Leeds Rhinos suffered their third successive Magic Weekend defeat by Wigan Warriors, going down 27-12 at Newcastle’s St James’ Park
Rhinos, beaten by four points by Wigan at each of the two previous Magic events, led 12-4 mid-way through the first half, but failed the take their chances and could have no complaints about the result as they were out-scored by five tries to two.
Wigan went ahead on seven minutes when Dan Sarginson was awarded a try by video referee Richard Silverwood, though man in the middle Phil Bentham initially thought he had been held up by Zak Hardaker and Kallum Watkins.
Adam Cuthbertson powered on to Kevin Sinfield’s pass for Leeds’ opening try, then Joel Moon touched down after Wigan’s Josh Charnley had failed to take Danny McGuire’s cross kick, the video ref giving the green light.
Sinfield converted both to make it 12-4, but Wigan went in at the break 14-12 up after two tries in the final 10 minutes of the half.
George Williams cut through for a solo try, which Silverwood awarded and then Matty Bowen took Hardaker’s kick on the full, released Joe Burgess and he skipped in-field and past Hardaker for a stunning touchdown, which Matty Smith improved.
Both sides missed chances in the third quarter, but on 58 minutes Ash handley knocked-on in Burgess’ tackle and Bowen picked up to race almost the length of the field for a try out of the blue.
Smith added the extras to open an eight-point gap and Rhinos never really looked like getting back in the contest, though Hardaker did go close soon after Bowen’s try. He was hurt in the process and went off with 12 minutes left.
With four minutes remaining Rob Burrow was caught in possession on the final tackle deep inside Leeds’ half. Wigan forced a line drop out and then Smith dabbed a kick in-goal, Burrow couldn’t take it and Bowen touched down.
Smith converted and completing the scoring with a drop goal.