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
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
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
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
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
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
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!
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
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