Considering the heavy to torrential rain that battered this match
for 70 minutes, and the fact it was the second match of an Easter
double, this was an efficiently executed performance from Wigan.
Hell of a boring game mind you but Wakefield at home was always
going to be a bit of a comedown just three days on from the massive
high of Good Friday. That's really why this was a good performance.
Wane said post match it "could of got ugly" and he's right.
Wakefield came here and played well but they really needed Wigan to
invite them into this contest and it just never happened. We
completed sets well and the discipline from us was excellent also.
I think you have to say though that it's quite condemning really
that Wakefield can play well but yet never compete. They really put
in a lot of effort I thought but you knew after ten minutes that
this game was never going to be lost, even before we had scored.
Now even though I have been a huge critic of Wakefield being in
Super League for a long time, particularly with the standards of
their ground, I have to acknowledge that they are a club that has
been trying really hard in the past 12 months since administration.
You have to give them massive credit for still being on the park
but the question I ask myself is whether they could actually play
any better than what was seen in this game? Yes Ali Lauitiiti and
Richard Mathers were missing but their are just too many afternoons
like this at the moment in which we know early on that the game
will be won either easy or ugly, and that can't be good for a top
flight competition? All I'm saying here is that the standards in
the 10th to 14th ish league positions are really, really low and
that is where licensing has fallen down badly for me.
Like I said, this game was played in heavy rain but the pitch
wasn't too bad. It wasn't conditions for clean breaks and free
flowing rugby though, so it meant a pack battle which Wigan
completely controlled. Wane made a couple of changes from the derby
victory. Anthony Gelling replaced Pat Richards on the left wing,
whilst Eric Lauaki returned to the bench in place of Tom Spencer. Logan
Tomkins was also given the first start of his Wigan career with
Mike McIlorum dropping to the interchange.
An early 40/20 from Sam Tomkins got Wigan a perfect chance to
open the score but it ended up being wasted. Wakefield's early
tactics seem to be to test Gelling with bombs but he diffused a
couple in goal with no dramas.
The lead eventually came to Wigan in the 14th Minute with a
typical close range spin out a tackle and score effort from Thomas
Leuluai. Shocking conversion from Josh Charnley though meant it was
only a 4-0 lead.
I made a tweet after 20 minutes which read "dull, dull, dull!"
and that's what the game was like but a lot of that was because of
the weather rather than Wigan getting themselves into one of those
frustrating home afternoons. The tries in this game were always
going to come.
Thus it proved on 26 minutes when Brett Finch put a bomb up
towards Gelling and he collected and touched down in the left
corner. The gazelle like Pat Richards would of been proud of that
one. Charnley nailed a touchline conversion this time for a 10-0
Four minutes later, Darrell Goulding finished off a classy try
which had seen Gareth Hock, Carmont and Jeff Lima all involved
before Fuzzy finished off. Charnley missed the kick though so it
was just 14-0.
You feared that the floodgates might open in the ten minutes to
half time but that is what you have to credit Wakefield for in this
game. They never collapsed in a heap did they?
The only addition to the scoring Wigan made before the break was
a penalty goal after Sam Tomkins had been obstructed after putting
in a chip forward. The incident happened after the hooter so it was
right call to take the two which made it 16-0.
Into the second half and the weather got worse. The rain was
hammering it down onto the roofs of the four stands around the DW
Stadium but Wigan just stuck to their basic grind it out game plan.
Bit more quality in the tries though second half and this was
highlighted on 47 minutes.
Finch had avoided a couple of tackles and put up a neat bomb
towards the left. Gelling again collected in the air before putting
in a beautiful offload to send Carmont in. You could see Gelling's
delight in that effort. He wasn't much cop really at Wakefield but
I think any player will draw huge confidence and take a hell of a
lot out of playing alongside the classy Carmont. He had an
excellent home debut! Charnley again missed the kick though, so we
were only at 20-0.
Four minutes later it was Charnley himself in for a score. For
some reason Carmont popped up with a neat run on the right hand
side before his pass got Josh in. Excellent thinking from the young
kid who roamed round towards the sticks to take advantage of some
lazy defending. This made his conversion far easier for him and
extended our lead to 26-0. Then on 58 minutes, Goulding score his
second to take advantage of a Wakefield error deep in their own
half. Charnley missed his fourth conversion though 30-0.
Again you wondered if the floodgates would open here but like I
said, Wakefield never rolled over and died. In fact they got on the
scoresheet on 64 minutes from a very rare attack. Nice try actually
with Kyle Wood scoring close to the posts, Paul Sykes conversion
making it 36-6.
But Wigan had the last say in the game with Carmont claiming his
second in the 68th minute, which was converted by Charnley, but no
further scoring occurred in the final ten minutes despite the rain
disappearing and the sun making a brief appearance. Mike McIlorum
also had kicked a second 40/20 of the afternoon with 9 minutes left
but Wakefield defended that well.
Two footnotes to this one. Firstly chairman Ian Lenegan appeared
in the South Stand post match and was saying that he'll be meeting
Brett Finch to discuss a new contract. He also made the point of
how the club is seeing this weekend's efforts as the proper launch
into our season. With three potential cup rounds coming up quick
and fast, on top of a big game away at Hull, this is a great time
to hit form and hopefully that will carry on.
Secondly, Darrell Goulding was brought into the bar with Kris
Radlinski. What a very well spoken man he proved to be. I hope the
doubters will get off his back now. He has proven himself to be an
excellent centre and I struggle to think of a time when he has ever
let us down? He's doing a great job. Goulding also mentioned about
Finch, that he was wanting to go home last year but how he's
enjoying it more this time round and he was praising the current
coaching team for that turnaround in Brett's mentality!
Happy Easter! :)