I thought in attack their were plenty of positives from the limited
opportunities we had in the first half but generally we saw the
same old faults that have dogged this season so far continue.
Even though it was only 16-14 on the hour mark, Wigan had not
really been able to get up the field to push on for the victory. We
just didn't make enough metres forward. That led to the problem of
conceding penalties going backwards. If your not clearly our lines
enough, you end up having pressure on yourselves and that leads to
the penalties against.
Of course you still expect better than Liam Farrell being the
most penalised player in the whole league, and Joel Tomkins being
second most penalised, but the lack of metres going forward is the
biggest issue at the moment.
Ben Flower, Sean O'Loughlin and Dom Crosby would make a big
difference for sure but the impact made by Adam Cuthbertson in this
match was probably the biggest deciding factor. He scored a try,
made great metres and produced several offloads that all found the
mark. Wouldn't we love to have some beef like that in our pack?
We had positives though early like I said. Leeds had the early
territory but didn't little with it and we went up the other end to
build up an 8-0 lead with a try, a conversion and a penalty goal
all going to Matty Smith within 15 minutes.
The next few minutes highlight another problem of this season
though. I sat there and was delighted with 8-0 being a basis to
kick on from but how cheap did we give that lead away? We haven't
really controlled a well earned lead all season.
Within a period of seven minutes game time, Leeds had crossed
our line three times with first Cuthbertson, then Ash Handley and
Brad Singleton scoring. That put them 16-8 up in the blink of an
Again though, I thought it was a positive to get back in the
game after that burst to be only 16-14 down at half time. Logan
Tomkins made good impact off the bench and a lovely kick from
George Williams was perfect for Joe Burgess to collect, Smith
converting well from wide.
That scoreline held until the 61st Minute when a soft, soft try
scored by Liam Sutcliffe broke Wigan though and although he failed
to convert his own try, Wigan folded from that moment on.
Liam Farrell sin binned for tackling a man about to score,
whilst miles offside, had followed a poor penalty he'd conceded a
few minutes earlier. Sutcliffe kicked a penalty goal before Rob
Burrow darted over from another soft close range try to seal the
26-14 victory for the Rhinos.
In the last ten minutes Wigan did find three clean breaks, one
from George Williams and two from Joe Burgess. It might have been
interesting if Budgie had passed to a clearly open Dan Sarginson
but the wrong option was taken. In the end though it was too
little, too late.
The bottom for line for Wigan is that they have struggled to
compete for 80 minutes in most games this season and until they can
start to do that, it's going to continue to be a tough season's