigan started the game with the same team that took the field against St Helens in their opening day defeat, with Tony Clubb having recovered from a facial injury.
Leeds coach David Furner promoted Nathaniel Peteru and Brad Dwyer into his front row, with Adam Cuthbertson and Matt Parcell dropping to the bench.
Leeds took an early lead when Tom Davies dropped a Richie Myler bomb and Ash Handley picked up the ball to score a converted try.
Wigan replied when Dan Sarginson touched down George Williams’ cross-field bomb, but the Rhinos grabbed the lead again when Tom Briscoe kept the ball alive and Brett Ferres touched down for Lolohea’s goal to make it 6-12.
But Wigan replied with tries from Ben Flower, Joe Greenwood and Joe Bullock, with two conversions from Hardaker for a 22-12 interval lead.
There was one moment of controversy when Wigan hooker Sam Powell alleged that he had been bitten by a Leeds player and the incident was placed on report.
In the second half Hardaker added a penalty for Wigan before Williams scored a fine try before Kallum Watkins replied for Leeds.
But it was left to Wigan veteran Liam Farrell to add the last try, as Wigan now look towards the visit of Sydney Roosters a week on Sunday.
Wigan: Zak Hardaker, Tom Davies, Dan Sarginson, Oliver Gildart, Liam Marshall, George Williams, Thomas Leuluai, Tony Clubb, Sam Powell, Ben Flower, Joe Greenwood, Liam Farrell, Sean O’Loughlin; Subs: Romain Navarrete, Willie Isa, Gabe Hamlin, Joe Bullock.
Tries: Sarginson, Flower, Greenwood, Bullock, Williams, Farrell Goals: Hardaker 5
Leeds: Jack Walker, Tom Briscoe, Kallum Watkins, Konrad Hurrell, Ash Handley, Tui Lolohea, Richie Myler, Nathaniel Peteru, Brad Dwyer, Trent Merrin, Brett Ferres, Liam Sutcliffe, Stevie Ward; Subs: Adam Cuthbertson, Matt Parcell, Mikolaj Oledzki, James Donaldson.
Tries: Handley, Ferres, Watkins Goals: Lolohea 2
A full report, photos and analysis from this game will feature in Monday’s League Express.