The fact we nilled a side was great but the
most pleasing thing about this match for me was that at one point
second half our pack consisted of Paul Prescott, Mike McIlorum,
Eamon O'Carroll, Harrison Hansen, Joel Tomkins and Sean
O'Loughlin. Six players who all came through the academy ranks at
Wigan. Yeah we probably wouldn't get away with having them all out
on the field against most clubs but nethertheless it was very
Another pleasing thing about this game was that
Justin Murphy got up from an unbelievable collision with the
advertising hoardings. Something as to be done about that. It was
as if he'd been hit by a car at 40 miles per hour. A full
somersault over the boards which saw him crash land on the steps
at the bottom of the North Stand. Amazing how he had no broken
bones or even a bit of blood. The fact he played on was an
absolute miracle but the club need to do something about this.
This incident was in the 7th minute and just 3 minutes earlier our
own Trent Barrett just managed to avoid a similar incident by
hurdling the barrier. They need to be made taller in the in goals
so you can't fall over them as easily because in this instance he
could have easily have died and that is no exaggeration.
With no Feka, Stuart Fielden needed to come to
the fore and he did with a great display. After the match he
commented that he had taken a bit of a "slagging" for his
performances this season from a minority of Wigan fans and also
the media. I don't think he deserved criticising but when he did
receive it, it was simply sheer frustration that he had never
showed glimpses of his old form. He did in this match but its been
rare this season and as he admitted himself he needs to show it on
a more consistent basis. I think we'll get a different better
Stuart Fielden as the season draws to a close.
The main difference in this match for me was
our kicking game. Stacey Jones was anonymous whilst Trent and
Thomas Leuluai produced some excellent kicks into the corners.
Due praise for Mark Calderwood as well I think.
Scored a great try and was particularly impressive in his
defensive efforts but 0/10 for the try he bombed right on the
Catalans this season have been the best
starters in the league during the opening 10 minutes and again
they showed why as they peppered the Wigan line early. This early
onslaught saw them forced a drop out and the Justin Murphy
incident I eluded to earlier. They also had a try ruled out by
video referee Ben Thaler after Clint Greenshields had touched down
a Stacey Jones kick but he was miles offside.
Both sides were defensive tremendously, in fact
Wigan really struggled to get out of their own half early doors.
The first attempt they did have was a high kick towards Pat
Richards wing but big Pat was blatantly taken out and the penalty
given. Should have been a yellow in my view.
A yellow soon came as Thomas Leuluai broke
clear up the middle, he found Chris Ashton on the inside but he
was tackled just short of the line. Attempting a quick play the
ball Adam Mogg held in down and referee Steve Ganson blew for the
foul. Wigan played on and scored but Ganson had blown before the
play the ball. Mogg was sin binned and Wigan made them play as
they took the tap and quickly sent the ball out wide as Trent
Barrett sent Phil Bailey over. Before all that Pat Richards had
kicked a penalty goal so his conversion to this try made it 8-0
From the restart Wigan increased
their lead with a try that Trent scored all by his self. Just
inside our own half we swung the ball out wide to the left and
Barrett found the gap with an arching run and although he had easy
support he through the dummy to beat the full back Greenshields
and score himself. Brilliant try. Richards conversion made it 14-0
and just 3 minutes into Mogg's 10 in the bin Wigan had gone from
2-0 to 14-0 and that is how it would remain until the break.
I never really thought Catalans could come back
from that but at 14-0, the first score after the break was going
to a clincher.
The French began to tire and
conceded to penalties inside their own half in which Richards
attempted shots at goal. He missed the first but the second made
Sixty second later David Vaealiki
broke clear from inside his own half and Chris Ashton was their in
support to score and make it 22-0 as Richards converted again. 51
minutes and the game was sealed.
half hour become more about Wigan keeping them to nil but they did
score two further tries. Pat Richards finished off a neat kick
from Leuluai in the corner and a break from Barrett sent Mark
Calderwood over on the opposite side. Richards failed to convert
either score so it was 30-0 at full time although Calderwood
missed a sitter at the end.