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Match Report: Harlequins 6 Wigan 38
Posted by Bilko on July 10 2011 - 20:34

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Harlequins v Wigan Warriors - Engage Super League XVI Round 21.
Saturday 9th July
2011. Kick Off 3:00pm at Twickenham Stoop.

Match Report

Well Michael Maguire says Wigan made "a bit of meal" of the first half of the game but that is a bit of an understatement. Maybe they had a bit of a hangover, playing so soon after the extra midweek game, but in the first half I was wondering if I'd been boozing on Nytol rather than beer - proper send yourself to sleep rugby!

The only entertainment on the pitch was coming from referee Roberts Hicks who, during the first half, disallowed three tries produced by a spirited Harlequins side. One such effort looked a full on plonk down with full control, it was right in front of me, that but yet the decision given twenty metre tap?

Then another potential try decision saw Hicks ignore the advice of not only the in goal judge, who had his nose right under the potential score, but also the touch judge on that side of the field! Instead he took the word of touch judge Barry Chuckle who was running the line furthest away from the action. So three officials nearest the action can't make a decision, but the one furthest away did! - Madness!

In the match, Wigan made a very slow start and I think this was down to the decision to drop Paul Deacon to the bench. I'm finding it really hard in my head to recall many breathtaking moments that he has created with ball in hand during his Wigan career, but it doesn't half get highlighted in his absence what a shrew kicking game he produces. Our performance was really flat till he came on because it lacked his direction.

It took 17 long, boring minutes before the first try game. A small section of supporters were so bored they were aiming abuse my way with chants like "Bilko is a Wanker" (and other rude ditties which we'll gloss over on here), but whilst they offended me, they very much amused the old ladies that took pity on me and let me sit with them at the game! ;-)

Anyway, that try came from Pat Richards with another of his trademark specials. Thomas Leuluai put the bomb up and Pat leaped like a gazelle to collect and touch it down. He then converted for a 6-0 lead.

Two minutes later that lead was increased to 10-0. First proper clean break of the match came from Sam Tomkins. He made a good arching run, which got him on the breakaway down the left wing before passing back on the inside to send the supporting Ryan Hoffman over for the third consecutive match. Pat's conversion went wide.

After that Quins seemed to have a long spell of pressure on our line which saw them claim what turned out to be their only try of the contest. Karl Pryce, on loan at Quins from Wigan, got it with a simple walk in on the left wing. Luke Gale nailed a good touchline conversion to make it 10-6 after 26 minutes.

On the half hour, Paul Deacon enters the field in place of Mike McIlorum (with Tommy switching to Hooker) and I think we bumped up the pace at this point. This helped Wigan towards their third try, which timed nicely just three minutes before the break. Leuluai sent Sam Tomkins on another break away and this time it was Harrison Hansen in support. H, barrelled a defender out the way before touching down but Pat failed to convert again. That left the half time score at a disappointing 14-6.

I say disappointing but in fairness it flattered us with Quins, as I eluded to earlier, having had three tries disallowed during the first half. But after the break we snuffed them out completely. Our defence was strong whilst we also stopped making our own mistakes and became more patient in attack against a Harlequins defence that certainly wasn't rolling over and dying.

Soon after the restart the contest was ended pretty quickly with Deacon claiming not one, but unbelievably two tries! He had only scored two tries in his whole Wigan career before this game so he must have been delighted.

His first try saw Finch put the bomb up which Joel Tomkins palmed back into the grateful arms of Deacon, who just had to flop over. The second effort saw Hansen and Ginger Farrell combine to send in over in a similar position to his first effort. Both were close to the posts, so two simple conversions for Pat now made it 26-6 with 28 minutes to go.

The result was never in doubt and to be fair Harlequins could have collapsed at this point but, to their credit I think, they didn't. They made Wigan work hard for two more scores late in the game.

Those scores came on 68 and 78 minutes. First Stefan Marsh did well to touch down despite the attention of three defenders, then Brett Finch took advantage of tired defenders to walk under the sticks in the dying moments. Pat converted both to make it 38-6 at full time

So job done again with the win taking us back top of the table. Wakefield to play next then we can have our eye fully on that Warrington cup tie. Wigan had both George Carmont and Sean O'Loughlin absent for this game so I think we should be resting up some players against Wakefield next week. I know top spot is important but it is no real advantage on finishing second (unless you really want club call? - Is the tin pot really that important?) and with a five point cushion over third I think we have enough room for manoeuvre to rest players. Something tells me Michael Maguire won't take that option though!

Reaction to the Action

Michael Maguire: "It was a tough old day and we made a bit of a meal of it. In the first half we were off the pace and I told them at half-time what needed to be done. We had to hang onto the ball and stop giving penalties away. I was never really worried as I knew what we were capable of doing, but we had to work very hard."

Harlequins Coach Rob Powell: "I have a bunch of players in the dressing room who feel really hard done by. What is the point of having in-goal touch judges if they are to award tries, only to be overruled by someone 50 yards away? I have watched both tries on video and they were good scores. Against a team like Wigan you can not have much go against you if you want to compete, and things certainly did today."

