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Super League: Leeds 0-50 Wigan – Warriors crush Rhinos to take top spot

Jai Field scored the second of Wigan’s nine tries on a bruising day for Leeds Rhinos
Leeds (0) 0
Wigan (22) 50
Tries: Wardle 3, Field, Marshall, Pearce-Paul, Miski, Farrell, Mago Goals: Smith 7

Jake Wardle scored a hat-trick as Wigan Warriors went back to the top of the Super League table by battering sorry Leeds Rhinos in hot conditions.

Two tries from Wardle plus scores from Jai Field and Liam Marshall gave the away side a 22-0 lead at half-time.

Kai Pearce-Paul added to their lead before Wardle waltzed over to complete his treble.

Abbas Miski, Liam Farrell and Patrick Mago went over late on to complete Wigan’s biggest ever win at Headingley.

With two games of the regular season to go, Wigan, Catalans Dragons and St Helens are tied on 36 points at the top of the table, but the Warriors lead the way thanks to a vastly superior points difference.

Victories in their final matches, at home to Castleford and away at Leigh, should be enough to see Matt Peet’s men claim the League Leaders’ Shield for the sixth time.

Depleted Leeds are eighth in the table, but their hopes of finishing in the top six are now all but over and will be ended should Warrington win at Salford on Sunday.

The Rhinos thought they had taken the lead when Harry Newman picked up a loose ball and raced in unchallenged from the halfway line, but the try was ruled out by the video referee for a knock-on.

Wardle put the away side ahead shortly afterwards when he grabbed a high kick from Harry Smith and Field then dotted down after Rhyse Martin fumbled another high ball on the goal-line.

Marshall went over in the corner for his 20th try of the season after some lovely quick passing from the away side, before Wardle got his second when Wigan caught the Rhinos cold from a scrum.

Any chance for a fightback from Leeds, who had beaten Wigan in their past three Super League encounters, was ended in the opening moments of the second half when Pearce-Paul charged down a Luke Hooley kick and was then fed by Morgan Smithies to crash over.

After a scrappy 20 minutes, Wardle was able to just cruise over from 15 metres out after another Leeds handling error.

Miski sped over for his 22nd try of the season, Farrell powered over and then Mago scored in the final minute to put the icing on the cake as Wigan claimed a seventh successive Super League win in emphatic fashion.

Leeds now face a trip to Catalans on 16 September, by which time they are likely to be playing only for pride.

Leeds: Hooley, Fusitua, Newman, Martin, Handley, Gannon, Sinfield, Oledzki, O’Connor, Holroyd, McDonnell, Walters, Smith.

Interchanges: Lisone, Johnson, Ruan, Donaldson.

Wigan: Field, Miski, King, Wardle, Marshall, French, Smith, Ellis, O’Neill, Pearce-Paul, Farrell, Smithies, Byrne.

Interchanges: Powell, Nsemba, Mago, Dupree.

Referee: Jack Smith.

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