A huge Wigan following today (must have been
2,500 at least) witnessed a pretty tired game in truth but job done
is the best way I can describe it.
I'll be honest I was hoping they would rack up a
huge score to get our attack motoring in the right direction but it
just didn't happen. Wasn't for the lack of effort. The angles were
being run and the breaks being made but so often the final pass
went to ground and that was down to pure fatigue in my book. A
second hot weather afternoon game in four days was not ideal,
especially bearing in mind Wakefield had played in the evening on
Whilst handling errors contributed to making
this a harder effort for Wigan than perhaps it should have been,
you also have to credit Wakefield. Despite the absences of the
experienced Ben Jeffries and Julien Rinaldi, they put in a very
spirited and hard working effort for the full 80 minutes. They
deserved a least a try on the day but Wigan's defence was
merciless. A total lack of quality in Wakefield's back line was
also self evident but defensively they never collapsed.
For all their effort though, I never really
feared Wakefield could trouble Wigan from the moment we scored in
the 2nd minute. The try was so easy with a move we've seen so often
this season. Sean O'Loughlin fires a long cut out pass wide to the
left wing and the winger just walks into the corner, this time Pat
Richards the beneficiary. He couldn't convert though - 4-0 Wigan.
After that it was a long time before the second
try came. Wakefield were doing well in finding touch on the last
tackle and just pinning us back deep in our half. That was all they
really could do because they hardly got anywhere near our line with
our defence being superb.
Michael Maguire kept the same 17 from the Saints
victory but tinkered slightly as Brett Finch and Lee Mossop started
with Paul Deacon and Jeff Lima dropping to the bench. Finch was
doing ok but I still think we missed Deacon's input before he came
on in the 28th minute. May have been total coincidence but within
minutes of that interchange - bang, bang, we put two more tries on
Sam Tomkins had an outstanding game. Honestly,
he was scrapping his way out of some big holes both in defence and
attack all afternoon with his footwork and more than deserved his
try on the half hour. Lovely try as well. A pass from Finch sent
Ryan Hoffman clear and Sam was just in support to finish it off.
Richards converted for 10-0 on the half hour.
Moments later Sam showed what makes him a classy
player. In midfield, he noticed the space behind the defensive
line, so chipped over it, regathered, found brother Joel, who in
turn got Josh Charnley over in the left corner for another try in
his young career. That's 14 tries in 15 Super League appearances
for him now. In fairness he did struggle a bit second half, with a
couple of errors, but showed great keenest to make up for those
errors. Overall he is doing superb and in my opinion deserves to be
in the team ahead of Darrell Goulding at the moment.
Richards missed the conversion to that try,
which left the half time score at 14-0. The only blackspot of the
half was an injury to Harrison Hansen which ended his day after
about 30 minutes.
Wigan should have extended their lead very early
in the second half. Andy Coley went on a rare break away and it
looked like he'd been well held ten metres out. Somehow though he
broke again and fought his way over the line. This was at the
Benidorm Flats end of the ground so us Wigan fans couldn't really
comment on referee Robert Hicks' decision that Coley knocked on
over the line. Such a shame, it was a great effort!
After that, the early part of the second half
was all about not letting Wakefield score first and unlike the
first half they had plenty of opportunities to do so. Some awesome
goal line efforts from Wigan just kept denying them. I recall one
set were they looked like certain scorers three times and somehow
Wigan denied them. Glenn Morrison in particular was trying his best
all half but it just wasn't going to happen for them and that was
credit to Wigan, especially in the heat which I felt was warmer
than Friday if anything.
In attack, Wigan lacked a bit of patience at
times but you always felt a try would eventually come and it did on
60 minutes. George Carmont made the break up the left (he again had
a great afternoon) and although he didn't score, a quick play the
ball saw the ball swung right and Joel Tomkins powered his way
through at least a couple of defenders for a try. I'm really liking
the looks of Joel at right centre. He's no Martin Gleeson yet but
he is looking the part isn't he? Pat converted the try to make it
20-0 and the only thing on our minds was keeping the score to nil.
In the final quarter of the game you could now
really see the efforts of the past four days taking it's toll on
Wigan. George Carmont and Thomas Leuluai were both now on the
sidelines, with slight knocks, and Ryan Hoffman cramped up right in
the middle of making one break late on.
Wakefield huffed and puffed but just couldn't
find a deserved try. In the end it was Wigan who claimed a cherry
on top of the cake try in the 77th minute. Man of the moment Liam
Farrell found a clear break up the middle, drew in the full back
and sent the supporting Sean O'Loughlin under the sticks. Pat
converted, 26-0 - Job Done! Game over!
At full time it was great to give the lads a big
cheer for their efforts this weekend. They also seemed to
appreciate our huge following. It could have been 3,000 for all I
know. Liam Farrell got a particular special cheer for that try on
All in all it still wasn't a pretty performance
in attack but defensively that was as good as you can ask for. I do
think we are now starting to build momentum and with Warrington
losing and St Helens needing a try 9 seconds from time to get a win
today, I think we have to reflect on a job well done over this
Easter period. Crusaders away next so let's back it up with another