Not a vintage match this was it? But we won and
that's all that matters.
Salford have lost 8
matches this year by 8 points or less. Not a good record for them
to have, but it shows that they are very competitive thanks to
their strong defence. So now the dust as settled we can look back
and say this was a good hard fought win to get under our belts.
We did see signs though that we'd gone back into our old shell of
being nervous and being unable to convert good territory. First
twenty minutes we should have been at least three or four tries
The two tries we did get were perhaps a bit lucky. Good kicks but
the bounce of the ball for the first try went our way and the
unfortunate slip from Junior Langi allowed Dallas in for the
second. I suppose we are beginning to get the luck at this vital
moment in our season.
"Well done on winning your cup final" said one Salford fan to me
after the game. Days gone by we'd snarl at only beating Salford by
8 points but this result moved us out the relegation zone for two
days at least. Not bad for a side that kicked off against Catalan
27 days earlier, 8 points from safety.
What about about Stuart Fielden. Comedy moment went he got hurt in
a tackle, got up limped around and then shrugged off the water
carrier as if to say "f*** off, I'm ain't coming off". If only
more players had attitudes like that. You just fear that like the
great Andy Farrell, playing on whilst injured might take its toll
as he reaches the latter part of his career. Hopefully not.
If you read the
match preview you'll know the five match curse is over. People
were having a right go at me for bringing up this point but as it
turns out I didn't put the mockers on them. :)
Wigan started well dominating the early territory as Salford
knocked on twice in there own half. But it was Salford who had the
first chance but the video referee denied Andy Coley in the 10th
That would have been unjust and when Wigan finally took
the lead in the 14th minute it was well deserved. A grubber from
Danny Orr just managed to keep in play as it awkwardly bounced for
Bryan Fletcher to touch down. He has now scored in the last four
home matches. Michael Dobson converted to make it 6-0.
was Wigan pressing and they increased the lead in the 25th minute.
Wayne Godwin broke down centre field, swung the ball to the left,
Dobson kicked to the corner and Brett Dallas took advantage as
Junior Langi slipped. In the corner he scored but Dobson failed
with the extras, 10-0.
Wigan almost scored again when Orr got
Dallas away down the right but Salford full-back David Hodgson
chased him down and his inside pass went straight to John Wilshere
and not the two Wigan players in support. So frustrating.
Salford hit back with former Wigan player Luke Robinson being key
as he broke and then chipped for Ryan Clayton to score under the
sticks in the 32nd minute. Stephen Myler had an easy conversion to
make it 10-6.
Before half time Michael Dobson kicked a two
pointer to make it 12-6 at the break.
Into the second half and Wigan continued to dominate possession
and territory but Salford to work hard and deny us. Another Dobson
grubber looked to have sent Nathan McAvoy over but he knocked on
over the line.
Moments later Reds hooker Malcolm Alker limped
off. Perhaps a crucial moment in the game. He could have been the
game breaker after the Reds came back with a try from Aaron Moule
in the 52nd minute. Robinson was again the creater of that try but
Myler couldn't convert. He did however level the scores with a
penalty on the hour.
This was looking ominous for Wigan. Earlier
in the season, certainly at the JJB, we had dominated some first
halfs but failed to convert that dominance into a good lead and
eventually end up with a tough narrow loss. It was looking like
Salford would inflict that punishment to us again but Wigan are
stronger more resilient now and it was they who finished well
despite looking awfully nervous.
Like so often in the last two
matches it was a two point penalty from Dobson which settled the
nerves. Gareth Haggerty nailed a high shot on Orr and Dobson
maintained his focus to curl in a 30-metre penalty that restored
Then with ten minutes to go the game was sealed,
much to our relief.
Great work from Gareth Hock down the left was pivitol. He fended
off two tackles to make some good yards. The play the ball was
swung towards the centre. Fletcher found the gap went through and
went inside to the supporting Orr who strolled under the sticks.
Dobson's conversion made it 20-12 and game over.