Tomkins runs the show as champions are crushed
Leeds 8 Wigan 50
Dave Hadfield was a schoolboy convert to rugby league, the game which, one way or another, has dominated his life ever since. After working for newspapers in Shropshire and Blackpool (where he covered the fortunes of Blackpool Borough) he travelled the world, working mainly in Hong Kong and Sydney. He became The Independent's rugby league man in 1990 and has written five books on the game and broadcast extensively for Sky and the BBC. Dave played his last game at the age of 53 and would have set up a try if anyone could have been bothered supporting his break. When not writing about the sport, he now limits himself to a bit of tick and pass with his local club, the Bolton Mets. Family includes supporters - of varying degrees of dedication - of Salford, Wigan, Sheffield Eagles and St George Illawarra.
Saturday 02 June 2012
A spectacular 11th win in a row confirmed Wigan as favourites for a Super League title it is looking increasingly impossible for Leeds to retain.
Even with a seriously depleted side, the Warriors were far too good, especially when Sam Tomkins was on the ball. He might not have scored last night but he tormented the Rhinos from the start.
If Leeds have a little voice in their minds telling them they they won their title from outside the top four, it is to be hoped that it adds that they cannot win it from outside the top eight – because that is where they are heading.
The Leeds coach, Brian McDermott, under similar pressure this time last year, admitted: "Tonight we just weren't good enough." As for Wigan, Tomkins had a chilling thought for their rivals. "We haven't peaked yet," he said. "To come here with the kids like we did was a great effort," added his coach, Shaun Wane.
Jeff Lima bundled over for the first try of the match for Wigan, although replays showed he had lost control of the ball. With still less than six minutes gone, Tomkins made one of his electrifying breaks and Liam Farrell positioned himself perfectly in support.
It was only Tomkins, lashing out at Jamie Jones-Buchanan, who allowed Leeds into the match, Ryan Hall scoring from Danny McGuire's pass.
A prolonged spell of pressure applied by the visitors then ended in the inevitable try when Brett Finch's short ball put Sean O'Loughlin in. Almost instantly, George Carmont touched down before Thomas Leuluai darted through for a fifth Wigan score.
Josh Charnley's try continued Wigan's brilliance after the break. Fast hands along the back-line then released Anthony Gelling, before Hall's second for the Rhinos, who were exposed by Tomkins creating Leuluai's second and Finch bringing up the half century.
Leeds Webb; Smith, Ablett, Hardaker, Hall; Sinfield, McGuire; K.Leuluai, Lunt, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Delaney, Clarkson. Substitutes used Burrow, Bailey, Hauraki, Moore.
Wigan S Tomkins; Charnley, Goulding, Carmont, Gelling; Finch, TLeuluai; Dudson, McIlorum, Lima, Farrell, Hughes, O'Loughlin. Substitutes used Lauaki, L.Tomkins, Crosby, Lloyd.
Referee J Child (Dewsbury)
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