I thought Wigan started well on the front foot for
the first 15 minutes of this game but after that it was a sorry show
with Hull KR more than deserving the victory.
Wigan just didn't look in this game physically or
mentally and it was just an off night all round. Response is key to what
to fully make of this.
That good start had seen a lovely short ball by Harry
Smith send Sam Powell over on 9 minutes for 6-0 after Hardaker
But things turned quickly on 17 minutes when the
limited game time of Ben Flower and Oliver Partington began to show up a
little around the marker position. They are not quite set as first and
second marker and Litten goes past them before a weak tackle from Liam
Byrne sees the break finished by Elliott Minchella under the sticks.
Two more tries followed within six minutes. A poor
lazy forward pass by Jackson Hastings gifted easy territory and just
quick hands left got Greg Minikin over for 10-6, kick missed.
Then more tired marker play from Flower got Jordan
Abdull away and it was a great offload to be fair that got Minchella
over for his second. Conversion meant Wigan had gone from 6-0 up to 16-6
down in 4 minutes and 24 seconds.
Wigan though seemed to recover well when Harry Smith
found Isa and then got the return pass to go over for 16-12 on 26
It looked like that would carry till half time and I
think both coaches would have been happy to go in at 16-12 but Rovers
found another try with just 31 seconds remaining. Another soft effort to
concede, finished by Minikin and compounded by Will Dagger kicking
sideline extras for 22-12 at the break.
Most disappointing for Wigan was the fact they lost
this game within six minutes of the restart after conceding two more
soft tries to first Dean Hadley and then Minikin completing a hat-trick.
Dagger converting the first for 32-12.
So having conceded three tries in 4:24 earlier in the
game, Wigan had conceded three more tries 6:10. These were collapses
that Wigan were suffering early in 2019 and it all goes down to poor
control around the ruck. That was the damage being done and when you've
players lacking game time and needing to get fit without reserve action
its difficult to infiltrate that into the squad. Whether it was all done
too much at once is a question but despite this loss it may well prove
later to have been the best thing to do. Squad will be important down
Wigan though still had 32 minutes to go but a
comeback never ever looked on, Wigan always looking well defeated. In
fact 32-12 held for a full 24 minutes before Wigan found a consolation
effort through a close range Jackson Hastings try. Even that had come
against 12 men following a sin bin to Shaun Kenny-Dowall.
Hull KR wrapped up their deserved win with a late
penalty goal to Jordan Abdull completing a 34-18 victory.