Flashback - 2010: When Smith's late heroics sends Leeds Rhinos into Challenge Cup semi-finals

EIGHT YEARS ago tomorrow, Lee Smith was the hero for Leeds Rhinos in a remarkable Challenge Cup quarter-final win over Wigan Warriors.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 28th May 2018, 5:30 am
Updated Monday, 28th May 2018, 1:31 pm
Lee Smith scores the winning try for Leeds against Wigan in 2010.
Lee Smith scores the winning try for Leeds against Wigan in 2010.

The tie at Headingley, on May 29, 2010, seemed set to be decided on penalty kicks until Smith struck in the final seconds to snatch a 12-10 triumph for the hosts.

The game coincided with the opening day of a Roses match on the cricket side of the stadium, but no play was possible due to heavy rain and players from Yorkshire and Lancashire were in the North Stand to watch an exciting, if error-ridden, match-up.

Wigan took a 6-0 lead in the first half through three penalty goals from Pat Richards.

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Leeds players celebrate their victory over Wigan in 2010.

Kevin Sinfield missed with two early penalties for Leeds, hitting the metalwork both times, but found his range to land two goals in the final minutes of the half, making it 6-4 at the break.

Richards missed with a kick at the start of the second period, then Sinfield levelled the scores with another penalty after Liam Farrell had been sin-binned for a foul on Danny McGuire.

Sinfield had an opportunity to edge Leeds ahead, but his kick missed the mark. The game continued in a similar vein as a Richards penalty was cancelled out by the Leeds captain before the Wigan man’s fifth goal seemed to have sent them through.

But prop Jamie Peacock’s determination and a classy finish from full-back Smith snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

Peacock made a shock return for Rhinos, just two weeks after suffering knee ligament damage that was expected to keep him out of action for two months.

He harried Wigan into turning the ball over inside their own half and then Leeds had the feed at a scrum 20 metres out after Danny McGuire’s pass was touched by Amos Roberts.

That gave Rhinos one final attacking chance, with 70 seconds remaining. Smith, who had recently rejoined Leeds following a spell in rugby union, took Sinfield’s pass, twisted out of Martin Gleeson’s tackle and held off Richards to touch down and send Rhinos into the semi-finals.

MATCH STATS: Challenge Cup quarter-final, May 29, 2010 - Leeds Rhinos 12 (Try: Smith. Goals: Sinfield 4) Wigan Warriors 10 (Goals: Richards 5)

Leeds Rhinos: Smith, Donald, Delaney, Senior, Hall, Sinfield, McGuire, Leuluai, Buderus, Bailey, Kirke, Ablett, Jones-Buchanan. Substitutes: Diskin, Eastwood, Peacock, Clarkson.

Wigan Warriors: Richards, Roberts, Gleeson, Carmont, Pryce, S Tomkins, Leuluai, Fielden, Riddell, Coley, J Tomkins, Bailey, O’Loughlin. Substitutes: Prescott, McIlorum, Farrell, Tuson.

Referee: Phil Bentham. Attendance: 9,242.