Warriors topple Rhinos

Congleton Guardian: Michael McIlorum goes over for Wigan's winning try Michael McIlorum goes over for Wigan's winning try

Reigning champions Wigan brought down the curtain on an enthralling opening day of the Magic Weekend with an epic 18-14 victory over Super League leaders Leeds.

The Rhinos trailed 18-4 early in the second half but thought they had completed a remarkable fightback when Joel Moon went over four minutes from the end only to have his try disallowed by the video referee.

It was a pulsating finish to the top-of-the-bill showdown that lived up to all expectations and kept the single-day Magic Weekend record crowd of 36,339 so engrossed in the non-stop action that it took them until the second half of the final game to come up with the traditional Mexican Wave.

The Rhinos' second defeat of the season will now give St Helens the chance to go top of the table when they meet Warrington in the final match of the two-day spectacular on Sunday while some of the gloss was removed from Wigan's famous win by the loss of stand-off Blake Green with a ruptured bicep.

The Warriors were shorn of seven regulars through injury, with England hooker Michael McIlorum, their acting captain, making his 150th Super League appearance at loose forward. It was a momentous occasion for the Leeds-born player, who was one of three players sin-binned but came back to score the winning try.

Anthony Gelling and Blake Green also went over for Wigan, with Ryan Hall (2) and Carl Ablett responding for Leeds.

Hull Kingston Rovers secured another derby victory over Hull FC against the surreal backdrop of Hull City playing in an FA Cup final on Saturday afternoon.

Normally a clash between KR and FC would be the hottest ticket in Hull but, with the Tigers in action at Wembley with an identical kick-off time, this was not a regular derby match.

Rovers won it 38-24 to the soundtrack of cheers and jeers as City did battle with Arsenal in London.

Widnes gained their first Magic Weekend win at the third attempt after edging an 11-try thriller in the Manchester sunshine to leave Salford without a win in their last six matches.

The Red Devils twice held the lead and had a chance to draw level with seven minutes left but Vikings winger Paddy Flynn grabbed his second try in the closing moments to clinch a 30-24 triumph.

The Vikings were indebted to Kevin Brown, who shaded his stand-off duel with Rangi Chase, who made a full contribution to a wonderful free-flowing encounter.

Josh Drinkwater's failed conversion of his own try denied London what would have been a first point of the 2014 season as they lost the Magic Weekend opener 24-22 to Catalan Dragons.

The scrum-half's show-and-go score with seven minutes left had looked set to bring his side level for a second time but he was unable to nail his conversion from just to the right of the posts.

It was rough justice on Drinkwater and London, who had looked set to finally break their duck for the season at the 13th time of asking.

They trailed 18-6 and 24-18 during the afternoon and new coach Joe Grima will surely feel - like many of the neutrals inside the Etihad Stadium did - that they deserved more.

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