Attack was up to standard, defensively we were way off. Thankfully
Wakefield had gone down to 12 men early on and didn't have much
defence in themselves, or this could have been a difficult
afternoon for Shaun Wanes side.
We looked tired and lethargic all
game but this shouldn't have been a total surprise. We've seen
these kind of performance around Easter in April before. Remember
2010 when we lost 38-26 at the DW to Harlequins, despite having led
24-6 at the break? Or 2011 when Catalan held a 46-10 lead here at
one point before Wigan got some late scores to flatter?
It was that kind of afternoon defensively in which we were
falling off tackles right up the middle of the field. The hope now
is that we've got away with it having won and we will bounce back
with a top defensive effort at Bradford next week. We shall see.
In attack though Wigan were fine, despite the absences of both
Josh Charnley and Pat Richards. Sean O'Loughlin didn't play either
whilst Chris Tuson departed the field during the first half of this
one with a hamstring injury. Anthony Gelling played for Pat on the
left wing with Jack Hughes his centre. Iain Thornley had come
across to the right wing.
And it was Thornley who opened the scoring after just 80
seconds. Sam Tomkins beat a poor missed tackle from Paul Sykes and
got Thornley over in the corner. Matty Smith was on kicking and
missed the extras.
Soon after we were over on the other wing with a try for
Gelling. Sam again the provider but Gelling did well to avoid the
challenge of Peter Fox. Conversion went over by Smith for 10-0.
It all looked rosy for the Warriors but then came a send off in
just the 11th minute. Ginger Farrell got into an altercation with
Justin Poore and after Ginger had given Poore a soft one on the
jaw, Poore retaliated with a heavy punch that floored Faz. The
latter was red carded but I think the disciplinary might have a
look at our lad their as well. Draw your own conclusion when you
see the video, some arguing on twitter that a "soft one on the jaw"
was just a shove.
Anyway the end result was that Wakefield had 70 minutes to play
with 12 men, but initially it did them a favour because they rocked
Wigan with two back to back scores on 17 and 20 minutes. First
Vince Mellars then Richard Mathers took advantage of some poor
Wigan defending. The second one in particular was a horror show.
Both tries converted by Paul Sykes put Wakefield 12-10 up.
Perhaps fortunately, given the end result, Wigan responded to
that double whammy by scoring four tries in a 9 minute spell.
Thornley claimed his second before Sam went through some soft
defending up the middle from the visitors off the back of a superb
offload from Greg Burke.
Burke then made the break for the next try that was finished off
by Darrell Goulding, claiming his first try of the season. It was a
70 metre dash in total. Then we saw that combination of Green and
Farrell again that has been seen quite a few times this year.
Chiming left Green put on the stuttering feet to create the gap for
Ginger to score. Two conversions out of those four tries from our
Smith made it 30-12 and that was carried up to the break.
Four minutes into the second half, Gelling claimed his second
with a superb finish in the left corner and although Smith missed
the extras again, coach Wane felt the lead was comfortable enough
to bench Smith for a while and give Sam Powell a run out at Scrum
In fact in Smith's absence, Powell also took over a goal kicking
following Sam Tomkins second try on 53 minutes, but his effort was
pretty weak. Wigan in total control though at 38-12.
Or so you thought. Wigan's switch off in defence was evident for
all to see on the restart. Sloppily they allowed the ball to bounce
into touch for a Wakefield scrum and they quickly went over with a
score from Lee Smith. A conversion for Sykes made it 38-18.
When Paul Aiton finished off a superb passing move down the left
hand side on 67 minutes, Wigan were all of a sudden sweating a
little on this one. Momentum was swinging, particularly after Sykes
converted again for 38-24.
But we were perhaps lucky to have one Sam Tomkins, because his
return of a kick for an 80 metre try ended the contest with ten
minutes to go. Cheekily he went round under the posts despite a
defender in his way. Easy conversion for Smith, back on the field,
made the final score 44-24.
So a poor afternoon defensively for Wigan but the bigger picture
is of a Easter well done. If they can take that forward, with one
more effort next week, into the cup break then that will have been
a successful start to the season well achieved. Intriguing game
next week at Odsal with them being in form as well!
Must give praise to Greg Burke today. I'm not big on praising
individuals in my reports, I tend to focus more on the team effort,
but thought he was superb in this one. He never shirked all
afternoon despite some heavy shots towards his head. Not saying
they were dirty shots but it was a rough game for him and he came
through well. Was my man of the match by a mile, although the
sponsors gave it to Ginger and Sam Tomkins with his hat-trick had
to be a shout as well.
Must end by praising Wakefield's efforts here also. 70 minutes
with 12 men and during that time the score was 34-24. Much as Wigan
were off in defence, the visitors certainly took advantage and I
think Richard Agar is right to be left wondering what might have
been without that red card. I'm thinking the same, but we will