I refer to my tweet made at 9:46pm on
Friday Night which read "How the f*ck have we won this?"
A remarkable victory given we played an
hour with twelve men and had to chuck two debutants (Macauley
Davies and Kyle Shelford) and another youngster (Jake
Shorrocks) off the bench into a situation where we are
chasing the game with a man less.
This Wigan side may not be hammering
sides in attack this season but they are consistently
winning tight matches and that is not a bad trait to have
in your locker.
I felt Wigan were off the game mentally
though early on and it perhaps fortunate that Wakefield had
only found one try, scored by Max Jowitt, which had put
them 6-0 within five minutes.
A lot has been made about the referees
performance obviously given three cards were handed out to
Wigan players. Personally I didn't really have that much of
a problem with either of them but twice in amongst all that
shuffling we saw Wigan players taken out twice on kicks and
penalties proving sufficient. I found that particularly
galling when Josh Charnley was carded no sooner had Dom
Manfredi returned from his ten minute sit down.
Like last week at Catalan though, Wigan
found tries with 12 men with first Oliver Gildart and then
Sam Powell crossing to put Wigan into a 10-6 lead. Matty
Smith had missed a poor conversion on the first try which
would have proved very costly indeed had Wigan not won the
Given Wigan's new
penchant for playing better and scoring tries with 12 men,
after Powell scored I suggested Live on Wish FM commentary
that we perhaps should nominate a player to be sin binned
next. Trouble was I only went and nominated Sean O'Loughlin
and within three minutes the bugger got himself sent off
for a poor high tackle. It was only last week that I was
laughing at someone on twitter calling him "Super League's
dirtiest player" despite the fact he hadn't been sent off
or suspended in his entire career. Kiss of death or what?
Wigan got to half time but you sense
that the fact they'd only used 1 interchange, which was an
excellent contribution from Taulima Tautai, would be tough
on us second half. Especially when Wakefield went back in
front with a try from Reece Lyne three minutes after the
restart for 12-10 after Finn converted.
Shaun Wane really had no choice but to
bring on Shorrocks, for his home debut, along with the duo
of Davies and Shelford for their first Wigan appearances.
This spell proved tough for Wigan and
Wakefield went further ahead with a try from Ben
Jones-Bishop, unconverted for 16-10, then a penalty goal
put the visitors 18-10.
15 minutes still remained but you
couldn't see Wigan coming back in all honesty. However, two
penalties helped Wigan down field and they found a try from
Lewis Tierney that brought the score back to 18-16 and
lifted the whole stadium to rally with over ten minutes
still to go.
Wigan were now hammering Wakefield's
line inside the last five minutes but they managed to
survive the onslaught and a minute left they looked like
the match was sealed as Wigan knocked on the half way line.
With Wakefield getting the scrum on half
way you expect at the very least Wigan would have no more
than seconds to go 100 metres to get a try. The score at
Hull at that point was still 15-14 to Hull and
realistically I declared on the radio that "first place is
probably gone now aand so with it a potential trip to
You just couldn't script that over the
next fifty or so seconds that Wakefield would knock on
first tackle, give Wigan one last chance, which they took
after a marvellous grubber from Williams that touched down
by Tierney to win the match. Then almost simultaneously
Leeds had scored a match winner themselves at Hull and two
points behind with an almost impossible points difference
deficit unlikely to be overcome had become a two point
Wigan lead at the top. Absolutely unbelievable stuff.
Conversion didn't matter but it was kicked anyway from
Smith and with it his poor miss earlier in the game didn't
cost us a point in the end.
In all honesty Wakefield probably lost
this more than Wigan won it in. They should never have lost
possession like they did in the final minute but the guts
and desire from Wigan to fight for the two points was
fantastic to watch. They found a way to win yet again and
it's taken us to the top of the table.