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Match Report: Wigan 60 Bradford 12
Posted by Bilko on August 20 2011 - 09:16

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Wigan Warriors v Bradford Bulls - Engage Super League XVI Round 25.
Friday 19th August
2011. Kick Off 8:00pm at DW Stadium.

Match Report

Well in the end this was an excellent pre Wembley tune up for Michael Maguire's side. Rather taking their eye off the ball, Wigan scored 12 tries, which in terms of tries scored was their best attacking performance in Super League since they beat Hull 66-6 at home in August 2008!

Coach Maguire again rested players with Lee Mossop, Andy Coley and Brett Finch all sitting out this one. Paul Deacon and Jeff Lima both returned after being rested last week whilst Eamon O'Carroll made his first appearance since the away trip to Huddersfield in May 2010.

This game though was really about the forwards who were trying to play their way into the Wembley team - namely Gareth Hock, Liam Farrell and (because he's missed a few recently) Paul Prescott. Now I'm a big fan of Ginger Farrell but sadly I think he will be the one to suffer the heartbreak of being the 18th man. Paul Prescott has been a regular most of the season and Gareth Hock just has that little bit extra for me.

The only negative from this performance was the goal kicking of Pat Richards who missed half of his 12 conversion attempts. I think this is a good sign because when he's had off days with the boot before, he's gone away to practice and sorted it out. I'd take a small bet that he'll kick when it matters next week.

Wigan were all over Bradford from the start with huge gaps in the defensive line helping us break clear. In the second minute, Thomas Leuluai made a half break to get Sean O'Loughlin away. He found Sam Tomkins but Gareth Raynor did well to stop him short of the line, without fouling him like he did to get a red card the last time the sides met at Odsal in May. Sadly the move broke down with Joel Tomkins knocking on in the right corner.

Then just over a minute later, Sam Tomkins got the ball in the right corner ten metres from his own line. Their were plenty of Bulls defenders to stop him but they all hung off and Sam just totally mugged both Danny Addy and Ben Jeffries with a jinking step that got him racing away. Bradford scrambled back to tackle him just inside their half but whilst that break didn't lead to a try, it soon came.

George Carmont claimed it with a close range barge over in the 5th minute. Unusually he was out on the right wing for this score but it was a try that left me thoroughly pissed off. My twitter followers will know that I backed George to score the first try in each of our last two home matches and he's let me down. I actually thought I'd backed him for first try again but then a look at the coupon revealed I'd actually backed him to score the last try and had backed both Sam and Ginger Farrell to get the first try. To say I was gutted was an understatement. Pat failed with the goal - 4-0 Wigan.

I was proper sulking but cheered up when the second try came in the 9th minute. Great bullet pass from O'Loughlin sent Ryan Hoffman over through another huge gap in the Bulls' defensive line. Pat converted this one to make it 10-0.

For a while after that Bradford did improve in defence and that would lead to enthusiasm up the other end of the field, but not before Wigan claimed a third try in the 19th minute. Patrick Ah Van should be sent to a darkened room for this effort. He'd fielded a Sam Tomkins kick but showed no desire what so ever to attempt to get out of the in goal. He ended up dropping the ball under a soft collision and Carmont just had to place his hand on the loose ball to claim a gift second try.

Pat missed the conversion again so the lead was just 14-0 and Bradford got a rise out of those misses when they claimed a try themselves on 23 minutes. This was actually the first time they'd got past the half way line. Well I say "got past",  it was gifted to them when Jeff Lima knocked on in his own half. Marc Herbert put a bomb up towards the posts, Brett Kearney did well to flick it backwards and Craig Kopczak just had to plonk it down under the posts. Ah Van converted to make it a very flattering 14-6.

Wigan did hit back with their fourth score on the half hour. Good passing towards the left saw Leuluai, O'Loughlin, Sam and Carmont all get a touch before Richards was sent over in the corner. Another miss with the boot though left the score at 18-6.

Bradford though scored their second try before half time. It was an identical move to their first effort. This time Jeffries put the kick in, Paul Sykes batted it back and John Bateman plonked down for the score. Ah Van conversion made it 18-12 and that's how it remained until the break.

The missed Pat conversions really made that half time score flattering towards Bradford. They'd literally had two attacks all game and scored on both of them, but in the second half I don't think they got a single set of 6 on our line. Wigan absolutely pummelled them!

Eight second tries came in total and it was a trio of them in a six minute spell, between 46 and 52 minutes, that saw the Bulls collapse into submission.

The first try went to Sam Tomkins. Good play from Sean O'Loughlin here. He was going left but he switched the direction towards the right and Sam Tomkins did the rest. He got the ball, threw the dummy, bolted, put two Bulls defenders on their backsides before his step left full back Kearney flat footed and on his arse as well. Under the sticks he went, so no messing from Pat this time - 24-12.

