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Match Report: Wigan 22 Bradford 30
Posted by cherryandwhite on June 30 2012 - 21:51

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Wigan Warriors v Bradford Bulls - Stobart Super League XVII Round 19.
Friday 29th June 2012. Kick Off 8:00pm at DW Stadium.

Match Report

To be without Sam Tomkins, Pat Richards, Thomas Leuluai, Paul Prescott, Harrison Hansen, Jeff Lima, Chris Tuson and "Henderson" Gil Dudson ahead of this game was bad enough, but to lose Darrell Goulding first half, then get Mike McIlorum sent off in what was our second match in five days, it really shouldn't have come a surprise to see Bradford sneak this game in the end.

I mean in the  last 25 minutes of this game we had 10 of our first 17 squad numbers absent from the park and it just caught up with us on this occasion. However with Warrington having bombed heavily at Salford, meaning we remain three points clear despite the loss, we shouldn't be too downhearted about the defeat.

I'm certainly not downhearted. I fully expected Bradford to come here and produce a hearty performance given the current circumstances they are in. That win could be the difference between life and death for them! I'm also content that the sending off was the turning point. Not just so much that it sent us down to 12 men, but it visibly lifted the Bulls team and they smothered us in the last quarter, giving us no chance of winning the contest.

The Warrington defeat definitely makes this one a better pill to swallow though. We could of both won and it'd still have been a three point gap, so has anything really changed? I suppose Catalan have a big chance to make ground considering they hold a game in hand, but the best thing from our point of view is that Warrington and Catalan below us play each other next weekend on Monday Night. They both can't win!

Anyway, back to this game and following Monday's victory over Widnes, Wigan left Sam Tomkins and Paul Prescott out with Jack Murphy coming in to debut at Full Back and Ben Flower returning on the bench for his first appearance since March at Salford. All these injuries might look bad but I believe this is more of a "not risking" kind of situation rather than massive long term worries. Seems to be the case that quite a few will return for next weekend. The Cup Semi Final looming is far more important than these two points. That's what having a three point buffer at the top of the table gives you.

I have to say that I thought Murphy was excellent on debut. I wasn't expecting much to be brutally honest but not only did he finish an excellent try but he also dealt with everything the Bulls threw at him in defence. Nice to see Flower return with his first Wigan try also.

Wigan got off to the perfect start with Gareth Hock's offload sending Carmont on the break in the 4th Minute. He then sent Anthony Gelling in the corner but Josh Charnley couldn't convert, so the lead was just 4-0.

That lead should have been at least doubled on 8 minutes when Ginger Farrell broke brilliantly right up the gut of the Bradford defence. However his offload to the supporting Darrell Goulding was badly mis-timed and the latter was soon tackled by Karl Pryce. Clear bombed try and highlighted further by Pryce's desperate holding down on Goulding that saw him sent to the sin bin for ten minutes by referee Tim Roby. Needed to be done because it was a certain try with five Wigan attackers waiting for the play the ball with no defenders to our right.

Could of been a costly sin bin but in the end I think it was clever. Had we got 10-0 in 8 minutes, this game could have escaped Bradford quickly but although they did eventually concede during the sin bin period, it came after a spell of attack from them, that had at least settled into the arm wrestle.

The try though was beauty. From just inside his own half, debutant Murphy broke through toddler defending from Brett Kearney before burning off ex Warrior Shaun Ainscough for pace to score close to the posts. Easy conversion made it 10-0 after 16 minutes.

All was looking reasonable good but sadly Wigan gifted Bradford an opportunity back into the contest on 22 minutes. Eric Lauaki was guilty of a poor knock on inside his own quarter and soon after Karl Pryce scored his trademark walk in try for Bradford in the left corner. Luke Gale's conversion off the touchline made it 10-6.

Soon after that score we saw Darrell Goulding limp from the field with Jack Hughes coming on to play at right centre. Big blow that because that left us without a second row interchange and meant 18 year old Rhodri Lloyd, making only his third Wigan appearance, was forced to continue his first Wigan start far longer than expected.

