Hard to butter this one up. 34 errors between the sides say's it
all and for the majority of the first hour, Wigan's attack was
beyond belief. No structure. No cohesion. No ideas. It did settle
down late on though, particularly because Micky McIlorum returned,
and I thought late on that Wigan had a clear fitness edge on
Salford were not much better to be fair in attack but
both sides did defend reasonably well. I thought Salford in
particular did a good job out wide in keeping both Dom Manfredi and
Joe Burgess quiet and that contributed to Wigan's woes in attack.
We like to go out wide but when that avenue was closed, we hit a
cul-de-sac, wondering what else to do. In the end we got over the
line with some scrappy tries to be fair.
For all that though, I did say as we hit the air on Wish FM at
7pm that tonight was all about the result and I wasn't bothered how
we got it. I didn't quite expect this display BUT I don't mind it,
if we put in a good show after the enforced cup break when we play
The only try of the first half went to Salford in the 9th Minute
with Corey Paterson crashing over and Josh Griffin converting for
6-0. That was it. Nothing else to report.
Early second half that lead was extended to 12-0 within two
minutes. Taulima Tautai's error was punished by George Griffin
under the posts.
This was beginning to remind me of some dark days of the Brian
Noble era when Wigan consistently were hard to watch at home but
the positive for us this time was that we fought back to win.
In the middle of the game we had a spell of using Matty Smith at
hooker with Ryan Hampshire off the bench to play with George
Williams in the halves. It didn't really work to be honest but all
round it was poor so maybe not the night to judge that idea.
A big key to the comeback was hitting back so soon after it had
gone 12-0. Like so often this season, it was Joe Burgess that found
a try with him plucking a bomb from Matty Smith out the air to
finish. Smith converted for 12-6.
Wigan were still playing poorly when that try was scored but
once McIlorum returned for his second spell, things settled down.
It was still a flukey finish to equalise. Good work from Dom
Manfredi down the right set up territory and swinging left a kick
back inside from Budgie allowed Liam Farrell to pounce on a
bouncing ball. Smith converted for 12-12.
Fifteen minutes still remained but Wigan now had all the
momentum. Not even Smith missing a forty metre penalty goal could
halt the charge and it was Dan Sarginson who claimed the crucial
try. Another Scrappy one. Grubber went in, Theo Fages didn't deal
with it and Sarge pounced for the score. Smith converted for 18-12
before adding a flapper of a drop goal, the 15th of his Wigan
career, to complete the comeback victory with five minutes to go.