Well a win is a win as they say but this
was a hard watch in all honesty. I'm struggling to find the
words to describe how bad the attack was but to still win
given that is a positive.
I didn't think we deserved it though,
mainly because of the poor and easy nature of us losing our
12-6 lead to go 13-12 down. Two really poor errors from
Anthony Gelling deserved to be punished by defeat but
fortunately Josh Charnley's 77th Minute try rescued the
victory which means Wigan have won both their opening Super
League games for the first time since 2010.
For Huddersfield - Scott Grix, Danny
Brough, Luke Robinson, Craig Huby, Joe Wardle, Jack Hughes
and Brett Ferres all played in the play off semi final
defeat last September but were either injured, retired or
left the club for this one. To be fair to the Giants those
absences certainly didn't show in the spirit of their side.
I felt they grew as the game wore on,
mainly off the back of Wigan's ineptitude in attack first
half. You could say Huddersfield defended well but Wigan
weren't exactly throwing much at them.
Repeatedly it was passing the ball left
statically, without success. Then they try passing it right
statically, without success. No flow. No second phase. No
speed. No breaks. No skill. No combination between the half
backs. No good kicks to end sets. It would have made for a
great game of pass the parcel but as a rugby league
spectacle it was awful.
Huddersfield capitalised with a good try
for Jermaine McGillvary in the 25th Minute which Jamie
Ellis converted for 6-0 and that was the only scoring of
the first half.
Immediately into the second half, Wigan
started to put some speed into the attack and went straight
down the middle at their opposite numbers. John Bateman and
Taulima Tautai were particularly strong I thought and this
quickly led to a 44th Minute try for Liam Farrell who had a
simple finish after Dan Sarginson batted back a good kick
in the air from Matty Smith, who converted for 6-6.
Wigan continued to look ominous up the
middle but too often they made errors trying to force the
pass. Huddersfield went close to re-taking the lead on 55
minutes but Jake Connor knocked on over the line and to
make things harsher for the Giants, Wigan scored up the
other end two minutes later.
An amazing looped basketball type pass
from Anthony Gelling got Dom Manfredi in the corner and
Smith adding a superb touchline conversion made it 12-6.
At this point with twenty minutes to go
it was reasonable to expect Wigan to push on for the win
given the absences Huddersfield had but the game management
and control from Wigan away from home is mind boggling at
Straight from the kick off restart,
Gelling made exactly the same error he did against Catalan
the week before by racing 100 miles and hour towards the
ball in the air and completely fluffing the catch. The
technique there is appalling to be honest and it's
frustrating that he hasn't learned from last week and I
wonder why it should be his ball to go for anyway?
Wigan survived that error but Gelling
again tin hatted the madness by trying an offload twenty
metres from his own line that failed and gave Huddersfield
territory. Where is the thought process here? You get a
lead in the final quarter, surely the idea is to protect
the lead. Their is absolutely no reason on gods earth to
push a pass in that situation.
My annoyance at that was compounded by
the fact he did exactly the same last September against
Hull FC when Wigan were holding a 26-24 lead and he was
guilty of costing us a try against Saints a week later than
that before he got subbed and subsequently dropped form the
Grand Final push.
I watch him closely doing radio and I
see him quite often shooting like a whippet out of the
defensive line and missing tackles rather than holding his
position. It really worries me to see this from a Wigan
player that's now in his fifth season. It's such a shame
because he can be class in attack but I'm not sure you can
afford such a giddy kipper in defence.
Those two errors helped towards
Huddersfield coming back from 12-6 down to lead 13-12 with
a try for Jamie Foster, a penalty goal from Ellis and then
a drop goal from Ellis.
Thankfully Wigan kept calm late on to
nick the win with a trademark cut out pass from Sean
O'Loughlin getting Josh Charnley in the corner. Nice finish
by Josh and Smith kicking a second touchline conversion
made it 18-13 at the end.
Plenty of work for Wigan to do before
Brisbane though. I hope we played this game with one big
eye on that because if not then we have big worries. The
half back combination was the biggest concern but I fancy
us to put in a big display next week and then we can move
on from this one quickly. This was not one for the DVD