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Match Report: Wigan 26 Bradford 20
Posted by cherryandwhite on July 06 2013 - 11:53

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Wigan Warriors v Bradford Bulls - Super League 18 Round 21.
Friday 5th July 2013
. Kick Off 8:00pm at DW Stadium.

Match Report

Well.............how the bloody hell did we manage to win this one? I think that was the post match conclusion of most after Wigan required four tries in the last 16 minutes to turn an 18-4 deficit into a 26-20 victory.

Coach Shaun Wane came across very relaxed in the post match press conference but the way our attack functioned here is a big concern for me. I think it's lacked clinical flow for three matches now. The cohesion we had earlier in the year is certainly missing at the moment.

In that post match press conference coach Wane seemed to be hinting that their are players playing who are not fit, on top of the obvious absences, and that seemed to show.

In particular Blake Green struggled I felt. It all broke down around him to be honest with the timing way off. That is a concern ahead of a cup tie. I'm sure he'll find his touch again in time but on this form, it's a gamble to play him ahead of Sam Powell in the cup next week.

Mike McIlorum also struggled here. He was removed from the field after just 20 minutes which is very unusual for him. Whether this was because of injury or tactical I'm not so sure. That said, I think played a part in sparking Wigan's late rally when he returned.

Coach Wane made a switch at Full Back with Ryan Hampshire coming in for his first start ahead of Lewis Tierney. A late withdrawal for Darrell Goulding saw Iain Thornley return at right centre having played on the left for most of the season. Chris Tuson replaced Greg Burke at Loose Forward whilst Ben Flower returned on the subs bench.

On a lovely summers evening, the match started perfectly for Wigan. First attack and it's nice hands with Crosby, Green, Smith, Hampshire and Thornley all getting a touch before Charnley finished the 50 metre move in the right corner. Pat missed the extras but that was an ominous start for a 4-0 lead.

After that though it was a pretty grim watch from a Wigan point of view for the next 60 minutes or so. I'll keep saying it - our attack was there in territory but really struggling for ideas to get over the line.

Bradford meanwhile were pretty basic in what they did. I never got the impression they were dominating despite that fact that had built up a 16-4 lead by the break with three tries from Michael Platt, Adam Sidlow and John Bateman. Don't get me wrong it was deserved but it felt more that it was Wigan failing here rather than Bradford massively achieving this lead.

Second Half was pretty much all Wigan to be honest, but again the failure in attack was shown by the fact we hadn't managed to score before the hour mark. In fact Jamie Foster tagged on a penalty goal for an 18-4 lead on 58 minutes.

Wigan's waste in attack was soon highlighted again when Gil Dudson made a massive break right down the gut. He had Matty Smith on his left shoulder for the score but never seemed to look or get the call and the move ended up wasted, albeit with a drop out forced.

For all the waste however, it proved that Bradford were being worn down and three of their own errors contributed to their eventual downfall. Luke Gale kicked out on the full when he seemed to be trying for a 40/20. Their was a stupid forward pass thrown in their own half and Nick Scruton made a knock on a metre from his own line.

I think it was from the Scruton error that the comeback began. From that scrum on the left, quick hands saw Smith and Hansen combine before a lovely flick out the back from Hampshire sent Charnley over for his second. Bad conversion attempt from Pat though left the score at 18-8.

Crucially Wigan backed that try up with another straight after. Green's pass got Liam Farrell away from half way and Tuson was inside to finish under the posts. Easy conversion made it 18-14.

The digital clock in the stadium wasn't working so how long remained was to be a mystery to most but luckily the time keeper was sat directly behind the Wish FM commentary point so we had knowledge that plenty remained for Wigan here.

From the re-start though - Ben Flower only went and knocked on. We had Bradford flapping and that let them off the hook. Perhaps crucially in the end though, instead of trying to find a killer try, they conservatively added a penalty goal when they got the chance for 20-14.

Turned out to matter little because Wigan soon scored another try. Smith and Hampshire combining to send Iain Thornley over. That try ironically left a conversion from pretty much the same spot Pat had missed from on Charnley's second but he nailed this one to make it 20 all.

Again with no stadium clock, the fans and players had no idea what time remained but Wigan still had five minutes to nick and unlikely win.

Drop Goal looked the best option but Matty Smith had an attempt blocked by Scruton. It gave us a back to one though and from it we found a try instead. Smith's pass saw Tuson break through after Adam Sidlow had moved to tackle dummy runner Crosby instead. Tuson had just Jamie Foster to beat but his effort to stop him was frankly embarrassing. He didn't even lay a finger on him!!! Pat converted for 26-20.

This proved to be the last play of the game. The fact their was no visible clock meant that Bradford now had no idea how long remained and they laboured towards a re-start that never happened because the hooter went. If they had known they only had 15 seconds or so they would have rushed to try a short kick off at least.

So a win in the end and it could well prove to be the biggest win of the season. It keeps the press vultures at bay ahead of the Widnes cup tie and the hope is that we will re-click into gear in attack, to get our season back on track. Ten days break is probably going to prove very timely indeed.

Reaction to the Action

Coach Shaun Wane: "It was exciting. Fair play to Bradford they turned up and played really well. They threatened our line and they are busted like us with injuries. It was two equally matched teams and thought they played very well. Just to win that game was a great effort from us. We showed gritty determination to stay in it right until the end. I knew we had tries in us. We just needed to keep hold of the ball and complete our sets. In the last 25 minutes we did that and we put some tries away. I feel like the way we stuck at it until the end, that determination is going to win you big games and today was a big game in a different sort of way. In the past, from 2010, we have not found ways to win and that has been the pleasing thing about this season is that we have found ways to win and not played that well."

