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Match Report; Wigan 20 Huddersfield 12
Posted by Bilko on August 12 2007 - 21:42

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Wigan Warriors v Huddersfield Giants. Engage Super League XII Rd 23.
Friday 10th August 2007. Kick Off 8:00pm at JJB Stadium.

Thoughts on the Match

Well what a dire 80 minutes of Rugby League that was but it will probably prove to be massive in the context of our top 6 aspirations. Wigan desperately needed this and another win down at Harlequins next week should set us right up for the post season but it's easier said that done.

It was a similar match to when the sides met exactly a year a go. That night we won 14-10 with a late Danny Orr score which proved vital in our relegation survival.

This year though, yeah we won but not many ideas were on show. The only clear tactic was to pepper Matt Gardner on the our right wing. Last year when we won at the Galpharm, Pat Richards scored twice out muscling him but the flaw with the plan on this occasion was that Pat was back at full back. It did work once for the opening score which Darrell Goulding touched down but it was a wasted tactic - Pat would have had a field day against him.

It also annoyed me that we put some good bombs towards the wing but throughout the year we've rarely done it when Pat's been out there. When we have done it, it's twice paid off - Pat scored both home and away against Hull for example off bombs from Trent Barrett.

Interesting stats on Sky Pre Match.

First Half: 29 tries scored. 45 conceded.
Second Half: 51 tries scored. 27 conceded.

You can add two more now to out first half tries scored but that turn around is unfathomable. Professor Stephen Hawking wouldn't be able to explain that one! But as pointed out by Sky - When we have led at Half Time this year, we've never gone on to lose! As we all know following Wigan this year - we know if we are going to win or not, generally by how we start in the first 20.

The biggest part of us winning seems to be us at some point taking a simple two point penalty. Some see it as negative but let me highlight how crucial they can be.........

Catalans (H) 18th June 2006 - 3 penalty goals took us from 12 all to 18-12 before a Fletcher try made it 24-12. Final Score 24-18. Penalties the difference on the score board.

Warrington (H) 23rd June 2006 - Penalty Goal from Dobson on 24 mins created a 8 point lead for us which meant despite a Wire try before half time we still lead 14-12 at the break. Second Half we kicked on and won 30-12 in the end.

Harlequins (A) 1st July 2006 - Wigan won 26-24, The difference? A 2 point penalty from Dobson.

Wakefield (H) 7th July 2006 - Wigan kicked two penalties to create a 4-0 lead in the opening 10 minutes which sent us on our way to a comfortable win.

Salford (H)14th July 2006 - Penalty Goal increased a first half lead from 4 points to 6 and then a 2nd penalty 66 minutes made it 14-12 before we scored to seal the game minutes later.

Warrington (A) 23rd July 2006 - This time our own discipline back fired as 3 penalty goals from Lee Briers gave Wire a 22-20 win despite 3 tries being scored apiece. The penalties cost us the win.

Leeds (A) 11th August 2006 - Leeds out scored us 4 tries to 3 but better goal kicking and 2 penalty goals won the match for us 20-18.

Huddersfield (H) 18th August 2006 - This time we were trailing but a Penalty Goal levelled the scores at 8-8 before Wigan went on to snatch a 14-10 win.

Harlequins (A) 9th Sept 2006 - Harlequins kicked one 2 point penalty, we kicked none. It put them in a position to win the game 31-30 with a drop goal and it proved the difference.

Warrington (H) 9th Feb 2007 - Didn't learn from the previous year as 3 penalty goals from Briers were the difference to Wire in a 16-10 win.

Catalans (A) 18th Feb 2007 - Now we did get away with this one as a 79th minute try saw us win 18-16 but 3 penalty goals against should have seen us lose 16-12.

Bradford (A) 25th Feb 2007 - Well the game was lost but a last minute penalty helped Bradford win 32-28.

Harlequins (H) 9th March 2007 - Wigan won 16-12 - the difference was two penalty goals!

Leeds (A) 10th April 2007 - 3 tries apiece but 2 penalties from Pat saw us nick a 20-18 win.

Leeds (A) 12th May 2007 - Deja Vu! 2 penalties from Pat saw us nick a 22-18 win.

