Hard though coaches Wayne Bennett and Eric Hughes tried to talk up Wigan's
brave effort, front row forward Terry O'Connor drew little comfort from
his side's 30-4 home defeat by Brisbane Broncos.
Bennett insisted that
Wigan bring out the best in his all-conquering Broncos while Hughes gained
consolation from the fact that a late scoring burst of 18 points in the
last 15 minutes gave the Australians a flattering margin of victory.
For O'Connor, however, the occasion proved a huge anti-climax, despite
the tremendous vocal support from the near-12,000 Central Park crowd.
"At half-time, we all thought we could get back and win it," he said.
"But we just couldn't seem to break them down. Even Jason Robinson
found it tight and he usually breaks through 15 times a game.
"All in all, it's been a disappointing night for Wigan Rugby League
Club. The fans turned out - that was like having an extra man - but we let
the crowd down as well ourselves.
"We had to get out there and try to raise the British game, like Leeds
and Oldham did. Now we've got to pick ourselves up for Canberra and
Canterbury and make sure we reach the quarter-finals."
Wigan's opening World Club Championship victory at Canterbury should
still be enough to guarantee them a home tie in the last eight, especially
after Bradford Bulls' shock 64-14 defeat in Auckland.