Moments later just a nice passing move got Josh Charnley over in the right corner. O'Loughlin, Deacon, Sam and substitute Darrell Goulding (who had replaced Joel Tomkins at right centre) got a touch before Charnley scored easily. Conversion missed - 28-12.

Bradford were now all of the place and Wigan were showing no mercy. Paul Sykes tried to stop Sam Tomkins the only way that seems possible, i.e attempting decapitation, but video replays showed it was perhaps worse than it looked. Soon after on the half way line, a good offload from Paul Prescott allowed Farrell to send Sam breaking away. He drew in the full back and sent O'Loughlin on a thirty metre dash over the line. It was under the sticks so easily converted - 34-12.

On 59 minutes another try came and it was a Pat trademark special. Bomb was put up by Deacon towards his wing and Pat beat Sykes in the air to score his second. He missed the kick off the touchline - 38-12.

The game was now won and you couldn't have blamed Wigan had they eased off with next week in mind but instead they produced four more tries in the final quarter, three of them brilliant efforts from long distance.

First on 64 minutes, Sam collected a Bulls knock on a metre from his own posts and his brilliant step got him breaking away again. Gareth Raynor did his best to chase him down, but his ankle tap attempt proved a desperate effort as Sam went the full length. Try converted for 44-12.

Next on 70 minutes Harrison Hansen scored from close range. Three defenders couldn't stop him - great power over try! Missed conversion 48-12.

75th Minute and another Bulls knock on saw Sam clean up under his own sticks. He couldn't find a gap this time but offloaded towards Charnley on the right wing and he raced 80 metres to score under the sticks. Easy kick made it 54-12.

I was begging Carmont to score the last try to return my bet but it was Pat that scored the final try to complete his hat-trick. Hock got the ball 30 from his own line and put in a superb fend off which left Ian Sibbit on his backside. He then blindly offloaded a superb pass to Pat who raced 60 metres under the posts. Easy conversion left the final score 60-12 to Wigan.

So that was a great pre Wembley run out which can only leave us Wigan fans drooling for next week, especially after Leeds became only the second team to lose to Harlequins in 20 league matches on Saturday. I'm struggling to see how they can stop us. We seem to be getting fitter by the game rather than tiring. It just shows the value of squad depth. Bring it on!

Reaction to the Action

Michael Maguire: "It was a real good performance. They really enjoy playing with each other. Everyone is working for each other and doing all the little things well, which is a real pleasing thing for us. The players wanted to make sure they nailed this game going into next week. It's definitely going to be headache for me (to decide who to play in the Challenge Cup Final) through the week but it's a great one to have. Both (Gareth Hock and Paul Prescott) are very capable. We will sit down as a group and come up with the right team. We're very healthy. We rolled a few tonight but it was really pleasing to have Eamon O'Carroll come back from a long injury lay-off. He was probably told he'd never play again and to come back do what he did tonight is a credit to him. (Pat Richards) just had one of those nights (with his goal kicking). Paddy practises all the time and normally nails those. I just hope he gets them next week."

Bradford coach Mick Potter: "I thought the guys tried but we just didn't get the ball in the second half. I've got to say they sit at the top of the table for a reason. They're a complete footie team. If we are going to give them that much possession, we need to be much better in our defence."

Team Sheets

- Wigan Position Bradford 1
1 Sam Tomkins Full Back Brett Kearney 7
25 Josh Charnley Winger Patrich Ah Van 5
12 Joel Tomkins Centre Paul Sykes 3
4 George Carmont Centre Shad Royston 25
5 Pat Richards Winger Gareth Raynor 19
13 Sean O'Loughlin Stand Off Ben Jeffries 33
6 Paul Deacon Scrum Half Marc Herbert 7
15 Jeff Lima Prop Andy Lynch 10
7 Thomas Leuluai Hooker Danny Addy 21
34 Gareth Hock Prop Bryn Hargreaves 15
11 Harrison Hansen 2nd Row Olivier Elima 11
16 Ryan Hoffman 2nd Row Ian Sibbit 17
22 Liam Farrell L.Forward Jamie Langley 13
-
2 Darrell Goulding Substitute Craig Kopczak 16
9 Mike McIlorum Substitute Adam O'Brien 27
14 Paul Prescott Substitute Tom Burgess 29
20 Eamon O'Carroll Substitute John Bateman 31
- Michael Maguire Coach Mick Potter -

Score Sheet

Wigan Warriors 60 --- Bradford Bulls 12
Tries (12):
George Carmont 2
Ryan Hoffman
Pat Richards 3
Sam Tomkins 2
Josh Charnley 2
Sean O'Loughlin
Harrison Hansen
--- Tries (2):
Craig Kopczak
John Bateman
Goals:
Pat Richards 6/12
--- Goals:
Patrick Ah Van 2/2

