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Challenge Cup Match Report: Featherstone 16 Wigan 32
Posted by cherryandwhite on April 28 2012 - 14:02

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Friday 27th April 2012
Featherstone Rovers 16 Wigan Warriors 32
Big Fellas Stadium, Featherstone
Carnegie Challenge Cup Round 5

Kick Off 8:00pm


- Wigan       - Featherstone    
1 Sam Tomkins    G    1 Ian Hardman  T   
2 Josh Charnley  T   G3    2 Gareth Raynor  T   
3 Darrell Goulding  T      3 Sam Smeaton    
26 Jack Hughes       4 Greg Worthington    
24 Anthony Gelling       5 Tommy Saxton  T   
6 Brett Finch       6 Kyle Briggs    
7 Thomas Leuluai  T      7 Liam Finn    G2 
8 Paul Prescott       8 Micky Haley    
9 Michael McIlorum       9 Ben Kaye    
14 Jeff Lima       10 Stuart Dickens    
11 Harrison Hansen       11 James Lockwood    
12 Gareth Hock  T2      12 Tim Spears    
13 Sean O'Loughlin  T      13 Jon Hepworth    
10 Lee Mossop       14 Andy Kain    
16 Liam Farrell       15 Dom Maloney    
17 Chris Tuson       16 Jon Grayshon    
21 Epalahame Lauaki       17 Anthony England    


"This will be a tough cup tie. We will be forced to battle for victory".

That's a direct quote from my match preview and that's exactly how it panned out. Wigan had to fight all the way in seeing off Championship Champions Featherstone on a boggy Post Office Road pitch.

The home side defended superbly on the night to make Wigan work hard for their tries but for me that was a fair end result. Wigan controlled the second half with Rovers only try after the break coming from an intercept following a clear two on one ball strip. If that try hadn't of happened this game could have been more 40-12 than 32-16, but the end result was a better reflection of the home sides efforts on the night.

I think its fair to say the conditions suited the home side. The boggy pitch stifled our speedy backs and made this game very much a forwards battle, and what a keenly contested battle that was! Rovers didn't budge many inches all night in standing up to our strong pack, but I thought it was the quality of Mike McIlorum and Brett Finch in around the try line that proved the ultimate difference between the two sides.

Wigan got off to a dodgy start with a knock on called against Jeff Lima just 30 seconds into the contest, but soon made amends for that on their first attack. I talked about McIlorum and Finch at the heart of this win and it was those two that set this up. Micky Mc with the initial work from dummy half, then a quick play the ball sees Finch gets the ball and fire a lovely pass that cut out two defenders and allowed captain Sean O'Loughlin to score. It was close to interception in fairness but that's the fine margins that Finch likes to pull off. Sam Tomkins for some reason was on goal kicking and he converted for 6-0.

The clock ticked passed 15 minutes with the score still only 6-0 to Wigan. Some murmurs on the terraces of Wigan being poor during the first half, I didn't necessarily buy that myself. I thought it was a good hard even contest. Yes, Wigan were making one or two errors but I can't say I was ever concerned too much about that. Even after Rovers claimed two tries in a three minute spell either side of the 20 minute mark.

Their first try came from Tommy Saxton. Anthony Gelling was guilty of a loose carry when hitting up from our own scrum. Rovers Jon Hepworth scooped up the loose ball and because of the scrum our defence was never set to recover from that and Saxton was in the corner easy. Liam Finn couldn't convert so Wigan still led 6-4. Must admit I was murmuring about a two on one ball strip at the game but I think it was a loose carry seeing it again at home.

Now the next "try" for me is a total garbage decision. First of all Wigan were penalised for offside at the kick off. I wouldn't have a problem with that if it was consistently officiated but it never is. That put Fev right back on the attack and pretty soon they were over again. It was decided that Ian Hardman had touched down a kick from Finn but it still doesn't look like he grounded it to me. I think that's a knock on. Either way why don't we cut the garbage and just have the rule being a full hand on the ball with pressure constitutes a try? We'd all know where we stood then! Anyway it was given and with Finn's conversion it was now 10-6 to Featherstone.

Wigan showed their calm composed play by not panicking and quickly responding with their own score within two minutes. McIlorum again with the initial work up the middle then they swung right with Sam and O'Loughlin combining to send Goulding chiming at the line. His dummy to Charnley fooled Finn and Fuzzy was in the right corner to level the scores. Sam had tweaked a groin in this period of play, so Josh Charnley took over on goal kicking, but he missed this effort.

We could have increased that lead on 32 minutes but Anthony Gelling had a try chalked off for obstruction in back play before Featherstone had a good spell on the back of that. They forced a repeat set and got a good breather deep in our half when Harrison Hansen suffered a vicious injury under the posts. Trying to tackle Stuart Dickens, his cheekbone clashed with Dickens' head and then for a double whammy his nose butted the same players head. Possible fractured cheekbone and a clear broken nose for H, but amazingly he would return later. Long term though that has to be a lengthy absence in the next few weeks?

Soon after that Rovers got a cheap penalty to give them a 12-10 lead that they almost held until the break, but Wigan scored in the final minute of the half. They got an interference penalty and straight from the tap, that man Finch nailed Gareth Hock with a perfect pass to send him charging over by the posts. Easy conversion for Charnley, despite a green laser pen being shone in his eye, made it 16-12 to Wigan at the break.

During the oranges I think we sorted out what was needed to win this game. Firstly patience and then a better kicking game. I thought the latter was superb after the break. We pinned Featherstone back in their out quarter time and time again.

I write it every week but the first try of the second half is often the game breaker and for Wigan to claim it, and thus build up a two score lead, enabled them further to get control of this contest. It took 13 minutes to come, and perhaps a bit of good fortune with a back to one in the build up, but Leuluai managed to stretch over from close range in the right corner. Have to say Brian Carney's attempts on Sky's coverage to claim he knocked that on were frankly laughable. A big conversion from Josh made it 22-12.

