They might even have helped their cause by having their scrum half, Marcus Vassilakopoulos, sent off in the ninth minute for tripping Nigel Wright as the half-back went in for Wigan's first try. Leeds seemed to keep their appetite for the game despite the reduction in their numbers, were certainly not out-run by Wigan, and briefly, as the second half opened, looked as though they might even make a game of it when they narrowed the margin to nine points.
Wigan, untypically, made heavy weather of winning, and their speedy three- quarter line hardly impressed, with three of the second half's four tries coming from the forwards.
Both sides were without major players and were able to blood some of their youngsters, of whom Paul Cook, from the Leeds academy side, and the Irishman Terry O'Connor, for Wigan, seemed the handiest.
Wigan were on the scoreboard within three minutes with a penalty from Andrew Farrell, the first of eight successful kicks from 10 attempts. Farrell earned his man of the match award, involving himself in most of the attacks and scoring a try to total a Charity Shield record of 20 points.
After Wright's opening try, Wigan scored two more in the first half, from Gary Connolly and Simon Haughton. Leeds' only try came when Wigan, penalised for offside, were still back on their heels as Tony Kemp covered 10 metres from his own tap to score.
From 23-8 at half-time, Leeds, with a try from Esene Faimalo, looked as though they might start to catch up. But once Wright scored his second try, their hopes faded, and tries from Farrell, Mick Cassidy and O'Connor more than outweighed Leeds' replies.
The match, the first major game played in Ireland, was judged a success by the organisers as 5,716 spectators, well over half of them Dubliners, turned out to watch. Fears that the pitch, which a day earlier had been the main arena for the Dublin Horse Show, would be unplayable were allayed by liberal applications of sand and water.
n In what was billed as the first international between the two countries, Ireland beat Scotland 26-22 in a curtain-raiser to the main event. Both sides used a mixture of professionals and amateurs, with Lee Child, of Wakefield, scoring two tries for Ireland and Gavin Manclark, a student, two for Scotland.
Wigan: Paul; Robinson, Tuigamala, Connolly, Radlinski; Wright (Smyth, 55), Murdock; Skerrett (O'Connor, 48), Hall, Cowie (Johnson 67), Haughton (Knowles, 71), Cassidy, Farrell.
Leeds: Tait; Fallon (Golden, 70), Iro, Cummins, Cook; Kemp, Vassilakopoulos; Harmon, Lowes, Faimalo (Gibbons, 51), Mercer (Morley, 49), Mann (Fozzard, 64), Forshaw.
Referee: R Smith (Castleford).