Wigan Final League Position: 2nd (Coach: Jim Sullivan) League Champions: Wigan (4
- 15-13 v Salford) Challenge Cup Winners: Hunslet (11-5 v Widnes) Lancashire Cup Winners: Oldham
(21-15 v Wigan) Lancashire League Winners: Salford
1933-1934 Northern Rugby Football LeagueCC
= Challenge Cup
CPO = Championship
Play Off LC = Lancashire Cup
Sat 26 Aug
Sat 2 Sept
Morley 4, Bennett 3, Twose, Wilson
Sat 9 Sept
St Helens Recreation
Wed 12 Sept
Sat 16 Sept
Innes 3, Wilson 2, Gee,
Griffiths, Houghton, Morley, Sullivan, Welsby
Salford 28 beat Halifax 3.
Wigan 14 beat Leeds 10.
Wigan 15 beat Salford 3. - CLICK HERE FOR MATCH DETAILS
Wigan's 4th league title came in 1933-1934, despite a very average start to the
campaign. Wigan won just 5 of their first 12 league matches and so it was
a dramatic turnaround which saw them claw their way back. Jim Sullivan, who had
been a legendary player for over ten years had now, become Wigan's first ever
coach in October 1932 and so this was his first full season.
The season began
with a poor 22-6 loss at Wilderspool to Warrington, Wigan failing to score a
try. The first home match saw the visit of London Highfield. This would have
been the "Wigan Derby" clash with Wigan Highfield but they had left the Tunstall
Lane ground in Pemberton following financial difficulties and following a
takeover they were moved out of town to the White City Greyhound Stadium in
London Highfield only lasted one season and were trounced 43-11 on their only
visit to Central Park with Jack Morley scoring 4 tries and George Bennett 3.
Dicky Twose and Jack Wilson scored a try each with Jim Sullivan kicking 8 goals.
Then came two back to back road losses. A narrow 12-11 loss to St Helens
Recreation was followed by a 15-5 loss at Rochdale. Then Wigan hammered Hunslet
53-5 at Central Park. Innes (3), Wilson (2), Gee, Griffiths, Houghton, Morley,
Sullivan and Welsby all scored tries with Sullivan kicking 10 goals.
Next came the visit of the touring Australians, who were embarking on a massive
37 game tour of Great Britain and France. They played virtually every club side
and against the clubs the 15,172 crowd which turned up at Central Park was only
beaten by Salford and Hull. Wigan went down 10-4 despite two goals from
Sullivan. The Aussies would go on to be whitewashed 3-0 in the test series
After the tour match Wigan opened their Lancashire Cup campaign with an easy
21-2 victory over Barrow at Central Park. After recieving a bye in round 2 they
would crash out in the semi finals against Oldham.
Back in the league Wigan continued to be so inconsistent. They beat Swinton,
Widnes, Castleford and Barrow but lost to Hull, Broughton, Warrington and
Halifax. As they went into December they must have been well away from the top 4
places needed to make the play offs. Won 6 Lost 7 was not the form of a title
chasing side. In fact Wigan at this stage of the season had already lost more
matches than league leaders Salford would lose in the entire regular season.
But Christmas is so often an important period in these title campaigns and Wigan
scrapped out some important results. December began with the visits of Leigh and
Bradford to Central Park. Leigh were beaten 18-10 before Bradford got smacked
49-8 thanks to another hatrick from George Bennett. Gwynne Davies (2), Hector
Gee (2), Howarth (2), Morley and Sullivan also scored tries with Sullivan adding
After a week off Wigan went into the Christmas period facing 5 matches in 10
days. First up was a trip to Barrow's new Craven Park ground which had opened
two years earlier. This was our third visit there and like the previous two
visits we lost, this time 8-12.
Christmas Day and it was league leaders Salford who visited Central Park. Wigan
fought out a 15-9 win with tries from Howarth, Mason and Morley and perhaps it
was this result which gave the team, the belief they could challenge for the
Boxing Day saw us travel to St Helens and a 21-8 victory was sealed with tries
from Jim Sullivan (2), Howarth, Innes and Jack Morley. Two days later they won
narrowly 6-2 against Oldham at Watersheddings before a tight 3-2 defeat to
Widnes on New Years Day.
Wigan then beat Bradford, St Helens Recs, Castleford and Rochdale in January but
suffered defeats away at York and London Highfield. All the defeats were coming
away from home. The only home league defeat of the year was the 3-2 loss to
Into February and Wigan really needed a big run of wins to make the play offs.
Salford were well clear at the top and behind them it was tight for the top 4.
Despite being knocked out of the cup against York, Wigan finished the regular
season by winning 11 of the last 12 league matches. Featherstone (twice) and
Broughton were comprehensively beaten before a 9-3 win at Leigh. Then they lost
in a tight game away at Swinton 9-3.
Then came four games over the Easter period which were pivotal in this title
success. York and Hunslet were chasing the top 4 play off spots and Wigan faced
them in a tough run which included the Good Friday derby and a clash with league
leaders Salford on Easter Monday..
First York, who had beaten Wigan in January and also knocked them out of the
Challenge Cup, travelled to Central Park. Bennett, Case, Davies, Golby and Twose
scored the tries that sealed a 21-14 win. Then Saints came to Central Park for a
27-3 hammering, this time Davies (2), Bennett, Mason and Morley scored in an
easy win. It was the next day, Easter Saturday, that Wigan travelled to Hunslet
and beat them 25-14. Morley (2), Bennett, Mason and Twose scored in that match.
That hatrick of victories sent Wigan away to league leaders Salford in great
spirits. Salford were 11 points clear of Wigan and top spot in the table was
already secured for them but it was still a great victory when Wigan came away
with a 21-10 win.
We still had work to do to make the play offs but victories in the final three
games over Halifax, Oldham and Hull saw Wigan finish 2nd in the table.
In the Semi Finals of the play offs Wigan met Leeds at Central Park. Only points
difference separated the teams going into the match and in a tight game Wigan
went into the final with a 14-10 win. Bennett and Morley scored the tries with
Jim Sullivan kicking 4 goals. In the other semi final Salford hammered Halifax
28-3 at the Willows.
Into the Final and we were very much the underdog but Salford had been beaten by
Wigan twice in the regular season. The match was played on a blustery afternoon
at Wilderspool in Warrington. The Salford team included Rugby League hall of
famer Gus Risman and they were coached by former Wigan player Lance Todd. Risman
though would have a nightmare in this one, missing four penalty shots in the
first half. Salford had forced Wigan to face the strong wind but this move
backfired as Wigan took total control. 10 minutes in and Gwynne Davies raced
away for an interception try which together with Jim Sullivan's conversion made
it 5-0. It was still nip and tuck until just before the break a Salford error
was punished. Jack Morley collected a loose pass and then kicked ahead and
touched down his own kick which rested nicely in the in-goal. Sullivan again
converted to send us in 10-0 ahead.
The Reds came out stronger second half and scored early through Stand Off Emlyn
Jenkins but another missed kick from Risman would provide a big lift for Wigan.
They defended brilliantly until the final 10 minutes when a drop goal (worth two
points) from Jim Sullivan would forced Salford to scored two converted tries and
considering Risman's nightmare it wasn't likely. A last minute try from Bill
Targett sealed Wigan's fourth championship with 31,564 watching.
1933-1934 End of Season Friendly
Sat 12 May
Irish Hospitals Trust Cup: Warrington
Shelbourne Park, Dublin
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