|Leeds (14) 14|
|Testing: Holroyd, Newman Objectives: Martin 3|
|Wigan (4) 18|
|Testing: French 2, Nsemba, Wardle Objectives: Smith|
Challenge Cup holders Wigan came from 14-0 down as they stunned Leeds to reach the last eight.
Tries from Tom Holroyd and Harry Newman helped Leeds win their first three-quarters in the Headingley sun.
But Bevan French tries at both ends of the half and two more from Junior Nsemba and Jake Wardle have proved enough, despite only one conversion.
Harry Smith was successful with just one of his four kicks, unlike Leeds striker Rhyse Martin, who had three of his shots on goal, two conversions and a penalty in between.
The Sun rises on the 16th
At the very beginning of the competition, the stage of 16, which brought the Super League teams – and with them came the sunshine.
After a rainy start to 2023, the sun shone brightly at Headingley to meet two of the most successful Challenge Cup teams in the competition’s 127-year history – 14-time winners Leeds and Wigan, respectively. win at Tottenham 12 months ago was the 20th crown.
But Leeds were clearly keen to go into the game after their stunning 12-man victory over Wigan at home eight days earlier.
This was evident recently as they took less than 10 minutes to show their early pressure and get the opening goal.
Holroyd crossed into the open, Martin added the conversion, scored two points from the penalty spot and then scored again as Newman dribbled past Wigan’s weak defense down the left for the second try.
Trailing 14-0, Wigan reduced the gap before the break when French broke down the left, but Smith was unable to add to the score.
After Liam Farrell made one of his best plays down the left like a runaway train after the break, French helped to get in – and Smith kicked a goal to bring it back to 14-10.
Then it got better when academy player Nsemba scored on Wigan’s third try.
Smith missed the kick, but Wigan took the lead for the first time with their fourth try from Wardle.
Smith this time hit the post with his kick – but it wasn’t too costly. Leeds had a great chance late on to go back in front but Newman went for the glory instead of looking to pass to his man – and the chance was wasted.
Leeds: Miller; Tindall, Newman, Macdonald, Olpherts; Gannon, Sezer, Oledzki, O’Connor, Holroyd, McDonnell, Martin, C Smith.
Methods of Integration: Donaldson, Lisone, Sangare, Johnson.
Wigan: French; Muskie, King, Wardle, Marshall; Hampshire, Smith; Havard, Powell, Byrne, Smithies, Farrell, Shorrocks.
Methods of Integration: Ellis, Magician, O’Neill.
Caller: Chris Kendall.