Team Sheets

- Harlequins Position Wigan 1
1 Luke Dorn Full Back Sam Tomkins 1
23 Mark Calderwood Winger Josh Charnley 25
3 Tony Clubb Centre Joel Tomkins 12
2 Jamie O'Callaghan Centre Stefan Marsh 24
31 Karl Pryce Winger Pat Richards 5
24 Dan Sarginson Stand Off Brett Finch 17
6 Luke Gale Scrum Half Thomas Leuluai 7
17 Danny Ward Prop Lee Mossop 21
9 Andy Ellis Hooker Mike McIlorum 9
8 Karl Temata Prop Andy Coley 10
13 Rob Purdham 2nd Row Harrison Hansen 11
33 Lee Mitchell 2nd Row Ryan Hoffman 16
12 Chris Bailey L.Forward Chris Tuson 23
-
10 Oliver Wilkes Substitute Paul Deacon 6
16 Mike Burnett Substitute Jeff Lima 15
18 Dave Williams Substitute Liam Farrell 22
21 Olsi Krasniqi Substitute Gareth Hock 34
- Rob Powell Coach Michael Maguirel -

Score Sheet

Harlequins 6 --- Wigan Warriors 38
Tries (1):
Karl Pryce
--- Tries (7):
Pat Richards
Ryan Hoffman
Harrison Hansen
Paul Deacon 2
Stefan Marsh
Brett Finch
Goals:
Luke Gale 1/1
--- Goals:
Pat Richards 5/7

Scoring and Incident Pattern

17th Minute Harlequins 00 Wigan 04 Try: Pat Richards
- Harlequins 00 Wigan 06

Conversion: Pat Richards (1/1)

19th Minute Harlequins 00 Wigan 10 Try: Ryan Hoffman
- Harlequins 00 Wigan 10

P.Richards Missed Conversion (1/2)

26th Minute Harlequins 04 Wigan 10 Try: Karl Pryce
- Harlequins 06 Wigan 10 Conversion: Luke Gale (1/1)
37th Minute Harlequins 06 Wigan 14 Try: Harrison Hansen
- Harlequins 06 Wigan 14

P.Richards Missed Conversion (1/3)

Half Time Harlequins 06 Wigan Warriors 14
46th Minute Harlequins 06 Wigan 18 Try: Paul Deacon
- Harlequins 06 Wigan 20

Conversion: Pat Richards (2/4)

51st Minute Harlequins 06 Wigan 24 Try: Paul Deacon (2)
- Harlequins 06 Wigan 26

Conversion: Pat Richards (3/5)

68th Minute Harlequins 06 Wigan 30 Try: Stefan Marsh
- Harlequins 06 Wigan 32

Conversion: Pat Richards (4/6)

78th Minute Harlequins 06 Wigan 36 Try: Brett Finch
- Harlequins 06 Wigan 38

Conversion: Pat Richards (5/7)

Full Time Harlequins 06 Wigan Warriors 38

Video Highlights

Top 5 Wigan Players as voted on our Message Board

Man of the Match: Paul Deacon
2nd: Harrison Hansen 3rd: Sam Tomkins 4th: Lee Mossop 5th: Lee Mossop

Referee

Robert Hicks

Penalties Conceded

Harlequins 6 Wigan 11

Match Attendance

4,423

Weather

Dry.

League Table at Conclusion of Super League 16 Round 21

- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 Wigan Warriors 21 15 3 3 608 331 +277 33
2 Warrington Wolves 21 16 0 5 790 323 +467 32
3 Huddersfield Giants 21 14 0 7 563 376 +187 28
4 St Helens 21 12 3 6 590 419 +171 27
5 Catalan Dragons 21 13 1 7 531 451 +80 27
6 Castleford Tigers 21 10 2 9 536 580 -44 22
7 Hull FC 21 10 1 10 542 441 +101 21
8 Leeds Rhinos 21 10 1 10 534 505 +29 21
9 Hull Kingston Rovers 21 9 0 12 552 556 -4 18
10 Salford City Reds 21 9 0 12 446 613 -167 18
11 Bradford Bulls 21 7 2 12 446 618 -172 16
12 Harlequins 21 5 1 15 406 712 -306 11
13 Wakefield Wildcats* 21 6 0 15 353 691 -338 8
14 Crusaders* 21 4 0 17 384 665 -281 4

*Crusaders and Wakefield both deducted 4 points for entering administration.

Round 21 Results
Fri 8 July Hull FC 52 Salford City Reds 16 11,699
Fri 8 July Warrington Wolves 28 Huddersfield Giants 16 10,283
Sat 9 July Crusaders 10 Hull Kingston Rovers 38 2,820
Sat 9 July Harlequins 6 Wigan Warriors 38 4,423
Sun 10 July Castleford Tigers 34 Bradford Bulls 30 7,004
Sun 10 July Wakefield Wildcats 6 St Helens 46 5,985
Sun 10 July Catalan Dragons 38 Leeds Rhinos 18 10,688

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