Funny game that one. I didn't think Wigan were actually as poor as
it looked. I just felt it was a poor standard of game overall and
that was down to Hull KR's tactics of slowing down the play the
ball so the game was at a snails pace. The ruck speed was painfully
slow and that contributed to it being painful to watch.
Those tactics led to a sin bin, after a team warning, early in
the second half and that perhaps proved to be the ultimate
difference between the sides. Sure, Hull KR are claiming they were
robbed following that Josh Charnley try on 45 minutes and they
might have a point that it was grounded on the dead ball line, but
that really is garbage for me to pin that games result on that one
decision. I'm really disappointed to see "controversial" being
touted to describe Wigan's victory.
Fact is that regardless of any decisions, their were 26
minutes of the score line at 14-10 for Hull KR to find a try
that I reckon would have won them the match and they couldn't do
it. That is more than ample time to overcome any errors that may
have been thought had gone against them.
My opinion is that the game was officiated poorly in general and
that the referees are not having a good time of it at the moment. I
didn't think it was necessarily one way bad or another, just poor
standards all round. I would not have been complaining had that
Charnley try not been given but the bosses seem to have video refs
juggling decisions in the air and seeing which decision they can
catch, but instead they drop them all and just guess.
Once again for Wigan, I think we have positives to take out of
that. Thought Scott Taylor had another good game whilst Eric Lauaki
made great impact off the bench. Lauaki is in that rut of not being
able to play anywhere else to gain fitness, so considering it was
his first match since June 7th I was very pleased with not only his
intensity but his game time also. I thought Ryan Hampshire was
solid again but I'm still think Full Back wastes his talents.
The biggest positive though was the performance of Joe Burgess
on debut. I've seen enough of him in the academy to know that he
has exceptional talent but the biggest hurdle for any kid is not
being daunted like a rabbit in the headlights when they get the
chance in the first team. Budgie certainly didn't look startled.
Very strong in defence and he backed himself to take on players in
Our disappointment for me came in the halves. Thought Blake
Green and Matty Smith were far too quiet in the first half and that
contributed to us being behind on the score board at 10-4. We
lacked any second phase play and were left to play one out rugby.
Their was one set that had nothing but drives from a metre out. We
need better than that! More buzz, more fire, more vigour! They've
got to do better to lift the intensity, especially when key men are
Smith in fairness did find a 40/20 second half, his fourth of
the year, but you have to question his decision to go for drop goal
at 20-10. Like
@wiganrugbyfans pointed out on twitter, you have to assume the
opposition will score with conversions rather than not, so on that
basis it was poor. On Wish FM commentary the only justification I
could give was that IF Hull KR scored twice they would need to
convert both, but your better off being tackled on the last a metre
away from scoring than giving them the chance of a short kick
off. Going 99 metres to score is far, far harder than going 35
metres. They scored and left Wigan sweating when it really wasn't
necessarily. I said on commentary after we went 20-10 up that only
Wigan could lose from that point onwards with dumb play and I think
Smith needs to re-think that tactic. The short kick off is a total
lottery at times and it needn't be risked unless your increasing
leads to 1, 7 or 13 points.
Anyway the win is good and it sets up a potential first place
decider with Huddersfield next week. We shall see.