Wigan Warriors eliminated from Super League play-offs following semi-final defeat to Leeds Rhinos
Wigan Warriors have been knocked out of the Super League play-offs following a 20-8 defeat to Leeds Rhinos at the DW Stadium.
Despite Matty Peet’s side dominating the opening 40 minutes, the visitors produced a strong defensive effort to keep the score down before turning things around after the break.
Two Rhinos tries and a John Bateman red card within 10 minutes of the restart changed the dynamic of the match, while Bevan French was also forced off injured.
The first try came after 11 minutes, with Liam Marshall producing a superb diving finish in the left corner.
The attack stemmed from some great defensive work by Morgan Smithies, who had reclaimed the ball after chasing down and blocking a Rhinos kick.
After missing the conversion, Smith had the opportunity to make amends with a penalty but couldn’t extend Wigan’s early 4-0 lead.
Following a half of defending their line, Leeds scored their first points of the game five minutes before the break, with Zak Hardaker successfully converting a penalty.
While the Warriors pushed hard throughout the opening 40 minutes, they could only go into half time with a narrow lead.
A worry for Wigan was an injury to French, with the winger clearly struggling to run and requiring treatment.
Despite returning after the break, he only lasted seven minutes before being taken off.
Meanwhile, during that time, the Warriors also fell behind, as the Rhinos claimed their first try of the night through Jarrod O’Connor.
Moments later they had another, with James Bentley finding space to go over on the right side.
Matters got worse for Peet’s side, with John Bateman being shown a red card for a late hit on Aidan Sezer.
Wigan came close to pulling one back, with Marshall being denied by the video ref, who adjudged the winger to have knocked on after a great kick over the top by Smith.
Down the other end, Leeds extended their advantage, with Bentley going over for his second of the evening.
With five minutes remaining, Sam Powell claimed a consolation for the Warriors, as he marked his 250th appearance for the club with a try.
Wigan Warriors: Jai Field, Bevan French, Kai Pearce-Paul, Jake Bibby, Liam Marshall, Harry Smith, Thomas Leuluai, Brad Singleton, Sam Powell, Liam Byrne, Willie Isa, John Bateman, Morgan Smithies.
Interchanges: Patrick Mago, Kaide Ellis, Ethan Havard, Mike Cooper.
Tries: Liam Marshall (11’), Powell (76’)
Conversions: Smith 0/2
Penalties: Smith 0/1
Red Card: John Bateman (50’)
Leeds Rhinos: Richie Myler, Tom Briscoe, Zak Hardaker, Liam Sutcliffe, Liam Tindall, Blake Austin, Aidan Sezer, Mikolaj Oledzki, Jarrod O’Connor, Matt Prior, James Bentley, Zane Tetevano, Cameron Smith.
Interchanges: Kruise Leeming, James Donaldson, Sam Walters, Bodene Thompson.
Tries: O’Connor (45’), Bentley (48,’ 66’)Conversions: Hardaker (3/3)
Penalties: Hardaker (1/1)