Wigan started excellently by establishing an 8-0 lead inside 6
minutes. First on 3 minutes a penalty goal was slotted by Pat
Richards after Quins were penalised for incorrect play the ball.
Two minutes later we scored the first try of the game. Sean
O'Loughlin broke clear down the middle and Chris Ashton was doing
what all good full backs should do, which is finishing off under
the sticks. Easy conversion for Pat, 8-0.
Wigan lost Feka
Paleaaesina to injury early in the match and he did not return,
which meant Wigan had to soldier on with just two recognised
Both sides had plenty of possession but defences were well on
to until Wigan went further ahead on 21 minutes. O'Loughlin was
again the creator as his grubber was touched down by Richards. Pat
failed to convert his own try which left the score at 12-0. Had it
been 14-0 I think this would have been enough, even so early in
the match. You just knew try scoring opportunities were going to
be at a premium but 12-0 kept Quins in it.
30 minutes Wigan brought on young hooker Mike McIlorum for what
turned out to be a brilliant debut. No nerves at all. First touch
of the ball and he could have been forgiven for just offloading to
the first receiver but no, he darted straight at the Quins
defence, taking them on as he would continue to do all night for
the 38 minutes he was on the field.
There was no further score until half time - Wigan leading 12-0
at the break.
As always first try of the second half was important and it was
Quins that got it. Wigan completely cocked up the kick off by
allowing the ball to bounce. This allowed Quins to nail Richards
into touch. After a drop out Mark McLinden and Julien Rinaldi
combined to send Steven Bannister over for the try. Bannister had
signed for Quins from St Helens earlier in the week and was on
debut. Paul Sykes converted, 12-6 and game on.
But crucially Wigan hit straight back. Phil Bailey showed rare
attacking promise with a break down the right which was finished
off by Mark Calderwood. If our centres broke more often Calderwood
would be an awesome player but he is stifled in this team.
Richards conversion made it 18-6.
You felt that a drop goal now was enough to win and it did come
but not until the 75th minute.
Before then Quins were reduced to 12 when Jon Wells was guilty
of a poor high tackle on sub Darrell Goulding. Not a swinging arm
but a forearm smash to the face. Definite Red!
Quins kept on fighting but Wigan held firm. Barrett kicked a
drop after failing twice earlier in the match and then in the
final minute Sean O'Loughlin scored to put the cherry on top of
the cake. Richards conversion made the final score 25-6.