Well having not gone to
France, tonight was the first time in seven years I've watched us
play via Sky TV. I dunno what frustrated me more. Not being at the
match tonight or Wigan's throwing away of this match.
lead in the 70th minute should have propelled us to victory but a
silly mistake from a kick off cost us dear.
Wigan started with a forward pass after 10 seconds. Shocking
start, Sean O'Loughlin being the guilty man. This gifted Catalans
great field position which turned into a try in the corner for
Mark Hughes with less than two minutes gone. Laurent Frayssinous
conversion hit the post.
Wigan then kicked the ball out on the full from the restart. You need to start a game well to set the tone for the rest of your performance. This was a shocking start. but they fought back well. On 7
minutes Brett Dallas somehow managed to touch down in the corner,
despite three defenders trying to bundle him into touch. He was
set up by David Vaealiki who did well to juggle a long pass from
Mick Higham. Danny Tickle's conversion, like Frayssinous', hit the
Then Wigan gave them a double whammy on the next attack. Bang, bang, straight down the middle Iafeta Paleaaesina, who turned 24 on Friday, scored on debut as he finished a good break from Chris Ashton. Tickle converted to make it 10-4.
Wigan just needed to slow the pace relax and take control, but
no a stupid penalty gifted the Catalans the initiative as they
drew level on 15
minutes. A last tackle grubber kick from
Stacey Jones was not dealt with and prop Chris Beattie pounced. Frayssinous' conversion made it 10 all.
Both sides had tries disallowed before the Catalans took the lead
on the half hour. Jamal Fakir, who was close to signing for Wigan
in the middle of last season, battered his way over for a try. It
was poor Wigan defence, Pat Richards in particular was at fault as
he went far too high! Frayssinous' conversion made it 16-10 to the
Fakir's try obviously went to his head as soon after he scored
referee Ashley Klein placed him on report for a high tackle on
Wayne Godwin. Then seconds later he was shown the yellow card
after giving Godwin a second high tackle. Not often you see a
yellow for a high shot. I think he would have seen red had he been
playing for a more established side!
Anyway the sin binning worked to Wigan's advantage as they
scored twice before half time. Dennis Moran jinked his way over
for a try on 35 minutes before Jerry Seuseu battered his way over
for his first ever Wigan try in stoppage time. Tickle converted
both to send us in at the break leading 22-16.
22-16 up Wigan had a chance to come out second half and take
control. But no, they lost the initiative again as the Dragons
came out the stronger.
Substitute winger Renaud Guige had a
score disallowed for a double movement before making amends after
46 minutes by finishing some splendid handling by half-backs Jones
And six minutes later, the crowd was on its feet once more when
centre John Wilson got a wonder pass out of the tackle for right
winger Justin Murphy to cross at the corner. Frayssinous planted
the touchline conversion between the posts to make it 26-22 with
25 minutes left.
Wigan began to panic. They didn't need to, but they did.
Patience was needed but not forthcoming. Higham was held up over
the line and O'Loughlin had the misfortune to somehow lose the
ball in the act of scoring.
It looked like it wasn't to be our night until Pat Richard
broke away in the 70th Minute. He handed off the challenge of
Guige to race over for the score. Tickle converted to make it
28-26 to Wigan. Tickle then added a penalty four minutes later and
we once again had the game in our hands.
But from the kick off after the penalty, Richards knocked on.
Just when you don't want to give the Catalans a sniff, we gift
them possession and good field position.
They took advantage. First loose forward Ian Hindmarsh, brother
of Australian Test star Nathan, cut through for his side's sixth
try with four minutes to go. Frayssinous converted to make it
Wigan needed the football but another penalty allowed the
Dragons to hold on. They even had the cheek to score again through
Justin Murphy. Very scrappy try it was as well but nothing more
than they deserved.
Wigan should have won this but deserved nothing because as Ian
Millward said after the game we were too inconsistent and just
didn't take control of a match that that was ours.
It's a big ask now to bounce back and beat Leeds next Friday.