I think this has been a highly significant weekend in Super League
16 with Warrington knocking off St Helens and us, let's be totally
honest, annihilating Huddersfield.
I talked in my match preview
about Huddersfield needing to come here, particularly in the
adversity of being without Danny Brough, and prove they are worthy
challengers for either major trophy this season but they failed to
make any impression at all. Kevin Brown was a test half back last
year so they tell me and yet in this game he was totally anonymous.
Only Luke Robinson looked a threat from them in my eyes but he had
hardly any attack to play with.
For Wigan they produced a classy display of pace, power and
finesse. We saw some pretty fine tries led by a second hatrick of
the season for Sam Tomkins. You know since Brett Finch became a
regular starter for us, Sam has crashed over for 16 tries in just 8
matches. That cannot be a coincidence! I mean compare that to
earlier in the season when he claimed just 3 tries in his first 10
appearances of the year. It shows that with a good solid half back
combination to play with, Sam will feed off that from full back.
The pack though really is where we've done the real damage in
the last fortnight. They totally dominated St Helens and did
exactly the same to Huddersfield. They've been so good you wonder
if Stuart Fielden got fully fit tomorrow, who would he come in for?
Last year Fielden and Andy Coley would have been comfortable
starting props but for me Coley is perhaps the one sweating over
his position and he isn't even playing that bad!
was outstanding I thought, especially considering he was wearing
both Number 14 and Number 11. Well in my eyes anyway as I mistook
him for Harrsion Hansen at one point, bloody scrum caps should be
banned!. Lee Mossop though is the one who leads the way. What a
step up that guy has made to the front row and if he is not on the
radar for a test call up in October it is a damn right disgrace! He
is a proper consistent performer and that is backed by Wigan fans
on our message board who had voted him in our man of the match top
five for 14 of his 19 appearances this season. He is joint top of
the player of the season leader board (this game not taken into
account yet) with Sam Tomkins! That say's a lot!
The early signs
from the returning Gareth Hock were good as well. He was obviously
blowing heavily but he was hitting the ball up hard and tackling
well. All that and Ginger Farrell can't even get in the team at the
moment. Pretty strong depth here at Wigan because I've made clear
before what a fan I am of the Ginger Pearl!
In the match itself,
Wigan were all over Huddersfield straight from the off. It took
them just 160 seconds to claim the games first try. Great hands
left from forty out - Brett Finch found Sam Tomkins who found
George Carmont and he sent Pat Richards charging down the touch
line. I think Pat could have steamed in the corner himself but with
full back Scott Grix coming across he nailed a beautiful pass back
on the inside to send Sam Tomkins under the sticks. Easy conversion
Huddersfield though hit straight back, taking
advantage of a shocking error from Finch who again was guilty of
throwing passes to players who are supposed to be the dummy runner!
If he attacks like he's done in the last two games though, it's not
as big an issue as it was but he needs to quickly learn to cut that
The error put Huddersfield inside our 20 metre area cheaply and
after forcing a drop out, they managed to get in the left corner
with ex Warrior David Hodgson scoring easily. Wigan's defence had
struggled to recover after Ryan Hoffman had took a big knock to the
head which left his legs wobbling. Next time any tart footballer
goes down with soft shite injuries they should be made to watch
Hoffman getting up from that knock and still playing on! Still a
soft try though, Hoffman's knock wasn't an excuse really. Good
sideline conversion from Grix made it 6-6 after just 7 minutes.
Wigan though soon had the lead back after Grix knocked on the
restart. Second tackle and Finch sent Sam Tomkins through a gap for
his second. Great move. Sam goes on an arching run round the back
of two dummy runners and the defence didn't have a clue. Easy Pat
conversion again made it 12-6.
As the half wore on it
was becoming increasingly apparent again that the opposition were
simply not going to score unless we gifted them penalties or made
errors. No clean breaks were being made by Huddersfield and our
discipline was holding strong at this point in the contest.
Wigan don't need penalties to help them score so the opposition
cannot afford to give us errors as well. But it was another error,
Kevin Brown throwing a pass into Joe Wardle's face, that set up the
territory for our third score. On a day when we witnessed some
excellent Wigan scores this one was very simple. A metre out, at
dummy half, Tommy Leuluai just powered through Keith Mason and
Shaun Lunt to score near the sticks. Another easy kick made it 18-6
after 18 minutes.
