After a sloppy start, Wigan put on a super show to beat an inept
looking Bradford in good style. We scored some excellent tries
along the way to a 54-16 victory.
Ok, some Bradford fans might
point to them competing reasonably until Scrum Half Luke Gale
limped off in the 10th minute but I didn't really see it like that.
To me Bradford only looked like doing damage when they got marched
up the field by Steve Ganson, and boy was he whistle happy early in
this contest. It was his show early doors!
However, Bradford not once but twice first half
failed to find touch with penalties. Not just not finding touch,
but two supposed touch finders were fielded by Pat Richards around
the mid-drift. To do that once is unforgivable but to do it
twice.........well only the word "pathetic" can sum that up. Coach
Brian Potter should send Jarrod Sammut to a darkened room for both
those terrible errors.
Wigan started this game poorly I felt. They were too busy being
giddy kippers early on, rather than doing the basics. Champagne
rugby is fantastic, as we saw later in this game, but get points on
the board first! Three or four times we had lost possession before
the third tackle.
Still, I wasn't worried by what Bradford were throwing at us. It
lacked any class to be honest. I always felt that if we started
completing sets, we'd win, and so it proved.
Our first try came on 16 minutes. Lovely hands for this try.
Mike McIlorum, Tommy Leuluai, Sam Tomkins and Darrell Goulding all
got a touch before Josh Charnley scored in the corner. Pat Richards
came into this game needing five points (not seven as the official
site had said earlier in the week) to overtake Frano Botica and
become our third highest points scorer of our entire history. He
was wasting no time achieving that mark - he hit a sweet touchline
conversion here for 6-0.
Then five minutes later he took the record with a try down the
left. Brett Finch got lucky when his poor dab towards the in goal
ricochet back to him, but he was clever enough to go wide and send
Pat over. A third try quickly followed with Finch again the
provider to send Gareth Hock over for a powerful effort close to
the posts. Pat missed converting his own try, but added a simple
conversion to Hock's which made it 16-0 Wigan.
It was looking so easy for Wigan, but they let Bradford back in
with a conceded penalty helping towards a try scored by Jason Crookes in the left corner. He touched down an excellent kick from
Brett Kearney, but perhaps Charnley was flapping a bit in defence?
Jarrod Sammut had converted to make it 16-6 and then he scored a
very fortunate try to get Bulls right back into the game. Sam
Tomkins had done brilliantly to break through towards the Bulls try
line but his offload towards Finch, which would have sent him in
for the score, fell to Sammut who raced 80 metres for a Bulls try.
He failed to convert but that was a huge swing in momentum perhaps?
Well it would have been had Bradford held on to half time, but they
soon cocked up the restart and Wigan made them pay. Chris Tuson
powered under sticks, Pat converted and at half time Wigan led
I did actually tweet at 16-10 that I wasn't too worried about
that mini/gifted Bradford comeback because I always felt we had too
much for them, and the start to the second half proved that. First
try was imperative and we got it pretty quickly. After that the
home side struggled to regain possession for a long, long time
Wigan crossed over the line five times in the twenty minutes
after the break. First on 42 minutes Goulding took advantage of
some shocking defence to claim his first try since scoring at Leeds
Two more tries quickly followed with Tuson being sent over for
his second from
close range by Finch. Tuson mugged Kearney with a lovely step
inside! Then a break from 60 out by Pat Richards helped created the
next score. He was tackled ten metres short but the defence never
recovered and Ginger Farrell was sent over down the right hand
side. Pat had converted the first two tries of the half but he was
catching his breath for the third one, so Sam converted to make the
Wigan kept on the gas. 55th Minute, Leuluai and Sam sent
Goulding over for his second. Then on the hour Charnley claimed a
second himself. Brilliant offload from Leuluai on half way got Sam in the
clear and he dabbed towards the open space of Charnley's wing. He
needed his pace to score did Baby Josh, but the ball bounced kindly
for him to go over. Pat failed to convert those two efforts, so the
score was just 48-10, but Bradford had hardly touched the ball in
those 20 minutes.
Wouldn't say Wigan totally switched off in the final quarter,
but the weight of possession now being more even halted our
procession of four pointers. In fact the Bulls hit back with a
close range effort from Kearney on 70 minutes but Wigan saved their
best try of the game till last.
It came with two minutes to go. Good passing around on the half
way line saw McIlorum,
Leuluai, Finch, Sam and Jack Hughes combine to get Pat breaking
down the left. Excellent support play saw Pat draw in
full back Kearney before offloading inside to Sam. With two men
around him, he hit Farrell with a beautiful flick pass out the back
door to send him over close to the posts. I've said before about
how the Ginger Pearl has deceptive pace he has
for his stocky build and that try proved it. Easy Pat conversion their rounded of a very
satisfactory 54-16 win.
So a good win to back up the Leeds win and totally shrug off the
cobwebs of that opening day loss to Huddersfield. The only other
thing to note was that stupid hooter klaxon Bradford get playing
every time we kicked off. I guess the idea is to put us off
fielding the ball but it never worked, and to be honest it was well
worth hearing ten times. I hope we hear it another ten times when
we return to Odsal for our next clash!
Your man of the match vote
(see below) result will be interesting for this one but I can't
look too far past Brett Finch myself. How often was he the man with
the last pass. More of that please!