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