Wigan were now a try away from taking total control of the game for me but a terrible officiating blunder got Rovers back into the contest. 58th Minute and its clear as day on the video. Brett Finch has possession in from of the attacking sticks and he is ball stripped by Finn with two men in the tackle. Now I had my eye on referee Richard Silverwood and he simply wasn't watching. You even hear him on the TV coverage shout "two" for the second tackle after Finn had run ten metres. I still had my eye on Silverwood and, seriously, Finn had got well past half way before he even reacted to the breakaway.

Now had Wigan just stopped and allowed Finn to score this would have been chalked off by the video referee for the ball strip but because one tackle was made before the try was scored, that choice was ruled out. So the try was awarded. That wasn't Featherstone's fault but to be frank it was bone idle officiating. What are the touch judges doing as well? Anyway the break meant Wigan's defence never recovered and Gareth Raynor went over in the right corner. Although Finn missed the extras - the score was now 22-16 and from Wigan being in control it was now game on again.

Wigan though again, they didn't flap, they didn't panic, they just went back to basics and re-established their two score lead six minutes later. Leuluai it was with a fantastic pass to send Charnley over through the right corner overlap. Although Josh missed the extras, the game was back in Wigan's control at 26-16.

Featherstone never gave up, you have to say that, but never looked like threatening us from then on. In fact, like I said, they hadn't built up any pressure all half. It was always looking like a Wigan score to wrap it up and it probably should have come sooner than it did. Gelling had a great chance to score in the left corner on 72 minutes but knocked on.

The match was eventually wrapped up by Hock with two minutes to go and it was a try that Sam Tomkins himself would have been proud of. 12 metres out and on the last, he put in a dab towards the in goal and won the race to touch it down. "Butcher" Hock gets accused of brain farts every game, butthat was clever stuff. I notice though he's getting a bit of a ribbing on twitter for the fact he kicked the ball. Karl Pryce said "butcher ladd!!! where did that kick come from!!!" and Stuart Fielden added "you know the rules . You get your p45 for kicking the ball butcher!" Anyway, Charnley converted to wrap up a 32-16 win.

Not sure how Sky's commentary team came up with Josh for man of the match. This was a game decided by hard work up the middle rather than out wide. Like I alluded to, it was McIlorum by a mile for me with Finch up their as well. Two classy performances that got us through to the Quarter Finals.

As for Featherstone's ground, it was a bit of a dog to be truthful. A walk up a muddy path to get to the turnstile was followed by a trip to a urinal which looked like it had been nailed together with any spare bits of wood they could find. Although I must admit it was amusing to see a Police Van get stuck in the mud behind our sticks and having to be towed out.

So simple put, job done! Now for the Quarter Final draw which takes place this Tuesday Morning at 8:20am during BBC Radio 5 Live's Breakfast Programme.

2nd Minute Hull FC 00 Wigan 04 Try: Pat Richards
- Hull FC 00 Wigan 06 Conversion: Pat Richards (1/1)
7th Minute Hull FC 00 Wigan 10 Try: Pat Richards (2)
- Hull FC 00 Wigan 10 P.Richards Missed Conversion (1/2)
17th Minute Hull FC 00 Wigan 14 Try: Gareth Hock
- Hull FC 00 Wigan 16 Conversion: Pat Richards (2/3)
36th Minute Hull FC 00 Wigan 20 Try: Sam Tomkins
- Hull FC 00 Wigan 22 Conversion: Pat Richards (3/4)
39th Minute Hull FC 00 Wigan 26 Try: Josh Charnley
- Hull FC 00 Wigan 28 Conversion: Pat Richards (4/5)
Half Time Hull FC 00 Wigan Warriors 28
42nd Minute Hull FC 00 Wigan 32 Try: Pat Richards (Hat-Trick)
- Hull FC 00 Wigan 34 Conversion: Pat Richards (5/6)
52nd Minute Hull FC 00 Wigan 38 Try: Mike McIlorum
- Hull FC 00 Wigan 40 Conversion: Pat Richards (6/7)
54th Minute

Hull FC 04

Wigan 40 Try: Jamie Ellis
- Hull FC 06 Wigan 40 Conversion: Danny Tickle (1/1)
58th Minute

Hull FC 10

Wigan 40 Try: Will Sharp
- Hull FC 12 Wigan 40 Conversion: Danny Tickle (2/2)
65th Minute Hull FC 12 Wigan 44 Try: Josh Charnley (2)
- Hull FC 12 Wigan 46 Conversion: Pat Richards (7/8)
70th Minute Hull FC 12 Wigan 50 Try: Thomas Leuluai
- Hull FC 12 Wigan 52 Conversion: Josh Charnley (1/1)
79th Minute Hull FC 12 Wigan 56 Try: Brett Finch
- Hull FC 12 Wigan 56 J.Charnley Missed Conversion (1/2)
Full Time Hull FC 12 Wigan Warriors 56

Richard Silverwood




2012 Challenge Cup Round 5 Results

Friday 27th April 2012

Featherstone Rovers 16 Wigan Warriors 32 (Live on Sky)
Oldham Roughyeds 0 St Helens 76 (switched to St Helens)

Saturday 28th April 2012
Warrington Wolves 32 Bradford Bulls 16 (Live on BBC 1)
Catalan Dragons 68 Sheffield Eagles 6

Sunday 29th April 2012
Batley Bulldogs 16 London Broncos 22
Leigh Centurions 19 Halifax 18 (after Golden Point Extra Time)
Huddersfield Giants 52 Swinton Lions 0
Salford City Reds 10 Leeds Rhinos 16

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