Super League: Leeds Rhinos 32-16 Wigan Warriors
|Betfred Super League - Super 8s|
|Leeds (10) 32|
|Tries: Ward 3, Golding 2, Parcell Goals: Watkins 4|
|Wigan (10) 16|
|Tries: Davies 2, Tomkins Goals: Williams 2|
Stevie Ward scored a hat-trick to help Leeds beat Wigan in their first game of the Super 8s and improve their hopes of a top-four finish in Super League.
Tries from Ward and Ashton Golding put Leeds ahead, but Tom Davies went over twice to level the scores.
Golding collected Ryan Hall's kick to score his second try, before Matt Parcell crossed to extend the lead.
Ward touched down twice more to secure the points, before Sam Tomkins went over late on for the Warriors.
- How the Super 8s work
- MATCH REPORT: Hull FC 32-18 Salford Red Devils
- MATCH REPORT: Huddersfield 36-6 Wakefield
- MATCH REPORT: Widnes 14-28 Warrington
The result keeps Leeds second in Super League, but extends their advantage over fifth-placed Salford to six points after the Red Devils were beaten 32-18 by Hull FC.
Rhinos were helped by the return of forward Brett Delaney after 10 weeks out with injury, but it was Ward who stood out with his first career hat-trick.
Wigan drop to eighth place in the Super League table, four points behind fourth-placed St Helens, but still have six games left to attempt to secure a play-off place.
Leeds head coach Brian McDermott:
"I just sensed the players wanted to be left alone and get to gameday, which we pretty much did.
"I wasn't sure what we would deliver, but it was great to see and there was lots of energy.
"While Wigan weren't at their best in attack, I thought we defended what they threw at us during some really important moments in the game."
Wigan head coach Shaun Wane told BBC Radio Manchester:
"We lacked energy, some individuals' defensive errors really cost us and it wasn't a Wigan-like performance.
"There were too many defensive errors, and you can't do that when you come to a place like this.
"We were beaten by the better team in a very disappointing manner, and we've got seven days now to fix it."
Leeds: Golding; Briscoe, Watkins, Sutcliffe, Hall; Moon, McGuire; Cuthbertson, Parcell, Singleton, Ward, Ablett, Jones-Buchanan.
Replacements: Mullally, Keinhorst, Lilley, Delaney.
Wigan: Tomkins; Davies, Gelling, Gildart, Burgess; Williams, Leuluai; Nuuausala, McIlorum, Sutton, Bateman, Farrell, O'Loughlin.
Replacements: Ganson, Clubb, Isa, Tautai.