Shell-shocked Wigan left for home after a second embarrasing defeat in
The euphoria of the opening win over Canterbury has been
completely swept aside by two awful displays against the top Aussie clubs.
Only a spirited fightback saved them from the biggest humiliation in
The Warriors trailed 42-6 at half-time in the Visa World Club
Championship and were in danger of a worse defeat than their record 58-3
loss to Leeds in 1972.
The Warriors were shell-shocked after three tries in the first 11
minutes. The first two came from basic errors when the ineffective Henry
Paul passed blind and the ball was intercepted by flying centre Brett
Mullins who raced 85 metres to score. Full-back Paul Koloi was slow to
retrieve a kick through, slipped, and allowed New Zealand centre Ruben
Wiki, who was racing through, to score. It was a sad game for Koloi who
was eventually banished to the wing. Paul reverted to full-back and winger
Jason Robinson went to stand-off.
But by then it was too late as although Wigan made yards on attack they
made far too many errors and their tackling was woeful.
The Raiders' green machine was in full flow and tries came almost at
will through Luke Priddis, Bradley Clyde, Wiki, Noa Nadruku and David
Westley with Dave Furner kicking all seven attempts. All Wigan had to show
was a Martin Hall try after Tony Smith had chipped ahead and an Andy
Wigan lifted themselves after the break and Kris Radlinski shot through
a gap to score before Farrell kicked ahead twice for Radlinski and Gary
Connolly to score. Farrell added two goals.
Raiders eased off the gas but still managed to keep the margin with
tries through Priddis, Clyde and Nadruku and one goal from Furner.
A bitterly disapopointed Hughes said: "The platform was set when we
gifted them two early tries from schoolboy mistakes. I didn't think we had
a problem in attack but our defence was appalling. If we get a good hiding
then so be it. Some of the pleyers will look at what has happened and
realise they are not as good as they thought they were. Some players will
benefit from it, some will run away."
Wigan: Koloi, Johnson, Radlinski, Connolly, Robinson, Paul,
Smith, Hansen, Hall, O'Connor, Haughton, Cassidy, Farrell. Subs: Cardiss
(for Koloi 32), Lester (for Hall 39), Tallec (for O'Connor 68), Holgate.