Robinson's power is Wigan's glory

RUGBY LEAGUE

Wigan 30

Leeds 10

Wigan are stern teachers for sides who refuse to learn their lessons. Leeds should have known after last year's defeat at Wembley that dropping your guard against Wigan is almost always punished swiftly and severely.

Sadly for the quality of the spectacle in the last Silk Cut Challenge Cup final before the Super League competition compromises its central importance, they failed to take that information on board, and were soundly and embarrassingly beaten.

Their chief tormentor on Saturday was Jason Robinson, the kid from within a couple of miles of Headingley, who was disregarded by Leeds and allowed to cross the Pennines. His two tries were gems, showing that a week of fitness tests and financial windfalls - he has a post-dated contract worth £1.25m to go to Australia in two years' time - is not bad preparation for a cup final.

If Martin Offiah was the star last year, when Robinson was shattered by being left out of the side, this year's final saw him strictly in a supporting role. He provided the pass for Robinson's and Wigan's first try; not, in truth, a good pass, because Robinson had to turn back on himself to take it. Once he had it in his hands, however, he shook off Francis Cummins with ease and was simply too fast for Ellery Hanley, James Lowes and Alan Tait in a race for the line.

It was his second try, four minutes into the second half, that exposed the inadequacy of Leeds' performance and ensured they were not to claw their way back into the game. It was the most fundamental of errors on Leeds' part, turning their backs on Robinson at the play-the-ball. Once he had broken the frayed defensive line, he was beyond recall. For both his tries, Robinson had the luxury of being able to cruise in with his hand raised in salute.

With 36 minutes to go, the odds against Robinson becoming the first man to score a hat-trick of tries in a Wembley final were narrowing. As with Offiah in the past, he never got another clear view of the line, but he had already done enough to earn the Lance Todd Trophy as the man of the match.

Wigan had an abundance of other heroes. Henry Paul, despite suffering from pre-match nerves that gave him what he described as "a lump the size of a basketball in my throat," ran Robinson close for the Lance Todd with a near-faultless display at full-back and later at loose-forward. He scored a characteristic try, spinning giddily out of tackles to touch down, but, had he not taken Phil Clarke's pass it would have gone to Robinson.

The match was also a personal triumph for Andy Farrell. It might seem strange to think of a 19-year-old who has already established himself in the Wigan and Great Britain teams as an under-achiever, but such is his combination of size, speed and skill that he should make an even bigger impact than he does. Injury has hampered him in the latter stages of the season, but there should not, on ability, be six forwards in the country capable of confining him to a role as substitute.

As it transpired, Farrell spent only five minutes confined to that role. That was how long it took Mick Cassidy to get his normally immaculate tackling technique all wrong and attack Richie Eyres' knees with his head. For a while, it seemed as though Cassidy was badly injured and Farrell later admitted to going on to the pitch virtually in tears out of concern for his great mate.

In the event, Cassidy recovered and Farrell had a towering match, his irresistible running setting up the position for Robinson's second try and one from the hard-working hooker, Martin Hall.

Va'aiga Tuigamala, the scorer of the final Wigan try, was also playing in a state of high emotion, having heard of the death of his grandfather, who largely brought him up, and who, it should be said of the old man, did a pretty good job. Sheer muscle took Tuigamala over the line, and that superior strength running through the Wigan side repeatedly turned back Leeds' lame attempts to fight back. As the Wigan captain, Shaun Edwards, said: "If we had attacked as well as we defended, we would have scored 50."

Clarke and Denis Betts, both in their last Wembley appearance before continuing their careers in the southern hemispheres, were the players who set the tempo for that defensive effort. Even before the game, they were working themselves into a lather geeing up their team-mates, and there was never much doubt that they would be bidding farewell to Wembley as winners.

As for Leeds, there can be few excuses. Only the Eyres run that left Cassidy spreadeagled, an interception by Garry Schofield that was pulled back debatably for offside, and Lowes' late try saw them look capable of turning their generous supply of possession into points.

There were a couple of brief suggestions that Kevin Iro, Worzel Gummidge- like, had got his Wembley head on, but that was all they had to offer. Leeds proved disappointingly bad pupils and Wigan made them stand not in the corner but behind their try-line while Frano Botica, another bound for the southern hemisphere, kicked his goals. There was no question who were the masters.

Wigan: Paul; Robinson, Tuigamala, Connolly, Offia; Botica, Edwards; Skerrett (Atcheson, 53-71), Hall, Cowie, Betts, Cassidy (Farrell, 5) Clarke.

Leeds: Tait; Fallon, Iro, Innes, Cummins; Schofield, Holroyd; Howard (Mann, 28), Lowes, Faimalo (Howard, 52), Mercer, Eyres (Harmon, 59) Hanley.

Referee: R Smith (Castleford).

News
Patrick Stewart in the classiest ice bucket to date
people
News
Australian rapper Iggy Azalea was left red faced but, thankfully, unhurt after taking a few too many steps backwards, sending her tumbling off the stage.
peopleIggy Azalea was left red faced but apparently unhurt after taking a few too many steps backwards
News
newsComedian Lee Hurst started trend with first tweet using the hashtag
News
The current recommendation from Britain's Chief Medical Officer, is that people refrain from drinking on at least two days a week
food + drinkTheory is that hangovers are caused by methanol poisoning
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A nearly completed RoboThespian robot inside the Engineered Arts workshop is tested in Penryn, England. The Cornish company, operating from an industrial unit near Falmouth, is the world's only maker of commercially available life sized humanoid robots
techSuper-intelligent robots could decide destroying the human race is the kindest thing to do
News
scienceExcitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
News
newsRyan Crighton goes in search of the capo dei capi
Life and Style
techConcept would see planes coated in layer of micro-sensors and able to sense wear and tear
Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
Extras
indybest

Arts and Entertainment
Actors front row from left, Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Ellen DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Peter Nyongío Jr., and, second row, from left, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyongío and Angelina Jolie as they pose for a
film
Sport
sport
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Software Developer (Java /C# Programmer)- London

£30000 - £45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A global investment management fi...

Senior Network Engineer-(CCIE, CCNP, Cisco, London)

£65000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Engineer-(CCIE, CC...

Senior Network Analyst - (CCIE, Cisco, CISSP)

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Analyst - (CCIE, C...

Senior Network Engineer-(Design, Implementation, CCIE)

£60000 - £80000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Senior Network Engineer-(Design, ...

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition