Tierney scores for 10 or 12-2 instead of a forward pass
being given and Dom Manfredi doesn’t drop a very simple
catch in the in goal gifting Hull a try then we are
probably celebrating being back at Wembley now. Sport is
fine margins isn’t it?
couldn’t fault Wigan’s effort, particularly in defence, but
that is the harsh reality when you get in the big games.
Small margins make the difference. The reality was that
Wigan made the key mistakes.
occurred in the 45th Minute. On a last tackle,
Matty Smith is on half way in loads of space and puts in an
awful grubber that goes only 15 metres, it's easily trapped
and returned. I think he was trying to find touch, which
wasn’t a daft idea, but it was far too shallow a kick and
compounded by him conceding a penalty seconds later.
touched the ball for the next six minutes after that and
8-2 up had quickly turned into a 14-8 deficit. Again that
highlights the small margins but also highlights that it is
not Wigan that are creating them. Last week we saw the same
thing. Dan Sarginson makes a poor sloppy error on half way
against Saints and 4-4 became 16-4 down within six minutes
of that. We can’t afford those kind of errors with our
attack unable to find points easily. Simple as that.
We did well
first half but the honest is that it was all about hanging
on in defence. Hull were the ones making the clean breaks
early and we did magnificently to hold them out but we are
having to do that every week because of the poor attack and
it really does burn you for energy when it matters.
take the lead with a great solo try from George Williams
for 6-0 after 16 minutes which was a bit against the run of
play but good reward for our defence.
after that the game evened out a little. Hull's early pace
dropped and we competed better. We still needed a wonderful
try saving tackle to deny Gareth Ellis a try and looking
back at it now I think he was just short of grounding it.
It was a brilliant one on one stop by Sam Tomkins.
have been a big swing with Wigan up the other end blowing
that chance I mentioned for a least 10-2. I screamed on the
radio commentating "go left" because I had spotted the huge
overlap and they executed it superbly bar the supposed
forward pass. I was devastated at half time because I felt
that was a killer moment lost, particularly with it being
right on half time. Sadly so it proved.
come out second half and kick a penalty for 8-2 but by the
hour tries from Steve Michaels and Fetuli Talanoa plus Marc
Sneyd kicking three goals, including a penalty, had Hull
16-8 up and the match had drifted away from Wigan.
rally, we always seem to rally, with to my memory our only
clean break of the game leading to a try from Willie Isa
for 16-12 but Smith missed a poor conversion which perhaps
crucially took Wigan out of range of only needing a penalty
to level. Another error you simply cannot afford in big
gave up but two situations summed up the lack of cohesion
in our play. At one point we got a "play on" in perhaps
fortuitous fashion but from that John Bateman chips a solo
over the top to no one and our attack falls flat.
Then in the
last minute we've got time left on the clock but Oliver
Gildart shows his inexperience by chipping forward in hit
and hope fashion when time wasn't yet that desperate. Big
games need cool heads and we sadly panicked.
All in all
though I think the final result was fair. Hull were the
better side and deserved their win. I hope they go on to
end their Wembley hoodoo because it is truly remarkable
that they have never won at the place.
I thought after Catalan we were in a good place to kick on
for the climax to this season but the last four weeks have
sadly gone the other way and have been quite sobering.
Better sides have exposed our impotent attack and add in
the poor discipline we've endured this month it has all
contributed to an unravelling.
desperately need now is a complete reset. Some bodies are
tired whilst we are also in desperate need to find certain
players some match fitness and get Liam Farrell and Tony
Clubb back on the park. That is hard to achieve when your
playing big games.
be blasé about the top four, especially given our points
difference, but we are six points inside that. For me our
best chance of winning the Grand Final is to totally forget
about league leaders shield and build up that reset with
the least amount of pressure possible.
win against Wakefield Friday would be the best possible
pressure reliever. That would mean Catalan would have to
win three more games than Wigan over just six matches, a
hard task. Wigan would have breathing space to build up to
hopefully having everyone ready to go after what is now a
cup final week off.
won't win nothing with the standard of attack we're
producing but if we are to have a chance of anything I
think to take a step back is the best way forward. Not
being at Wembley gives a bit of breathing space in that
regard. Still not the place we want to be though is it?