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Last Updated: Friday, 19 March, 2004, 22:48 GMT
Leeds 36-24 Wigan
MATCH FACTS
Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield
Leeds (24) 36:
Tries: Jones-Buchanan 2, McGuire 2, Walker, Diskin Goals: Sinfield 6
Wigan (12) 24:
Tries: Brown, Wild 2, Aspinwall
Goals: Tickle 4
Leeds ended Wigan's four-year unbeaten record at Headingley with an impressive win on Friday.

Skipper Kevin Sinfield's was the architect of the six-try show, doing all the early damage with some great tactical kicking.

Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Danny McGuire got two tries each as Leeds made it three Super League wins out of three.

Stephen Wild got over the line twice for the Warriors, along with Kevin Brown and Martin Aspinall.

Leeds coach Tony Smith made six changes to the side that lost to St Helens in the Challenge Cup and he will have been delighted with the performance of replacement second rower Jones-Buchanan.

Little went right in the early stages for injury-depleted Wigan, who lost goalkicking winger Chris Melling with a knee injury in one of the first tackles of the match.

Wigan made light of the loss, with second-choice marksman Danny Tickle kicking four goals, but the Rhinos seized control of the game with four first-half tries.

There were a lot of pleasing aspects - we have played worse and won
Mike Gregory
Wigan coach
The Warriors, unbeaten at Headingley in six visits, made the worst possible start, conceding two tries in the first 12 minutes thanks to the boot of Sinfield.

The loose forward threaded a kick through the Wigan defence on seven minutes for Jones-Buchanan to touch down.

Five minutes later his punt bounced awkwardly for defenders Stephen Wild and Martin Aspinwall and the alert McGuire was on hand to claim the try.

Tickle's penalties kept Wigan in touch but their luck was out on the half-hour mark when winger Francis Cummins' pass bounced off Gareth Hock and out of Kris Radlinski's reach, giving Jones-Buchanan a second try.

Wigan hit back when Hock got a pass out of a two-man tackle for teenage centre Kevin Brown to force his way over.

But McGuire then demonstrated his superb support play when the ball flashed through five pairs of hands following Sinfield's break to claim his second try.

We had better control and I thought we stuck to the plan better than we have done so far this year
Tony Smith
Leeds coach
Sinfield extended the Rhinos' lead to 26-12 three minutes into the second half when Hock was pulled up in front of the posts for ball-stealing and any prospect of a Wigan fightback was ended shortly afterwards.

The visitors were denied a try when video referee Steve Cross decided that loose forward Sean O'Loughlin was in front of Danny Orr when he re-gathered the stand-off's kick.

Leeds immediately made the most of the let-off, with substitute Willie Poching smashing through the Wigan defence and putting centre Chev Walker over for his side's fifth try.

Wigan collapsed against Bradford on the opening day of the season but kept this game alive with two quickfire tries from Wild.

Radlinski palmed the ball back from Danny Orr's kick to the corner for Wild to score his first and then took Tickle's offload to race clear and set up the position for Wild to stretch out of a three-man tackle for his second.

Fortunately for Leeds, Tickle was wide with both conversion attempts and they made sure of the win 11 minutes from the end when hooker Matt Diskin forced his way over and Sinfield kicked his sixth goal, rendering Aspinwall's late try merely a consolation score.


Leeds: Mathers, Bai, Walker, Senior, Cummins, McGuire, Dunemann, Bailey, Diskin, Ward, Furner, Jones-Buchanan, Sinfield. Replacements: McDonald, Burrow, Poching, Feather.

Wigan: Radlinski, Melling, Aspinwall, Brown, Dallas, Orr, Robinson, C. Smith, Newton, Pongia, Hock, Tickle, O'Loughlin. Replacements: O'Connor, M. Smith, Sculthorpe, Wild.

Referee: Richard Silverwood (Dewsbury).




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