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Page last updated at 22:21 GMT, Friday, 1 April 2011 23:21 UK

Leeds Rhinos 22-22 Wigan Warriors

Leeds (12) 22
Tries: Jones-Buchanan, Buderus, Webb Goals: Sinfield 5
Wigan (4) 22
Tries: J Tomkins, S Tomkins, Goulding, Prescott
Goals:
S Tomkins 3


Sam Tomkins
Leeds could not stop Wigan's Sam Tomkins saving his side from defeat

Champions Wigan produced one of the comebacks of all time as they rallied from 22-4 down with just 11 minutes left to claim a draw at Headingley.

Sam Tomkins' superb solo effort triggered two more tries from Paul Prescott and winger Darrell Goulding.

And stand-in kicker Tomkins then kept his cool with the last kick of the game to land a tough penalty.

Leeds' tries had come earlier from Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Danny Buderus before the break and Brent Webb.

Having been well beaten by leaders Warrington a week earlier, Michael Maguire had looked set to suffer back-to-back defeats for the first time since becoming Wigan coach.

After Joel Tomkins' early effort for Wigan, first-half tries from forwards Jones-Buchanan and Buderus earned Leeds a 12-4 lead at the break.

And Webb's second-half try, bolstered by five kicks from home skipper Kevin Sinfield, looked to have sealed a first home win in three matches for Leeds at 22-4.

And they were also handicapped by having prop Jeff Lima sinbinned for a dangerous tackle.

But Wigan are not Super League champions for nothing - and they stunningly had the final word as Leeds buckled.

In a scratchy start, not helped by a high early penalty count, Wigan drew first blood on 11 minutes when Tomkins marked his return from suspension by getting on the end of Thomas Leuluai's break to go over in the right corner.

Sam Tomkins missed with the touchline kick but it was still a worrying start for a Leeds side who had lost two of their first three home games.

But, encouraged by Wigan's poor handling, Leeds bounced back, rocking the champions with two tries in three minutes.

George Carmont's loose pass unwittingly created the move which saw Jones-Buchanan stretch out an arm to level the scores.

Then, from winger Ryan Hall's clever kick inside from the left, Buderus showed the dribbling skills of Eddie Gray in his prime as he beat Tomkins to the line close to the posts.

With Sinfield landing both conversions, that earned Leeds a deserved half-time lead.

Sinfield stretched that by two points five minutes into the second half when he kicked a penalty after Leuluiai was adjudged offside.

And, five minutes later, Leeds had the cushion of a 12-point advantage when Sinfield added another apparently crucial close-range penalty.

Leeds looked out to be out of sight 16 minutes from time when Webb went in at the corner, Sinfield converting to make it five from five attempts with the boot.

But, five minutes later, Tomkins Jnr collected his own neat kick through to score a brilliant solo try, which he improved himself to make it 22-10, to give his side a glimmer of hope.

Then, just three minutes later, came a great effort from Goulding, who did brilliantly to touch down in the left corner.

Tomkins missed the conversion that would have taken Wigan to within one score. But, two minutes from time, they were in again when Prescott barged over.

Tomkins kicked the conversion and, from the restart, the visitors still had time for one more set of six.

A stunning attack involving both Tomkins brothers took Wigan to within two yards of the Leeds line, they won a penalty 10 metres from the touchline.

And, despite being fourth-choice kicker behind injured trio Pat Richards, Paul Deacon and Josh Charnley, Tomkins nailed it straight between the posts.

After being on the receiving end of a similar comeback from St Helens in their Magic Weekend campaign opener at the Millennium Stadium, it was Wigan's second draw of the season.


Leeds coach Brian McDermott:

"Wigan stepped up and we faded. We stopped playing and got into an arm wrestle, which we didn't want to.

"The positive is that we did create a lot of chances. We broke them down. It was just the final bit of skill that let us down. It was the best we've played by a long way. Something we've been trying to get to since round one.

"Brent Webb was outstanding, Danny Buderus had his best game so far and Kevin Sinfield probably shouldn't have played because he was up all night spewing his guts up. Staying on the field as long as he did is testament to his toughness."

Wigan coach Michael Maguire:

"Sam Tomkins is pretty calm under pressure. He's not had an opportunity to kick too much in games but he came through.

"At half-time I was very comfortable in the way we knew we could play and we clicked in the last 20 minutes.

"That's how we wanted to play and we've got to make sure we do that at the start of games. We're not far off from cracking it and getting it right."


Leeds: Webb; Watkins, Ablett, Senior, Hall; Sinfield, Burrow; Bailey, Buderus, Leuluai, Hauraki, Pitts, Jones-Buchanan.
Replacements: Kirke, Cross, Clarkson, McShane.

Wigan: S Tomkins; Goulding, J Tomkins, Carmont, Roberts; O'Loughlin, Leuluai; Coley, McIlorum, Prescott, Hansen, Hoffman, Farrell.
Replacements: Lima, Finch, Mossop, Tuson.

Referee: Richard Silverwood (Dewsbury).



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see also
Wakefield 6-28 Leeds
27 Mar 11 |  Rugby League
Wigan 6-24 Warrington
25 Mar 11 |  Rugby League
Leeds 6-26 Wigan
25 Sep 10 |  My Club
Wigan 26-27 Leeds
12 Sep 10 |  My Club
Leeds 12-26 Wigan
30 Jul 10 |  My Club
Leeds 12-10 Wigan
29 May 10 |  Rugby League
Wigan 24-4 Leeds
26 Mar 10 |  My Club


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