Hull KR (H) 18th May 2007 - Lost 10-12 - Hull KR penalty goal the difference.

Leeds (H) 12th July 2007 - This was not tight at 18-2 but 3 first half penalty goals opening up a crucial 6 nil lead which became insurmountable when we scored a try to make it 12-0.

Saints (A) 19th July 2007 - 16-6 became 18-6 for Saints and having scored the next try 18-12 was far less pressure than 16-12 would have been. The penalty goal brought the drop goal into the equation for Saints and when they got that, it killed the game off!

Huddersfield (H) 10th August 2007  - Penalty Goal made it 8-6 then a try made it 14-6. It also meant that when Hudds did score we still led by 2. It settled our nerves and force Hudds into errors which opened up more 2 point opportunities in a 20-12 win.

That's 19 matches in the last 13 months and only once (Catalans Away) has 2 point penalties not taken a side on to victory. We won 13 of those 19 matches which surely proves that kicking two is never negative. Saints like to tap a lot instead of the easy option, and that's great if you have the talent to get away with it, but we don't and the one time we didn't "take the two" it cost us at home to Hull KR. So the next time you see Pat lining one up in a first half, get on the phone to the bookies, were gonna win!

Story of the Match

Wigan ended their recent miserable run and dented Huddersfield's play-off hopes with a hard-fought victory over the Giants at the JJB Stadium.

Wigan dominated in the first half with Trent Barrett setting up tries for Darrell Goulding and Mickey Higham.

Chris Nero's try after the break got the Giants back into it but then they lost captain Chris Thorman to injury.

They still had chances to win but too many careless errors allowed Pat Richards to kick Wigan to victory.

After being docked points for breaching the salary cap and losing three games on the trot, including their Challenge Cup semi-final against Catalans, Wigan were desperate to turn a corner to revive their own play-off hopes.

They certainly began fired-up and were off the mark within five minutes, with Goulding getting his hands to the ball after Mat Gardner fumbled a well-placed cross-field ball from Trent Barrett.

But Huddersfield struck straight back when Kevin Brown's pass put Stephen Wild in to score.

The Warriors enjoyed most of the pressure in the first half with Huddersfield guilty of giving away too many penalties.

Wigan's second try was also set up by Barrett, his delicate chip resulting in Higham touching down although the video referee needed a long time to decide that the Wigan player was not offside.

Huddersfield came out after the break with a new-found sense of purpose and Richards did well to get Gardner into touch after the Giants' wing had sprinted clear.

But a breakthrough seemed inevitable and Nero escaped the Wigan defence after Goulding's careless knock-on to give Huddersfield the try that their pressure deserved.

However, Thorman then went off with an abdominal injury and without their skipper, Huddersfield seemed to lose their way.

The Giants could still have won but nervy ball-handling at key moments cost them dear and Wigan were able to edge ahead thanks to a succession of penalties from Richards who kicked six out of six to reach the 100 mark for the season.

The writing was on the wall when Wild was sin-binned for a late challenge on Barrett.

Wigan are now just one point behind Huddersfield in the Super League table.

Game Breaking Moment

The sin binning of Stephen Wild in the 76th Minute gave Pat a chance to boot us 8 ahead.

Top Player

Pat Richards - absolute dire game but his kicking and Huddersfield's poor discipline were the difference.

Reaction to the Action

Brian Noble: "I'm pleased for the players because it's not been the best few weeks of their lives. Sometimes you have to win scruffy to get back on track. We've now given ourselves an opportunity to kick on. It was tense and nervous at times and that can stop you playing so I'm delighted for the players."

Huddersfield coach Jon Sharp: "It was certainly a physical game and both sides were really aggressive. There was no quarter asked or given. I'm proud of the players and the way we played. Defensively I felt we were magnificent and when we did get a little bit of field position, we created some opportunities but unfortunately our completion rates hurt us."

