The heat is on coach Eric Hughes and his players after another below par
performance sent Wigan crashing to their fourth defeat in five Super
The Warriors are in a recession and Hughes appears
powerless to lift them out of it.
They were second best to a tireless but uninspired Salford side who did
the basics right and appeared hungrier for success.
Wigan's big guns failed to perform and the rest were left looking very
ordinary leaving their top four aspirations fading fast.
The Warriors defence was suspect, their attacking options limited and
their kicking game woeful. Each side scored three tries but Salford,
inspired by their coach, former Central Park favourite Andy Gregory,
always held the upper hand.
Hughes blamed several of his players for not performing to their best.
"We have four exceptional players in Jason Robinson, Andy Farrell, Kris
Radlinski and Mick Cassidy who perform every week but others are not
putting it in. I would like to shake the side up a bit but I haven't got
the players to bring in. There is a lack of urgency in our play and that
is down to a lack of competitiion.
"We had three Academy lads in today but until the off-field battle is
resolved my hands are tied. It is frustrating for everyone at the club but
it is not the best environment to work in." The lack of urgency was
highlighted in the 10th minute when Gary Broadbent exposed weak covering
to dive over and Steve Blakely goaled.
Nine minutes later and former Wigan player Blakely made a half break to
send hooker Peter Edwards over and goaled again.
Three minutes later Wigan woke up when Simon Haughton burst through
before sending Radlinski racing over but on the stroke of half-time Mark
Lee added a drop goal.
Wigan closed the gap at the start of the second half when Andy Johnson
jinked his way over but Salford quickly maintained a points cushion when
Aussie forward John Cartwright put Blakely in and he added the goal and a
Robinson nipped over late in the game and Farrell goaled but by then it
was too late.
WIGAN: Robinson, Cardiss, Connolly, Radlinski, Johnson A, Paul,
Murdock, Cowie, Clarke, O'Connor, Haughton, Cassidy, Farrell. Subs: Hansen
(for Cowie 25), Holgate (for O'Connor) Johnson P (for Murdock 65), Cowie
(for Hansen 71), Tallec.
Salford Reds 21
|Steve Blakeley (4)