Bradford took the lead on 31 minutes with their second score after Keith Lulia's excellent break was finished off by Kearney. Gale converted for a 12-10 Bulls lead.

Wigan though retook the lead on 37 minutes when Ben Flower was sent over by Sean O'Loughlin from close range, right by the posts for an easy conversion, but given the time it should of been held to half time. It wasn't though, Keith Lulia scored just before the hooter and after a conversion from Gale, Bradford led 18-16 at the break.

A Heavy Rain Shower hit at the start of the second half and it seemed to be Wigan who dealt with this spell better. We had made Bradford drop out twice before Dom Crosby finally converted the pressure on 51 minutes. Charnley's conversion made it 22-18 to Wigan.

Having got the lead it was now time for calm play and I think the next score had it gone our way would have won us the match. Instead we got stupidity from Mike McIlorum that went a long way to losing us the match.

Basically McIlorum was tackling Olivier Elima in front of his own posts. Now Elima got up with Mac still on him and was flinging his elbows about trying to shrug him off. Having seen video, I think it's inconclusive whether he actually connected with McIlorum but the Wigan man reacted with a solo punch. I actually think Elima did him up like a kipper because rather than reacting, he went down like Didier Drogba clutching his face. I don't think anyone could argue against the red card that followed and he will now be left to sweat on whether he misses the Semi Final.

So Wigan now had to play out the last 23 minutes with 12 men. Rhodri Lloyd was sacrificed to allow Logan Tomkins to come on and take over at hooker but a combination of a lifted and fired up Bradford and a Wigan side smothered into mistakes meant that we starved of possession from here on in and Bradford's pressure just had to tell.

They scored two tries in 6 minutes on 67 and 73 minutes to win the game. First Elliott Whitehead scored before Karl Pryce claimed his second after a good kick to his wing just couldn't be dealt with by Charnley. Both tries being crucially converted to give the Bulls a two score 30-22 lead. Wigan never went close to troubling that. This just wasn't our day.

Reaction to the Action

Shaun Wane: "We were beaten by the better team, I suppose. They wanted it a bit more. They had more of a need to win that game. With what happened to Micky Mac and losing Darrell Goulding, the changes we made beforehand, losing Sam, I knew it was never going to be an easy game. We needed to play well and they were in a desperate situation. Fair play to them, they played better than us. We weren't on our game. This is a blip and we will fix it. (On the Red Card), I saw two elbows to (McIlorum's) head first and (he) retaliated. It was a crucial decision. I was shocked to see just him sent off. But Micky is better than that. I won't accept that from him. (Jack Murphy) did well for his try, I'm just gutted we didn't get a win for him on his debut,"

Bradford Coach Brian Potter: "I'm very pleased with the players. It's been a tough place to win. It was a fantastic effort. It's great for their morale and I'm really happy for fans that came across because they were on a hiding to nothing. With the distractions, it is satisfying for them to come out and have a bit of success. You can't take anything away from what they've achieved tonight. With a bit of grit and determination, nothing was going to stop them. They were pretty determined to get the result."

Team Sheets

- Wigan Position Bradford 1
35 Jack Murphy Full Back Brett Kearney 1
2 Josh Charnley Winger Shaun Ainscough 18
3 Darrell Goulding Centre Michael Platt 29
4 George Carmont Centre Keith Lulia 3
24 Anthony Gelling Winger Karl Pryce 33
13 Sean O'Loughlin Stand Off Jarrod Sammut 22
6 Brett Finch Scrum Half Luke Gale 7
21 Epalahame Lauaki Prop Olivier Elima 11
9 Mike McIlorum Hooker Heath L'Estrange 9
10 Lee Mossop Prop Manase Manuokafoa 16
36 Rhodri Lloyd 2nd Row John Bateman 26
12 Gareth Hock 2nd Row Elliott Whitehead 12
16 Liam Farrell L.Forward Jamie Langley 13
-
23 Ben Flower Substitute Chev Walker 4
26 Jack Hughes Substitute Tom Olbison 19
28 Logan Tomkins Substitute Tom Burgess 21
33 Dom Crosby Substitute Adam O'Brien 25
- Shaun Wane Coach Brian Potter -