Scoring and Incident Pattern

04mins:48 Wigan 04 Bradford 00 Try: George Carmont
- Wigan 04 Bradford 00

P.Richards Missed Conversion (0/1)

08mins:19 Wigan 08 Bradford 00 Try: Ryan Hoffman
- Wigan 10 Bradford 00

Conversion: Pat Richards (1/2)

19mins:00 Wigan 14 Bradford 00 Try: George Carmont (2)
- Wigan 14 Bradford 00

P.Richards Missed Conversion (1/3)

23mins:02 Wigan 14 Bradford 04

Try: Craig Kopczak

- Wigan 14 Bradford 06

Conversion: Patrick Ah Van (1/1)

29mins:26 Wigan 18 Bradford 06 Try: Pat Richards
- Wigan 18 Bradford 06

P.Richards Missed Conversion (1/4)

35mins:23 Wigan 18 Bradford 10

Try: John Bateman

- Wigan 18 Bradford 12

Conversion: Patrick Ah Van (2/2)

Half Time Wigan Warriors 18 Bradford Bulls 12
46mins:03 Wigan 22 Bradford 12 Try: Sam Tomkins
- Wigan 24 Bradford 12

Conversion: Pat Richards (2/5)

49mins:38 Wigan 28 Bradford 12 Try: Josh Charnley
- Wigan 28 Bradford 12

P.Richards Missed Conversion (2/6)

52mins:38 Wigan 32 Bradford 12 Try: Sean O'Loughlin
- Wigan 34 Bradford 12

Conversion: Pat Richards (3/7)

58mins:34 Wigan 38 Bradford 12 Try: Pat Richards (2)
- Wigan 38 Bradford 12

P.Richards Missed Conversion (3/8)

63mins:53 Wigan 42 Bradford 12 Try: Sam Tomkins (2)
- Wigan 44 Bradford 12

Conversion: Pat Richards (4/9)

69mins:15 Wigan 48 Bradford 12 Try: Harrison Hansen
- Wigan 48 Bradford 12

P.Richards Missed Conversion (4/10)

75mins:05 Wigan 52 Bradford 12 Try: Josh Charnley (2)
- Wigan 54 Bradford 12

Conversion: Pat Richards (5/11)

77mins:26 Wigan 58 Bradford 12 Try: Pat Richards (Hat-Trick)
- Wigan 60 Bradford 12

Conversion: Pat Richards (6/12)

Full Time Wigan Warriors 60 Bradford Bulls 12

Video Highlights

Top 5 Wigan Players as voted on our Message Board

Man of the Match: Sam Tomkins
2nd: Sean O'Loughlin 3rd: Gareth Hock 4th: George Carmont 5th: Harrison Hansen

Referee

Ben Thaler

Penalties Conceded

Wigan 4 Bradford 7

Match Attendance

13,940 (193 Bradford Supporters)

Weather

Dry.

League Table at Conclusion of Super League 16 Round 25

- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 Wigan Warriors 25 19 3 3 798 383 +415 41
2 Warrington Wolves 25 20 0 5 999 377 +622 40
3 St Helens 25 15 3 7 717 493 +224 33
4 Huddersfield Giants 25 15 0 10 633 481 +152 30
5 Catalan Dragons 25 14 1 10 617 578 +39 29
6 Leeds Rhinos 25 13 1 11 662 559 +103 27
7 Castleford Tigers 25 12 2 11 622 732 -110 26
8 Hull FC 25 12 1 12 656 517 +139 25
9 Hull Kingston Rovers 25 12 0 13 657 640 +17 24
10 Salford City Reds 25 10 0 15 518 734 -216 20
11 Bradford Bulls 25 8 2 15 508 776 -268 18
12 Harlequins 25 6 1 18 496 867 -371 13
13 Crusaders* 25 6 0 19 493 767 -274 8
14 Wakefield Wildcats* 25 6 0 19 407 879 -472 8

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

Round 25 Results
Fri 19 Aug Salford City Reds 24 Huddersfield Giants 18 3,458
Fri 19 Aug Wigan Warriors 60 Bradford Bulls 12 13,940
Sat 20 Aug Harlequins 32 Leeds Rhinos 22 3,241
Sat 20 Aug Wakefield Wildcats 30 Castleford Tigers 34 6,784
Sat 20 Aug Catalan Dragons 12 Warrington Wolves 25 9,495
Sun 21 Aug Crusaders 18 Hull FC 58 3,827
Sun 21 Aug Hull Kingston Rovers 24 St Helens 22 8,356

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