Wigan Warriors rally to win first League Leaders' Shield since 2012

By Sports Desk November 06, 2020

Wigan Warriors defeated Huddersfield Giants 19-6 at Headingley to be crowned the League Leaders' Shield winners in Super League for the first time in eight years.

The Warriors entered the clash knowing that victory would land them the trophy for a fifth time, while anything less would mean a third crown in a row for St Helens.

A try apiece for Sam Powell and Sam Wood ensured Wigan and Huddersfield went into the break all square, but the division's top side flexed their muscles in the second period.

Jackson Hastings crossed the line and fired over a drop goal, either side of Zak Hardaker dotting down, as Wigan finished top of the pile in this shortened Super League campaign.

Wigan will now face either Warrington Wolves or Hull FC in the play-off semi-final, while St Helens await for one of Catalans Dragons or Leeds Rhinos.

Salford Red Devils saw off Wakefield Trinity 28-20 in Friday's other regular-season match to end their campaign on a positive note.

Krisnan Inu, Niall Evalds and Ed Chamberlain gave Salford a commanding lead before Tui Lolohea added a fourth try, shortly after Ryan Hampshire's brief reply.

Wakefield fought back well and reduced the 22-4 deficit to two points thanks to Kelepi Tanginoa's double and another from Hampshire, but Tyrone McCarthy pounced to kill off the comeback.

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    430 – Smith holds the record for most NRL games following a glittering career in the Australian competition, having debuted for the Storm in 2002. He is the only player to have amassed over 400 appearances.

    310 – He also holds the record for most wins in premiership matches. Of those victories, 242 were as skipper – the most as a captain.

    2,786 – No player has scored more points in NRL premiership history than the hooker, well ahead of Hazem El Masri (2,418) and Johnathan Thurston (2,222).

    1,295 – Smith stands alone for goals kicked in the NRL – 353 more than any other player in premiership history.

    16,913 – Not just an elite kicker, Smith tallied the most tackles by any player since the beginning of the NRL era in 1998.

    3 – Smith ends his NRL career with Premierships in 2012, 2017 and 2020. It could have been five, but the Storm were stripped of Grand Final triumphs in 2007 and 2009 due to salary-cap breaches.

    42 – A Maroons veteran, he is the most-capped player in State of Origin history. Smith first appeared for Queensland in 2003.

    56 – Smith represented Australia more than fifty times. Only Darren Lockyer (59) managed more than Smith for the Kangaroos.

    33 – Lockyer (38) is the only player to have captained Australia on more occasions than Smith, who led the country to Rugby League World Cup glory in 2013 and 2017.

    2 – Smith was crowned the NRL's best and fairest player in 2006 and 2017. Only Thurston (four) and Andrew Johns (three) earned more honours.

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