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Round 2: Leeds too good for Wigan
Leeds came from 16-0 down to snatch the points and condemn Wigan to consecutive opening defeats for the first time in the Super League era by 24-16.
Skipper Kevin Sinfield scored the decisive try seven minutes from the end to dash the hopes of the home side, who had been in command at half-time, and silence the bulk of the 17,281 crowd, the biggest for an opening Super League home game at the JJB Stadium.
Tries from teenagers Joel Tomkins and Chris Ashton and another from substitute Wayne Godwin helped Wigan establish a healthy, if flattering, 16-0 half-time lead.
Leeds had dominated the first half but failed to apply the finishing touches and they were hit by two tries in a three-minute spell just before the break.
Wigan, beaten by newcomers Catalans Dragons in their first match of the season, took their chances to establish what should have been an unassailable lead but they were over-run in the second half.
Leeds? first chance came as early as the fifth minute when a half-break by full-back Richie Mathers opened up the home defence but Great Britain centre Keith Senior dropped his head-high pass with a try begging.
Prop Ryan Bailey also looked all over a scorer until Warriors captain Sean O?Loughlin hauled him down short of the line and second rower Ali Lauitiiti had a try disallowed by video referee Gerry Kershaw for a double movement.
Wigan took the lead after 17 minutes when centre Pat Richards palmed back Denis Moran?s high kick and 18-year-old substitute Tomkins followed up score with his first touch of the ball.
It was very much against the run of play when they increased their lead six minutes before the break, with Godwin demonstrating electrifying pace to cross for a solo try.
Leeds had barely recovered from that shock when another 18-year-old, full-back Ashton, swooped on Richards? grubber kick to score a third try and Danny Tickle kicked his second conversion.
Leeds had not played that bad but they needed a quick score if they were to get back in the game and they got it courtesy of Shane Millard?s first try for the club.
The ever-dangerous Lauitiiti set up the position with a determined run and former London and Widnes hooker Millard, a replacement for Matt Diskin, shot over from dummy half seven minutes into the second half.
The Wigan defence was caught out again just two minutes later when Rhinos stand-off Danny McGuire cut through a yawning gap and Kevin Sinfield?s second successful conversion cut the deficit to just four points to set up an exciting final quarter.
Leeds clearly had the momentum but it took them until the 74th-minute to take the lead for the first time.
Sinfield took Diskin?s astute pass and sliced through for the try and scrum-half Rob Burrow applied the finishing touch when supporting McGuire?s break for the game?s last try two minutes from the end.
Sinfield maintained his 100% record with his fourth conversion to send the 2,500 travelling fans wild with delight.
Wigan: Ashton, Calderwood, Richards, Vaealiki, Dallas, O?Loughlin, Moran, Logan, Higham, Paleaaesina, Hargreaves, Tickle, Hansen.
Replacements: Brown, Seu Seu, Godwin, Tomkins.
Leeds: Mathers, Donald, Walker, Senior, Smith, McGuire, Burrow, Bailey, Diskin, Peacock, Lauitiiti, Ellis, Sinfield.
Replacements: Scruton, Poching, Jones-Buchanan, Millard.
Wigan (16) 16.
Tries: Tomkins, Godwin, Ashton. Goals: Tickle 2.
Leeds (0) 24.
Tries: Millard, McGuire, Sinfield, Burrow. Goals: Sinfield 4.
Referee: R Silverwood (Dewsbury)