Rhinos rampant against

Leeds doused Wigan?s early fire to claim a comfortable 48-22 win and close the gap on engage Super League leaders St Helens to four points.

The relegation-threatened Warriors, who suffered a 70-0 humiliation in this fixture last year, belied their league position by dominating the early play and scoring twice inside the first 22 minutes to lead 12-0.

But the rampant Rhinos turned on the style to run in eight tries, all of them converted by captain Kevin Sinfield, to keep Wigan entrenched at the foot of the table.

Six points adrift of their nearest relegation rivals after claiming just two wins from 16 matches, Wigan are in need a miracle if they are pull off the great escape.

But they demonstrated enough enthusiasm in the early stages to suggest they have not yet given up hope.

Stand-off Danny Orr sliced through the home defence for the first score on eight minutes and then broke clear to send in Chris Ashton, minutes after the full-back pulled off a miraculous try-saving tackle at the other end of the field on his opposite number Lee Smith.

With Danny Tickle adding both conversions, the visitors were good value for their 12-0 lead, and Leeds assistant coach Brian McDermott?s decision to rest leading tryscorer Danny McGuire was beginning to look costly.

But that was the signal for livewire scrum-half Rob Burrow to come into his own.

He produced a searing break from deep inside his own half to send right winger Scott Donald over and then ducked and weaved his way over himself.

In between, loose forward Willie Poching gathered his own kick to send in left winger Danny Williams, who then broke clear to send centre Keith Senior haring away for the line.

Sinfield, operating at stand-off in the absence of McGuire, landed all four conversions to ensure his side enjoyed a comfortable 24-12 lead at half-time.

Any hopes of a Wigan fightback were dashed within four minutes of the re-start when Leeds scored two more tries to maintain their momentum.

Ashton knocked on from the kick-off and was immediately made to pay for the error when Rhinos substitute Ali Lauitiiti powered his way over the line.

The Warriors were still recovering from that shock when centre Chev Walker forced his way over from close range after Shane Millard?s 40-20 kick had kept the pressure on.

Wigan stopped the rot when promising young centre Darrell Goulding?s fine run set up a try for winger Pat Richards.

Michael Dobson added the goal but Leeds were quickly back in the groove, with Lauitiiti producing a neat offload for prop Jamie Jones-Buchanan to score and quick handling from Burrow and Walker working Donald over for his second.

The Warriors gained further consolation with Goulding?s try but they finished a well beaten side.

Leeds: Smith, Donald, Walker, Senior, Williams, Sinfield, Burrow, Jones-Buchanan, Diskin, Scruton, Peacock, Ellis, Poching. Replacements: O'Neill, Millard, Lauitiiti, Feather.

Wigan: Ashton, Dallas, McAvoy, Goulding, Richards, Orr, Dobson, Fletcher, Higham, Logan, Tickle, Hock, O'Loughlin. Replacements: Paleaaesina, Godwin, O'Carroll, Hill.

Leeds: (24) 48. Tries: Donald 2, Williams, Burrow, Senior, Lauitiiti, Walker, Jones-Buchanan. Goals: Sinfield 8.

Wigan: (12) 22. Tries: Orr, Ashton, Richards, Goulding. Goals: Tickle 2, Dobson.

Referee: R Silverwood (Dewsbury)

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