Tries either side of half-time from Brad Dwyer and Richie Myler helped Leeds Rhinos boost their Super League play-off ambitions with a 14-0 win away to Wigan Warriors on Wednesday evening.
Hooker Dwyer’s converted score put the Rhinos into a 6-0 lead at the end of a close-fought first half, despite the visitors having both Zane Tetevano and Luke Briscoe sent to the sin-bin.
Full-back Myler crossed early in the second half to move Leeds further ahead, with Rhyse Martin adding another conversion and a penalty which proved enough to put the seal on their first win at the DW Stadium since September 2013.
The Rhinos nil Wigan in Wigan to record an emphatic 14-0 victory and continue the progress towards the play offs with Richie Myler crossing for a try in the second half pic.twitter.com/tDGB01Fttn
It was a result which heaped more misery on Wigan too, marking their third defeat in a row, their second in succession without scoring a try and the first time the Warriors had been nilled in a home game since 1991.
The first half was not the most entertaining in terms of try-scoring opportunities, but it was an end-to-end contest that just lacked a bit of skill and composure from both teams.
Wigan were heavily criticised for the way they attacked against St Helens, and there was definitely an improvement with Jai Field and Harry Smith going close, but they still lacked that killer touch. However, credit has to be given to Leeds’ defence for handling everything thrown at them.
It was a frantic opening 10 minutes with both teams having chances to score. Martin looked like he collected a ball from Rob Lui to crash over, but a last-ditch attempt from Smith saw him knock the ball down before Martin could collect.
The Warriors then blew a chance of their own. Hooker Joe Shorrocks made a break up the middle and it looked like all he had to do was offload to the supporting Smith and he would be over, but unfortunately for Wigan the pass was a poor one and Leeds recovered.
The Rhinos were reduced to 12 men in the 22nd minute when Tetevano was shown a yellow card for a high tackle on Liam Farrell, having been fortunate not to receive the same punishment in the opening minutes for a shoulder charge on John Bateman.
A quick penalty tap from Jackson Hastings got the home fans on their feet, and seconds before Tetevano came out of the bin, Briscoe joined him for a professional foul as Hastings looked for a quick play the ball. The Warriors opted to run it again, but they still could not find a way through.
Wigan’s inability to turn pressure into points came back to hurt them three minutes before the break as Kruise Leeming’s kick to the in-goal came back off the post and Dwyer was on hand to touch down. Martin converted as Leeds led 6-0 at the break.
It just was not happening for the Warriors with Hastings dropping the ball in a good position, and that error led to them falling even further behind. Lui put Martin through a massive gap and he kept his cool before sending a ball back inside for Myler to go in under the posts, with Martin converting.
Leeds were in full control and Martin slotted over a penalty to put them 14-0 up. Wigan were throwing caution to the wind now. Brad Singleton went close with a barnstorming run, before they tried to throw the ball wide but Liam Marshall was unable to collect the ball on his bootlaces with the try at his mercy.
Leeds had Ash Handley to thank for keeping Wigan at bay as he got a foot to Hastings’ kick to the corner to concede another dropout. Had he missed that, Jake Bibby would have scored. Again, Wigan attacked down the left but their inability to keep hold of the ball was killing them.
Wigan won their fifth drop-out, but were unable to capitalise and have now gone over 200 minutes without scoring a try. The home side did, however, think they had scored through Bibby in the corner, but the video referee ruled he was held up by Myler and Handley.
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