Well on the face of it that was a poor second half by Wigan, who
failed to score during the final 38 minutes, and Shaun Wane showed
his post match disappointment about that.
But when you look at
the other winning defensive displays today, Huddersfield conceding
30 and Warrington 34, I think you should appreciate more the
tiredness that is showing in this post Easter period and praise
Wigan for keeping Bradford down to six rather than questioning why
more points weren't scored in attack.
I felt coming into the match that this could have been a banana
skin for us and had we not been able to make six changes, it
probably would have been a far tougher struggle than it proved to
The luxury of bringing in Josh Charnley, Pat Richards, Lee
Mossop, Sean O'Loughlin and Logan Tomkins to replace Darrell
Goulding, Anthony Gelling, Ben Flower, Chris Tuson, Sam Powell and
Tom Spencer was huge! Especially the experienced Mossop, Hansen and
O'Loughlin in the pack.
It was the pack in which this game that won it for us I felt.
They laid the platform, together with another excellent kicking
game between Blake Green and Matty Smith, to keep Bradford on the
back foot and the pressure told all during the first half.
Everything today was up the middle. Very unusual to see so little
of our two prolific wingers but that's just how it was.
The forwards led by Liam Farrell who was truly outstanding
during this contest. He claimed a hat-trick and although the first
two included good fortune for him to claim them, as I mentioned
during my summarising on the Wish FM commentary today, he's so
often in the right place to get them!
The first he got was in the 10th minute. Green put a grubber in
towards the in goal and the ricochet off Danny Addy fell into
Ginger's hands for an easy put down. Pat converted for 6-0.
Four minutes later a second try came and this was Green showing
all his quality. A superb try. He got the ball left of the posts
and he threw a great dummy, then stepped quickly on a 90 degree
angle, whilst throwing another dummy, to get over. Bradford just
couldn't read that skill quick enough. Easy conversion for 12-0.
The Bulls did have a couple of chances themselves to get on the
scoreboard but their failure to do so played into Wigan's hands.
They scored again in the 28th Minute with Smith sending Jack Hughes
through a tiny gap. He left Kearney flapping at full back again and
another easy conversion made it 18-0.
Two more tries came before half time as Wigan punished some
awful kicking efforts from Jarrod Sammut. Three times he sent kick
offs out on the full either side of half time. He gets a lot of
praise at times Sammut but I have to question whether he is the
type of player that only shows up when playing smaller sides
because, although he scored later in the contest, he was pretty
anonymous during this game.
Both the late first half tries went to Farrell. The first one
saw good hands get Pat Richards on the half break down the left
wing. Sideline was swallowing him up so he hacked inside and, like
I said, who else but Farrell was in support and took advantage of
more Kearney flapping in defence. Simple put down and conversion
Whilst the first two were easy, the hat-trick try was all class.
He took an angled pass from Green and the footwork he showed was
phenomenal. One, two, three, four jinking steps that got him past
five defenders in total. Another easy Pat kick for 30-0 at the
Into the second half and one of those kick offs out on the full
by Sammut was quickly punished with a lovely kick by Smith being
well collected by Sam Tomkins. Pat must have been loving all these
simple conversions, another here for 36-0.
Now the only surprise was that Wigan didn't go on further and I
think that was down to fatigue. But, like I said, they kept up
their efforts in defence and I think we should focus more on that.
Bradford did get one try but it came off a neat kick with
substitute Luke Gale hitting Sammut perfectly and he also converted
Wigan did have some digs to score more but Bradford's defence
was much stronger up the middle second half. All in all though a
good result for Wigan and they can go into the cup break very happy
to have got through the Easter period one point clear at the top of