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Match Report: Wigan 25 Bradford 18
Posted by Bilko on July 06 2007 - 23:12

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Wigan Warriors v Bradford Bulls. Engage Super League XII Round 19.
Friday 6th July 2007. Kick Off 8:00pm at JJB Stadium.

Thoughts on the Match

This was a good dug out victory by Wigan but they were far from impressive here.

Especially early doors they were very poor in defence but big credit I suppose for the way we took our chances tonight. Every time we got close we score and completed our sets well.

Discipline wasn't good but I thought Ganson had a stinker. Rarely do I mention refs in these reports but I wasn't impressed with him tonight. We do have to look at our own discipline though which continues to be poor. Deacon kicked 3 penalties which kept Bradford in the game as our goal kicker Pat Richards was absent due to his wife giving birth. Chris Ashton struggled with conversions out wide.

After the match in the South Stand Bryan Fletcher came out as "coaches" man of the match. Deservedly so. He was our best metre maker.

I did grow increasingly frustrated that Bradford kept half knocking on but managed to retain possession. They were getting lucky but as the game wore on the mistakes began to tell.

I talked about Tame Topou in the preview for this match on here and about how it'd be interesting to see how he does as a started. Well he struggled. Looked totally unfit and no coincidence that Wigan scored twice through Phil Bailey in his corner during the first half. The Bulls tactics were to pepper Mark Calderwood but he stood up well.

Story of the Match

Well we really did get off to a dismal start as Bradford broke down the middle from kick off and went over in the corner after just 49 seconds. A kick into the corner was easy meat for James Evans as he touched down unopposed. Possibly offside but Wigan didn't deserve a decision like that as they had tackled shockingly. David Vaealiki was again guilty with a woeful attempt on Chris McKenna. Chris Ashton came forward to try and stop the break but Glenn Morrison ran through him. This opened the gap out wide for Evans to score. Deacon converted and then made it 8-0 in the 13th minute with a penalty goal.

Personally at that point I look back in hindsight and think that was a huge favour to us. Another Bulls try would have probably killed us off, even so early in the game as we had started so badly. The penalty came after Trent Barrett had thrown an intercept straight to a Bull but luckily it was prop Andy Lynch who took it. Chris Ashton chased him down and soon after Mark Calderwood was the man who conceded the penalty through holding down.

So luckily it was only 8-0. Wigan needed a spark and you sign class players to dig you out of holes when things are tough. He did it against Hull a few matches a go and did it again here. Trent Barrett's kick caused big problems to the Bulls defence. Chris Ashton and a Bulls defended dived to touch it down in goal, both missed and Barrett dived over them to touch down. Chris Ashton had goal kicking duty in the absence of Richards and slotted it over to make it 8-6. Flattering to Wigan but it did kick start us.

We started to be more adventurous in attack and made some good inroads. 27th Minute and Wigan scored in the right corner as Phil Bailey dove over from a yard out. Ashton struggled to convert from out wide but Wigan had the lead 10-8. However, Mickey Higham was adjudged to have obstructed a would-be tackler from the kick-off, and a second Deacon penalty made it 10-10.

But on 37 minutes Wigan regained the lead and it was Bailey again who scored. He took advantage of some good field position created by Deacon kicking out on the full in open play. Ashton again failed to convert so Wigan went in at half time with a slender 14-10 lead.

The Bulls were back on level terms 11 minutes into the second period, when David Solomona's superbly disguised inside ball freed Ben Harris to cross for Bradford's second try. Deacon's conversion and a third penalty goal shortly after gave his side a four-point advantage heading onto the final quarter.

Wigan drew level on 65 minutes after getting repeat set. Fletcher and Barrett combined well to send Mark Calderwood over. Ashton converted this time to make it 20-18.

It was very nip and tuck in the last 15 minutes but Wigan eventually sealed it in the final four minutes. First on 76, a Tommy Leuluai kick was just touched down by David Vaealiki before it went dead. Ashton had a kick at goal to create a two try lead but missed. It didn't matter as Trent Barrett made sure of the points with a 78th minute drop goal which made the final score 25-18.

Game Breaking Moment

The result was only sealed by the 79th minute drop goal from Trent Barrett. Class with the ball and class with his composure.

Top Player

Bryan Fletcher - Great yardage.

Reaction to the Action

Brian Noble: "I've probably mentioned it once in the last couple of weeks, and the (Salary Cap) administration will take its course. That's probably as much as I want to say about it. We are here to play rugby and we always will be. We had some words at the beginning of the week (after the 32-6 loss at Wakefield) as we normally do but I thought the enthusiasm was a whole lot better tonight. Even when we went 8-0 down I thought we'd get back into the game. I thought there were some really tough performances and I genuinely think we've still got some improvement in us. Please don't ever think I would be treacherous to the white rose, but I am enjoying my stay here (at Wigan). I am enjoying being with these players and I am delighted with what they come up with. The Wigan crowd were superb - and long might that continue. They've had to put up with some less than good performances this year but in the main we have gone okay."

