In a funny way I thought Wigan played well here, but it depends how
your judging "playing well". I can't really say that in the
conventional sense of beating the opposition in good style with
free flowing rugby, but in terms of correcting severe issues from
the Castleford match, Wigan did that!
At Castleford the issues
were discipline, poor defence and a paltry lack of metres in good
forward. Here against Hull the discipline was definitely better, so
was the defence and we did make 1,527 metres forwards compared to
just 942 at Cas.
I don't think we could say it was a good watch though but part
of me thinks Wigan needed to strip back to those kind of basics
after the awful effort the week before. However, the other part of
me worries that we still laboured over the finish line in a game we
should have won far more comfortably.
Coach Shaun Wane has said a couple of times recently that "we
will click" and with some of the passes going to ground I can see
where he is coming from but on the other hand the standard of
attacking play hasn't been great to watch.
In this match against Hull, Wigan took the lead in the 9th
Minute. After forcing a drop out, Sam Powell and Matty Smith
combined to send Joel Tomkins through a gap in the defence to score
the right of the posts, Smith converting for 6-0.
The next 25 minutes saw a lot of midfield play. There were
hardly any stoppages with both sides going set for set without
In the three minutes before half time though, Wigan doubled
their lead and that would prove crucial in the end result. First
Smith kicked a penalty goal for 8-0 and then, after great work down
the right wing by Joel Tomkins, and a correctly given "back to
one", Wigan swung left to get Dan Sarginson over. Smith's
conversion was woefully off target but Wigan would be happy for
12-0 at the break.
If Wigan had got the first score of the second half I think Hull
would have been ripe for a big score against them but once again,
like seen a few times before this season, they gifted the
opposition hope with a poor try conceded.
Just two minutes in, kick went up by Sneyd and running from
opposite directions Anthony Gelling and Matty Bowen both ran into
each other, creating the error, and Feluti Talanoa had a gift touch
down. Opta stats registered the error down to Bowen but Gelling
surely has to leave that to the full back? Poor communication
either way and after Sneyd converted it was 12-6.
Though Hull got back in it, they barely threatened Wigan. Odd
occasions from deep but rarely were Wigan pressed back on their own
line. Wigan meanwhile had opportunities but wasted them
repeatedly. One simple try for Joe Burgess being bombed by Matty
Bowen's forward pass being an example. Wigan ended up kicking a
drop goal on 65 minutes from Matty Smith and that lead seemed
That was until 72 minutes when Danny Houghton chucked a
unconventionall pass out right that allowed Callum Lancaster to
score in the corner. Sneyd converted off the touchline to make it
13-12 and a sweaty finish for Wigan.
Now Hull came mightily close to nicking a draw, or maybe even a
win, chucking it about in the last minute but in the main I thought
Wigan dealt with the late pressure superbly. They controlled
possession for most of that time and whilst you could argue that
they should of kicked a penalty goal when they got the opportunity,
playing for field position wasn't a bad option either. In fact I'd
argue that was the more positive option of the two.
After losing leads to both Widnes and Hull KR, Wigan could have
flapped mentally after both the gift try for 12-6, and then at
13-12 with still seven minutes to go. They didn't really do that
though. I'm not sure if that was all down to Wigan themselves or
Hull not doing enough but we have to draw positives from that,
because that's the kind of season it's been so far.
In the end this one goes in the "a win is a win" category. Next
week will be another proper gauge of Wigan's potential this season.
We will need to rise a hell of a lot in standard to win at Leeds
and whilst I've not seen anything to make me positive about that,
I'm hoping to be proved wrong.