Team Sheets

- Wigan Position Huddersfield -
5 Pat Richards Full Back Chris Thorman 6
2 Mark Calderwood Winger Rod Jensen 24
20 Darrell Goulding Centre Chris Nero 11
14 David Vaealiki Centre Shane Elford 4
23 Liam Colbon Winger Matt Gardner 21
6 Trent Barrett Stand Off Kevin Brown 4
7 Thomas Leuluai Scrum Half Robbie Paul 7
12 Bryan Fletcher Prop Keith Mason 16
16 Shane Millard Hooker Ryan Hudson 19
10 Iafeta Paleaaesina Prop Darrell Griffin 18
3 Phil Bailey 2nd Row Jamaal Lolesi 3
11 Gareth Hock 2nd Row Andy Raleigh 12
13 Sean O'Loughlin L.Forward Stephen Wild 13
- - - - -
8 Stuart Fielden Substitute Eorl Crabtree 8
9 Mick Higham Substitute John Skandalis 10
18 Paul Prescott Substitute Stuart Jones 14
19 Harrison Hansen Substitute Tom Hemmingway 22

Score Sheet

Wigan Warriors 20 --- Huddersfield Giants 12
Tries (2):
Darrell Goulding
Mick Higham
--- Tries (2):
Stephen Wild
Chris Nero
Goals:
Pat Richards 6/6
--- Goals:
Chris Thorman 2/2

Scoring and Incident Pattern

04mins:17 Wigan 04 Huddersfield 00 Try: Darrell Goulding
- Wigan 06 Huddersfield 00 Conversion: Pat Richards (1/1)
08mins:26 Wigan 06 Huddersfield 04 Try: Stephen Wild
- Wigan 06 Huddersfield 06 Conversion: Chris Thorman (1/1)
33mins:07 Wigan 08 Huddersfield 06 Penalty Goal: Pat Richards (2/2)
36mins:46 Wigan 12 Huddersfield 06 Try: Mick Higham
- Wigan 14 Huddersfield 06 Conversion: Pat Richards (3/3)
Half Time Wigan Warriors 14 Huddersfield Giants 06
47mins:50 Wigan 14 Huddersfield 10 Try: Chris Nero
- Wigan 14 Huddersfield 12 Conversion: Chris Thorman (2/2)
55mins:58 Wigan 16 Huddersfield 12 Penalty Goal: Pat Richards (4/4)
65mins:20 Wigan 18 Huddersfield 12 Penalty Goal: Pat Richards (5/5)
76mins:00 Huddersfield Sin Bin Stephen Wild (Late Tackle)
76mins:21 Wigan 20 Huddersfield 12 Penalty Goal: Pat Richards (6/6)
Full Time Wigan Warriors 20 Huddersfield Giants 12

Referee

Steve Ganson

Television

Match Attendance

12,744

League Table at Conclusion of Super League 12 Round 23

- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 St Helens 23 16 0 7 671 356 +315 32
2 Leeds Rhinos 23 16 0 7 645 432 +213 32
3 Bradford Bulls* 23 16 0 7 690 490 +200 30
4 Hull FC 23 11 2 10 488 471 +17 24
5 Wakefield Wildcats 23 11 1 11 526 564 -38 23
6 Warrington Wolves 23 11 0 12 599 622 -23 22
7 Huddersfield Giants 23 10 1 12 530 452 +78 21
8 Wigan Warriors** 23 12 0 11 505 459 +46 20
9 Harlequins 23 9 2 12 433 542 -109 20
10 Catalans Dragons 23 8 1 14 476 589 -113 17
11 Hull Kingston Rovers 23 8 0 15 382 619 -237 16
12 Salford City Reds 23 6 1 16 397 746 -349 13

*Bradford Bulls Deducted 2 points for 2006 Salary Cap Breach.
**Wigan Warriors Deducted 4 points for 2006 Salary Cap Breach.

Round 23 Results
Fri 10 Aug Leeds Rhinos 52 Salford City Reds 14 15,637
Fri 10 Aug Wigan Warriors 20 Huddersfield Giants 12 12,744
Sat 11 Aug Catalan Dragons 21 St Helens 0 8,655
Sun 12 Aug Hull Kingston Rovers 10 Bradford Bulls 28 6,695
Sun 12 Aug Hull FC 46 Warrington Wolves 14 13,404
Sun 12 Aug Wakefield Wildcats 28 Harlequins 14 5,128

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