Bradford Coach Steve McNamara: "We weren't good enough on the night. We were down a little bit in energy, and Wigan were a bit more energised and certainly a lot more fluent than us. We looked a little bit at sixes and sevens and, if you don't prepare properly for a game, sometimes that happens. We just have to get back on the horse. But sometimes it's even harder after a win to get back on track. Sometimes you invest so much time and effort into a game, it's not on purpose - but you don't have as much the week after."

Team Sheets

- Wigan Position Bradford -
1 Chris Ashton Full Back Michael Platt 19
2 Mark Calderwood Winger Marcus St Hilaire 1
3 Phil Bailey Centre Nathan McAvoy 2
14 David Vaealiki Centre James Evans 17
23 Liam Colbon Winger Tame Topou 20
6 Trent Barrett Stand Off Glenn Morrison 12
7 Thomas Leuluai Scrum Half Paul Deacon 7
8 Stuart Fielden Prop Joe Vagana 8
9 Mick Higham Hooker Terry Newton 9
10 Iafeta Paleaaesina Prop Andy Lynch 10
11 Gareth Hock 2nd Row Chris McKenna 11
12 Bryan Fletcher 2nd Row David Solomona 26
13 Sean O'Loughlin L.Forward Jamie Langley 13
- - - - -
18 Paul Prescott Substitute Ben Harris 3
19 Harrison Hansen Substitute Ian Henderson 16
20 Darrell Goulding Substitute Sam Burgess 18
25 Mike McIllorum Substitute Matt James 23

Score Sheet

Wigan Warriors 25 - Bradford Bulls 18
Tries (5):
Trent Barrett
Phil Bailey 2
Mark Calderwood
David Vaealiki
- Tries (2):
James Evans
Ben Harris
Goals:
Chris Ashton 2/5
- Goals:
Paul Deacon 5/5
Drop Goals:
Trent Barrett 1
- -

Scoring and Incident Pattern

49 Seconds Wigan 00 Bradford 04 Try: James Evans
- Wigan 00 Bradford 06 Conversion: Paul Deacon (1/1)
13th Minute Wigan 00 Bradford 08 Penalty Goal: Paul Deacon (2/2)
17th Minute Wigan 04 Bradford 08 Try: Trent Barrett
- Wigan 06 Bradford 08 Conversion: Chris Ashton (1/1)
27th Minute Wigan 10 Bradford 08 Try: Phil Bailey
- Wigan 10 Bradford 08 C.Ashton Missed Conversion (1/2)
30th Minute Wigan 10 Bradford 10 Penalty Goal: Paul Deacon (3/3)
37th Minute Wigan 14 Bradford 10 Try: Phil Bailey
39th Minute Wigan 14 Bradford 10 C.Ashton Missed Conversion (1/3)
Half Time Wigan Warriors 14 Bradford Bulls 10
52nd Minute Wigan 14 Bradford 14 Try: Ben Harris
- Wigan 14 Bradford 16 Conversion: Paul Deacon (4/4)
59th Minute Wigan 14 Bradford 18 Penalty Goal: Paul Deacon (5/5)
65th Minute Wigan 18 Bradford 18 Try: Mark Calderwood
- Wigan 20 Bradford 18 Conversion: Chris Ashton (2/4)
76th Minute Wigan 24 Bradford 18 Try: David Vaealiki
- Wigan 24 Bradford 18 C.Ashton Missed Conversion (2/5)
79th Minute Wigan 25 Bradford 18 Drop Goal: Trent Barrett
Full Time Wigan Warriors 25 Bradford Bulls 18

Referee

Steve Ganson (St Helens).

Match Attendance

15,107

Match Weather

Dry Night.

League Table at Conclusion of Super League 12 Round 19

- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 St Helens 19 14 0 5 617 293 +324 28
2 Leeds Rhinos 19 14 0 5 521 357 +164 28
3 Bradford Bulls 19 13 0 6 604 438 +166 26
4 Wigan Warriors 19 10 0 9 431 385 +46 20
5 Harlequins 19 9 2 8 381 418 -37 20
6 Wakefield Wildcats 19 9 1 9 428 472 -44 19
7 Hull FC 18 7 2 9 320 374 -54 16
8 Warrington Wolves 19 8 0 11 440 526 -86 16
9 Huddersfield Giants 19 7 1 11 430 377 +53 15
10 Catalans Dragons 19 7 1 11 395 491 -96 15
11 Hull Kingston Rovers 19 6 0 13 300 487 -187 12
12 Salford City Reds 18 5 1 12 315 564 -249 11

Round 19 Results
Fri 6 July St Helens 10 Leeds Rhinos 22 10,074
Fri 6 July Salford City Reds 18 Wakefield Wildcats 35 4,178
Fri 6 July Wigan Warriors 25 Bradford Bulls 18 15,107
Sat 7 July Harlequins 30 Catalan Dragons 22 2,546
Sun 8 July Hull Kingston Rovers 20 Hull FC 30 9,035
Sun 8 July Huddersfield Giants 28 Warrington Wolves 47 6,822

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