The blunt truth for Wigan here was that they simply didn't do enough to
deserve to win this cup tie against Hull KR. Even when 12-10 up with ten
minutes to go it just didn't seem fair that Rovers could lose and in the end
they got the try that gave the tie a fair reflection.
spectacular in their victory but they did all the basic things far better
than Wigan. Good kicks to end sets and a great chase. Then when it was time
to defend they held pretty firm for the majority of the game.
Wigan dominated the opening minutes of the match but only found a penalty
goal from Matty Smith in the 14th Minute to show for it. Rovers visibly grew
in confidence from that, helped by an error on the restart forcing a cheap
drop out. They didn't score from that but in the 19th Minute, Maurice Blair
scored to put them 6-2 ahead after Josh Mantellato converted.
From that moment, Wigan had to work far harder for their metres but did
respond before half time with Joel Tomkins scoring a soft try in the 36th
Minute. Smith missed the conversion and Mantellato missed a penalty right on
the hooter to leave the score at 6-6.
Second Half was tight for twenty minutes with both sides kicking goals
rather than attempting tries. Rovers went 8-6 and 10-8 ahead with efforts
whilst Smith missed poorly trying to make it 10-10.
Wigan though began to get on top with the return of McIlorum being
pivotal. He had us driving forward and it was his pass that got Joe Burgess
squeezed in the left corner on 64 minutes. Smith couldn't convert but Wigan
now led 12-10.
We continued to press after that but composure lacked. We may have got a
poor call from Richard Silverwood when on the attack under the posts but we
needed to realise that Rovers weren't going to go the length of the field on
us. The cheap penalty to help them down field was a poor one and another
error saw them gifted a crucial try.
At the time, at the opposite end of the field, I thought Dan Sarginson
had offloaded to no one for Ken Sio to collect and score but he'd actually
just lost the ball. Either way its poor play that he needs to learn from.
Sarge was trying to find a gap out wide but with a 12-10 lead in a cup
tie in it's final ten minutes, there is no need to do that. Wrap the ball up
and drive straight. Even if you only make 20 metres in a set, you can still
get the kick away and clear your lines. It needed to be that simple but
wasn't and that's why we deserved to lose.
Mantellato converted Sio's try for 16-12 and although Wigan had a late
effort from Joel Tomkins chalked off it would have been harsh on the
Wigan need to go away and just learn from this. Technically it was a home
game but realistically it was another wayward effort away from the DW. Same
old that we've seen all season and at the back end of last. The players need
to have a good think and figure out what they are doing wrong on trips away,
because it clearly isn't working and the issues are mental rather than