A knock on at the restart from Paul
Deacon gave the Giants another rare attack but Wigan defended well.
Soon after that in the 23rd minute, Wigan introduced Gareth Hock
after what accumulated to be a 69 game suspension. He got a massive
roar as he entered the field, but seriously Gareth, what's with the
tattoos on the back of the neck?
Couple of minutes later and Wigan were over for their
fourth score of the game. This was a particularly pleasing try for
me because Wigan went 90 metres to score it. The Giants thought
they had done well after Shaun Lunt found touch on the last tackle,
a bugs dick before the try line, but we are a threat from anywhere
on the field.
Paul Prescott set it up really with a superb hit up
that left both Lee Gilmour and Eorl Crabtree well out of the
defensive line. Quick play the ball saw us swing left. Offload from
Paul Deacon was cleverly flicked on in the air by Finch and this
set Sam off on another clean break. Watch him on the replay do a
stepping zig zag, it took two players out and with two others
already missing from the defensive line it was a massive over lap
for Carmont to take advantage of in the left corner. Pat missed his
only kick of the game trying to convert this one but at 22-6 we
didn't care that much.
The game went scrappy for the
next ten minutes or so, mainly due to Phil Bentham piping up with
his whistle, but although 22-6 would have been a happy half time
score for us, it was made even better with another score in the
39th minute. Last tackle play and Huddersfield are expecting the
kick. But Wigan put on the same set move that allowed Sam to score
earlier. Finch gets the ball, their are two dummy runners that a
pass misses out, defense is shockingly all over the place, and this
time Carmont sends Pat in for an easy try. Hooter had sounded
before Pat converted so it was an extra nail in Huddersfield's
coffin when he converted off the touchline to make it 28-6 at the
The visitors did improve a little after the break but
in reality we remained in full control. First try of the second
half is always important and Wigan got it on 55 minutes.
Huddersfield's goal line defensive line was total garbage to be
honest. Shockingly Massive overlap's on the wings all game. This
time Wigan took advantage down the right. On the last tackle,
excellent offload from Lee Mossop under the posts to keep the set
alive then Josh Charnley collected a
pin point cross field kick from Deacon in the corner. Lovely leap from the young
lad to take it. Pat nailed another touchline kick for 34-6.
I remember looking at the clock on the big screen around the hour
mark and saying that it would be nice if we could rack up 50!
That's how in control of this game we were and although we didn't
quite make that, you can't really say on this occasion that we took
our foot off the gas.
Our seventh try came in the 67th
minute. Lee Mossop had only three tries in his first 50 Wigan
appearances, before last week's trip to Saints, but he added to his
try in that game with another here. He took a bullet pass from
Hoffman and watch on the replay how he put in a lovely step to out
fox last defender Grix. Great stuff that, not bad for a prop
forward! Pat's sixth conversion made it 40-6.
the standards set by the current Wigan coaching set up, you know
they will be disappointed the lads conceded the try on 71 minutes.
It took some great skill though from the Giants. Good kick over the
top by Grix was taken by Jermaine McGillvray and he cleverly hacked
on again. Sam Tomkins flapped at the grubber and this allowed Danny
Kirmond to hack on and score near the posts. Easy conversion for
Grix made it 40-12.
Sam though made up for that error
with an all class individual effort to complete his hatrick in the
76th minute. He collected a loose ball 25 metres out and spotting a
gap he just chipped over the top, then hacked on the loose ball, to
score the try! My response to that was "bloody rubbish - I'd rather
have Richie Myler" ;-) Anyway, Pat converted again to round off an
excellent 46-12 win.
Now I've got to be honest I think the top 2 will
remain now till the end of the season between Wigan and Warrington
but if Huddersfield do manage to get back in their Wigan did
themselves good in this game in terms of points difference. At kick
off the Giants points difference was 6 better than ours. At full
time we've built up a 62 point advantage on them. Always better off
to have the extra point that points difference gives you than not!
So all in all an excellent day. Nice to see some faces in
attendance who have had, and still are having, their tough battles
in hospital during recent weeks! That made it an even better day
for me! Let's keep this form up now and in 10 days we shall be back
top of the table by right!