After nine months without an away victory, perhaps we should just
be happy for any old away win? In reality though this was a
frustrating victory against bottom of the table Wakefield.
a typical away performance really. Wigan got themselves into good
positions but just made it so easy for the opposition to come back
at them. Doing the Wish FM commentary I was so frustrated by this
because it's a total contrast to our home performances that have
been very controlled. Like I said on commentary, I'd put all the
players in a giant snow globe and give it a damn good shake before
the next away game.
The defensive nightmare started in the opening minute. Anthony
Gelling and Matty Smith left a huge gap for Matt Ryan to break
through and Craig Hall had a canter to the line. He then converted
Shocking start but Wigan settled down once they got some
possession and scored a barge over near the posts from Dom Crosby
in the 8th Minute. That was his first four pointer since Good
Friday 2013. Easy conversion for Matty Smith made it 6-6.
Then in the 13th and 20th Minutes came two more Wigan tries that
will be an embarrassing review for Craig Hall. Matty Smith and Joe
Burgess broke through to score tries with Hall left flat footed on
both occasions. Smith also converted both for 18-6.
Now your thinking, settle down, control the game. Instead
Wakefield came back with a break from Reece Lyne down the right
with an overlap created because the Wigan defence didn't find their
men and slide correctly. Nice race of pace between him and Budgie
but although he was stopped, soon after Daniel Smith got Danny
Kirmond over. Really poor defence again there by Wigan. A lack of
numbers means Sarginson comes way in off his centre position to
tackle near the posts and Burgess is left with three on one nowhere
near his wing. That is not working hard enough surely? That was
such a simple try for Wakefield and its hard to fathom why we had
ten defenders to the right of the left post.
Next, eight minutes before half time, Sarginson was penalised
for an off the ball tackle on Richard Owen. Another poor read in
defence and he might have been lucky not to be sin binned. Instead,
the yellow cards came out a minute later when Tim Smith and Sam
Powell came into altercation. Powell took two punches off him
before retaliating but both got sin binned anyway. Not sure what
he's supposed to do Powell.
Two minutes after the yellows, Wigan found their fourth try of
the half with Dom Manfredi scoring his twelve try in his last five
matches. I thought generally though Wakefield dealt with Manfredi
and Anthong Gelling well defensively in this game. A lot of probing
but it was only when down to twelve, admittedly twelve each, that
Dom managed to get over. Beautiful touchline conversion made it
Now your thinking, settle down, control the game, especially so
close to half time. Nope. Two penalties in the minute before half
time get Wakefield forward and Pita Godinet does a dummy half sneak
to touch down with three seconds left on the clock. Talima
Tautai, Ryan Hampshire and Tony Clubb all in front of him, should
be stopping that. Poor stuff.
So that left the score at 24-18 half time but Wigan came out
quickly second half with Sarginson breaking down the left and
sending Burgess over for his second in the left corner. Smith again
converted superbly for 30-18.
Now your thinking, settle down, control the game. Nah! Straight
away, Tautai tries a ridiculous offload to no one and Godinet
scoops to send Chris Riley in for a gift. Conversion was missed
though for 30-22.
Annoying but Wigan still had a two score lead. However they now
began to lack patience in attack. Hampshire chucking ball into
touch being one example and a poor kick from George Williams after
a Manfredi break being another.
The try did eventually come with Lee Mossop scoring a soft one
near the posts, his third try in his last three appearances against
Wakefield. Easy conversion from Smith made it 36-22.
Now your thinking, SETTLE DOWN, CONTROL THE GAME!! Bloody hell
fire, this time Ben Flower knocks on twenty from his own line. I
have a good long fuse me but I was fuming on the radio. It really
is madness to be repeatedly doing stuff like that. Wigan survived
this time but this was the fourth occurrence of this happening.
Appalling game management to my eyes and not for the first time
away from home this season.
Wigan quickly got back up the other end and after Burgess had
one chalked off he may have wondered whether than elusive first
Super League hat-trick would come but on 64 minutes a lovely pass
from Williams got him over. Smith missed his first kick of the
night - 40-22.
Settle down? Control the game? Alas we finally managed it. The
game died a death though in the final 15 minutes. Wigan guilty of
lacking patience on a couple of occasions again but with three
minutes to go they were unlucky not to score when Gelling, running
clear, pulled up with clear hamstring trouble and his wild pass to
Bateman ricocheted off his legs and the bounce of the ball beat
him. He ended up crashing into a poorly exposed wheelchair bay that
was held up by wooden posts. Unacceptable to me that those wooden
posts are so exposed near the dead ball line. Bateman had a choice
of hitting hit head first or shoulder first. Either way he was
lucky not to have serious damage inflicted on him.
In the end it was job done but not in great style. We were lucky
that was bottom of the table we were playing in my eyes and other
sides may have punished our poor game management so severely. Work
to do before we can safely say these away day troubles are