This match for me was more about the result that the performance.
The difference between going five points clear of Huddersfield with
the win was huge, opposed to the loss in which they'd only be one
point behind us.
It could have gone either way to be fair but Wigan just had a
bit more class to gain tries from deep and that proved the ultimate
A better interchange bench was also pivotal. The score was 18-0
to Wigan when Eorl Crabtree, Craig Huby and Luke Robinson were all
interchanged onto the bench by Huddersfield coach Paul Anderson.
Wigan started slowly, like they had done in recent home games
against Salford and Widnes, and Huddersfield found two tries in the
first 12 minutes. Both were scored by Jermaine McGillvary on
Wigan's defensive left edge.
Lot's of finger pointing at Dom Manfredi and Anthony Gelling
defending out there but they are both just returning from recent
injuries and although their was a terrible missed tackle by Gelling
second half, in the main I felt the pair did fix that problem after
those two tries. Danny Brough converted the first for 10-0.
Like against Salford and Widnes, the more the first half went
on, the more I'm happy to take even 10-0 down to half time. We hung
in for a while but on 32 minutes we got a try to hit back. Liam
Farrell broke down the left from 40 metres to finish himself and a
good conversion from Matty Smith made the deficit just 10-6 at the
Second Half saw Wigan gain control of the contest with a quick
fire double around the 50th Minute. First Dom Manfredi scored for
12-10 before a second big break of the game from Farrell saw the
supporting George Williams finish. Smith was in good kicking form
for a 18-10 Wigan lead.
Game management was the key now and it wasn't perfect but what I
would say is that the air of calmness around this side at the
moment is pleasing. Trailing early? No panic. Huddersfield kept
hitting back. No Panic. Of course the extra two point cushion
helped but that's a pleasing trait and it shows the massive
importance of goal kicking. Smith seems more on the good side than
bad with his efforts in that department now.
Ironies occurred after the hour mark with the two sides loanee
swaps both scoring. First Jack Hughes finished well for
Huddersfield but four minutes later Wigan responded with a quality
offload from George Williams getting Larne Patrick over.
That had Wigan 24-16 ahead with 15 minutes to go but
Huddersfield just didn't go away and they found a fourth close
range try with Eorl Crabtree crashing over after a break down the
right had been created following a poor missed tackle by Gelling.
So at 24-22 with 8 minutes to go, the match was still in the
balance and the massive swing between a five point gap for Wigan or
one point behind for Huddersfield was just one try away for either
Thankfully it was Wigan who found it as Dom Crosby crashed over
to seal the win with three minutes to go. Smith made it 5 out of 5
to ensure their would be no Huddersfield come back this time and
the match finished 30-22.
This result takes the pressure off Wigan now as they head to
Leeds and Warrington. For me that gives them a free pass at Leeds
at least and they should go to Headingley, enjoy it and see what
happens. No need to put pressure on themselves because they took
the pressure off with this victory.