3 Apr 2023
Betfred Wheelchair Super League | Rhinos secure victory over Warriors
Old rivals, Wigan Warriors and Leeds Rhinos, fought out a terrific battle at Birchwood on Sunday (2 April) with the Rhinos emerging 50-38 winners thanks to a rally of 12 points in the final 10 minutes to remain unbeaten.
The sides were level at 22-all at the break after Leeds had taken an early 10-0 lead with tries by skipper Jodie Boyd-Ward and Nathan Collins, who claimed a hat trick and six goals for a total of 24 points.
The Warriors, led by Dec Roberts, fought back to lead 16-10 and were ahead 34-26 mid way through the second half, Matt Wooloff claiming a hat trick.
Dec Roberts finished with three tries to go with five goals, Adam Rigby – who was excellent throughout – the host’s other try scorer.
Nathan Mulhall and Josh Butler each claimed a brace for the Rhinos, their winning points coming from England captain Tom Halliwell, who also kicked a goal.
Rhinos’ coach, James Simpson, commented: “We knew it would be a really tough game, they came off a really good win in round one and they are a lot more physical than us down the middle and like to play off the back of it, so we knew we’d have to scramble.
“One of the objectives we set ourselves was to stay in the fight and to set ourselves up for the last 20 minutes, that was when we ramped it up and I can’t fault the players for that. They found a way to get it done. It was a great advert for Wheelchair Rugby League.”
Opposite number, Phil Roberts, said: “It’s been a tough start to the season playing both grand finalists from 2022, but with a couple of key players unavailable, we can’t be too disappointed with how close the game was until the final minutes.
“I’m really proud of the effort, we kept our composure in the face of adversity, and we now move on the next match.”
This weekend’s standalone fixture (April 9) will see Halifax Panthers take on Warrington Wolves at the Sedbergh Sports and Leisure Centre with both clubs looking for their first win of the season.
The reigning champions fell to a shock defeat against Wigan Warriors in round one of the competition and the Panthers will be hoping that England trio Rob Hawkins, Seb Bechara, and Wayne Boardman can bounce back against Warrington who suffered a thumping loss 118-12 to Leeds Rhinos.
Sunday’s action will kick off at 11am.