Score Sheet

Wigan Warriors 22 --- Bradford Bulls 30
Tries (4):
Anthony Gelling
Jack Murphy
Ben Flower
Dom Crosby
--- Tries (5):
Karl Pryce 2
Brett Kearney
Keith Lulia
Elliott Whitehead
Goals:
Josh Charnley 3/4
--- Goals:
Luke Gale 5/5

Scoring and Incident Pattern

4th Minute Wigan 04 Bradford 00 Try: Anthony Gelling
- Wigan 04 Bradford 00 J.Charnley Missed Conversion (0/1)
8th Minute Bradford Sin Bin Karl Pryce (Holding Down)
16th Minute Wigan 08 Bradford 00 Try: Jack Murphy
- Wigan 10 Bradford 00 Conversion: Josh Charnley (1/2)
22nd Minute Wigan 10 Bradford 04 Try: Karl Pryce
- Wigan 10 Bradford 06 Conversion: Luke Gale (1/1)
31st Minute Wigan 10 Bradford 10 Try: Brett Kearney
- Wigan 10 Bradford 12 Conversion: Luke Gale (2/2)
37th Minute Wigan 14 Bradford 12 Try: Ben Flower
- Wigan 16 Bradford 12 Conversion: Josh Charnley (2/3)
40th Minute Wigan 16 Bradford 16 Try: Keith Lulia
- Wigan 16 Bradford 18 Conversion: Luke Gale (3/3)
Half Time Wigan Warriors 16 Bradford Bulls 18
51st Minute Wigan 20 Bradford 18 Try: Dom Crosby
- Wigan 22 Bradford 18 Conversion: Josh Charnley (3/4)
56th Minute Wigan Red Card Mike McIlorum (Punching)
67th Minute Wigan 22 Bradford 22 Try: Elliott Whitehead
- Wigan 22 Bradford 24 Conversion: Luke Gale (4/4)
73rd Minute Wigan 22 Bradford 28 Try: Karl Pryce
- Wigan 22 Bradford 30 Conversion: Luke Gale (5/5)
Full Time Wigan Warriors 22 Bradford Bulls 30

Video Highlights

Top 5 Wigan Players as voted on our Message Board

Man of the Match: Liam Farrell
2nd: Jack Murphy 3rd: Lee Mossop 4th: Ben Flower 5th: Eric Lauaki

Referee

Tim Roby

Penalties Conceded

Wigan 7 Bradford 13

Match Attendance

19,628

Weather

Showers.

League Table after Super League 17 Round 19

- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 Wigan Warriors 19 16 0 4 702 309 +393 30
2 Warrington Wolves 19 13 1 5 628 381 +247 27
3 Catalan Dragons 18 13 0 5 566 398 +168 26
4 St Helens 19 11 2 6 561 345 +216 24
5 Huddersfield Giants 19 11 0 8 535 381 +154 22
6 Leeds Rhinos 19 11 0 8 553 456 +97 22
7 Hull FC 18 10 2 6 448 396 +52 22
8 Bradford Bulls 19 10 1 8 415 476 -61 21
9 Hull Kingston Rovers 19 9 1 9 523 469 +54 19
10 Salford City Reds 19 7 1 11 460 546 -86 15
11 Wakefield Wildcats 19 6 0 13 382 554 -172 12
12 Castleford Tigers 19 5 0 14 380 654 -274 10
13 Widnes Vikings 19 4 0 15 313 824 -511 8
14 London Broncos 19 3 0 16 366 645 -279 6

Round 19 Results
Fri 29 June Salford City Reds 48 Warrington Wolves 24 6,179
Fri 29 June St Helens 34 Hull Kingston Rovers 28 12,435
Fri 29 June Wigan Warriors 22 Bradford Bulls 30 19,628
Sat 30 June Catalan Dragons 34 Wakefield Wildcats 10 8,842
Sat 30 June London Broncos 12 Leeds Rhinos 58 3,628
Sun 1 July Hull FC 28 Huddersfield Giants 24 11,142
Mon 2 July Widnes Vikings 40 Castleford Tigers 10 4,501

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