Bradford coach Francis Cummins: "Sometimes you feel you don't get what you deserve and that is what we are feeling now. You know when you come to Wigan that you are not going to get all the possession and maybe not get all the calls you should get that is my opinion. But we gave them a bit back and we played really well. We have got eight men out of a 26 man squad really and I thought we worked really hard and tried to pass the ball a lot. I'm pleased with that but I just get a bit frustrated with some decisions, they didn't need any help."

Team Sheets

- Wigan Position Bradford 1
32 Ryan Hampshire Full Back Jamie Foster 17
2 Josh Charnley

Winger

Elliott Kear 5
17 Iain Thornley Centre Adrian Purtell 2
22 Anthony Gelling Centre Michael Platt 18
5 Pat Richards Winger Sam Wood 25
6 Blake Green Stand Off Danny Addy 19
7 Matty Smith Scrum Half Luke Gale 7
26 Dom Crosby Prop Nick Scruton 8
9 Mike McIlorum Hooker Matt Diskin 14
20 Gil Dudson Prop Manase Manuokafoa 10
11 Harrison Hansen 2nd Row John Bateman 11
12 Liam Farrell 2nd Row Matty Blythe 4
16 Chris Tuson L.Forward James Donaldson 21
-
4 Jack Hughes Substitute Heath L'Estrange 9
15 Ben Flower Substitute Ben Evans 23
23 Logan Tomkins Substitute Oliver Roberts 24
38 Andy Powell Substitute Adam Sidlow 27
- Shaun Wane Coach Francis Cummins -

Score Sheet

Wigan Warriors 26 --- Bradford Bulls 20

Tries (5):
Josh Charnley 2
Chris Tuson 2
Iain Thornley

---

Tries (3):
Michael Platt
Adam Sidlow
John Bateman

Goals:
Pat Richards 3/5
--- Goals:
Jamie Foster 4/5

Scoring and Incident Pattern

2nd Minute Wigan 04 Bradford 00 Try: Josh Charnley
- Wigan 04 Bradford 00 P.Richards Missed Conversion (0/1)
15th Minute Wigan 04 Bradford 04 Try: Michael Platt
- Wigan 04 Bradford 06 Conversion: Jamie Foster (1/1)
26th Minute Wigan 04 Bradford 10 Try: Adam Sidlow
- Wigan 04 Bradford 12 Conversion: Jamie Foster (2/2)
36th Minute Wigan 04 Bradford 16 Try: John Bateman
- Wigan 04 Bradford 16 J.Foster Missed Conversion (2/3)
Half Time Wigan Warriors 04 Bradford Bulls 16
58th Minute Wigan 04 Bradford 18 Penalty Goal: Jamie Foster (3/4)
64th Minute Wigan 08 Bradford 18 Try: Josh Charnley (2)
- Wigan 08 Bradford 18 P.Richards Missed Conversion (0/2)
67th Minute Wigan 12 Bradford 18 Try: Chris Tuson
- Wigan 14 Bradford 18 Conversion: Pat Richards (1/3)
71st Minute Wigan 14 Bradford 20 Penalty Goal: Jamie Foster (4/5)
75th Minute Wigan 18 Bradford 20 Try: Iain Thornley
- Wigan 20 Bradford 20 Conversion: Pat Richards (2/4)
79th Minute Wigan 24 Bradford 20 Try: Chris Tuson (2)
- Wigan 26 Bradford 20 Conversion: Pat Richards (3/5)
Full Time Wigan Warriors 26 Bradford Bulls 20

Video Highlights

Referee

Tim Roby

Match Attendance

13,213

Weather

Dry and Sunny Night.

League Table at Conclusion of Super League 18 - Round 21

- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 Wigan Warriors 21 16 1 4 720 316 +404 33
2 Huddersfield Giants 21 16 0 5 655 389 +266 32
3 Warrington Wolves 21 15 1 5 687 367 +320 31
4 Leeds Rhinos 20 12 1 7 539 385 +154 25
5 Catalan Dragons 21 11 2 8 532 498 +34 24
6 Hull Kingston Rovers 21 12 0 9 540 585 -45 24
7 St Helens 21 10 1 10 512 451 +61 21
8 Hull FC 21 9 2 10 466 430 +36 20
9 Wakefield Wildcats 20 9 1 10 522 548 -26 19
10 Bradford Bulls 21 7 2 12 471 527 -56 16
11 Widnes Vikings 21 6 2 13 533 683 -150 14
12 Castleford Tigers 21 6 2 13 476 655 -179 14
13 Salford City Reds 21 5 1 15 353 767 -414 *9*
14 London Broncos 21 3 2 16 381 782 -401 8

Top Eight Qualify for the Play Offs
*Salford deducted two points for fielding 14 men during a match.

Round 21 Results
Fri 5 July Warrington Wolves 19 Leeds Rhinos 18 11,281
Fri 5 July Wigan Warriors 26 Bradford Bulls 20 13,213
Sat 6 July Catalan Dragons 34 London Broncos 28 6,286
Sun 7 July Hull FC 16 Huddersfield Giants 22 10,986
Sun 7 July Hull Kingston Rovers 28 Salford City Reds 18 6,974
Sun 7 July Castleford Tigers 24 St Helens 40 8,229
Mon 8 July Wakefield Wildcats 24 Widnes Vikings 14 7,543

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