Well for the second Super League game in
a row, Wigan managed to snatch victory from the jaws of
Like at Huddersfield, when we chucked a
12-6 lead down the pan to go 13-12 before winning, this
time it was a 16-2 lead that was whittled all the way down
to 16-16 before a late winner.
You could have filled a bingo card on
the amount of times I said "game management" during the
Wish FM commentary of this match but it's something that
Wigan continue to lack.
10-2 up first half we conceded four
penalties to help them down field and we were lucky in that
we had good try line defence to see it out because Salford
were not playing badly.
Second Half we got 16-2 up but no
lessons learned from the first half. Four more penalties
conceded, plus a one on one ball strip lost, and Salford
got back to 16-16 this time.
We pushed our luck and have got away
with it twice now. The annoyance is not so much it
happening but the lack of learning from it. This has to
It also frustrates more here because generally I
thought it was a good show this. A great result because I
don't think Salford are mug team anymore. They played well
and threw a lot at Wigan.
Three times they broke clear early on
and Wigan were fortunate to survive on each occasion.
Defence not great deep in the field, particularly on the
left edge, but on the goal line it
was excellent. Salford probed with good kicks, forced some
drop outs, but Lewis Tierney was dealing with a lot of
those tests very well indeed.
All Salford got for their early pressure
was a 2-0 lead from a penalty goal by Gareth O'Brien whilst
Wigan found two tries which were both scored by Oliver
First one he got the ball wide left and
then stepped back inside to flat foot two defenders before
finishing well. The second one, well it was an exact carbon
copy really with the same nifty footwork getting him over.
Matty Smith missed the first conversion but hit the second
In between those two scores, Dom
Manfredi had a try ruled out, presumably for
offside, which was a shame because it was a great leap and
That 10-2 score saw out till half time
but I reiterate that Salford had been showing better than only two
points on the board. The half time hooter sounded with them
a bugs dick from scoring.
Second Half couldn't have started
better. George Williams' good break set up the territory
and Anthony Gelling was sent though a big gap to finish.
Smith converted for 16-2.
I've already stated my frustration at
Wigan not controlling the game from here but I didn't
actually think they had collapsed. Salford had been probing
night and it wasn't a surprise that they began to eventually get over the line with
it, possibly as Wigan were tiring also. It had been a shock
that they hadn't done so earlier.
One key move to it had been them
Dobson, switching Gareth O'Brien from full back
to half back, alongside Robert Lui, and Niall Evalds coming on
at full back.
It just started to work better after
that and tries
from Junior Sa'u (57) and Josh Griffin (67) set up the
momentum before Ben Murdoch-Masila ran over the top of Liam
Farrell to score a third try and it was 16-16 with 6 minutes to go.
You might have expected Salford to win
from that position but it was Wigan who snatched the result
although video replays suggest its on the dodgy side. A
possible knock on by a hard working Taulima Tautai before a
questionable finish by Dom Manfredi in the right corner
from Gelling's pass. I've not seen it myself yet, and am
only going off what I've read on twitter, but if not dodgy
it was an unbelievable finish by Manfredi.
So Wigan won 20-16 and it is three wins
from three and at the final whistle we are top of the
table. We normally start poorly so it's good to be picking
up the results, especially when they are not totally smooth
performances. This was a better effort than we saw against
Catalan and Huddersfield though and hopefully we'll
continue the upward curve against Hull next week.