The poor weather and heavy pitch made it a slow sluggish bitty match but plenty of positives from a Wigan perspective.
I thought our pack was excellent tonight with good rotation between Feka, Coley and the returning Fielden. Just a shame Paul Prescott limped off and is going to be out for a few weeks at least. The forwards had the likes of Sam Burgess in their back pockets.
We also had a good night out wide. Richards and Carmont again continue to impress as a wing - centre partnership. Whilst Colbon and Goulding are doing a decent job on the other side - I can't wait for Karl Pryce and Mark Calderwood to team up though - hope it happens soon!
Not sure where Barrett is at the moment. Very quiet so far. But then again he was at the beginning of last year. He perhaps needs a dry pitch. Good kick for Richards try though - every time that is attempted Pat comes up with the goods - why not try it more often?
All in all a good win. We are not playing anywhere near the standards of the back end of last season but to be fair that's not a bad thing when we are winning matches.
Wigan Warriors made it three wins from their four opening games of the season with a 28-14 victory over the Bradford Bulls at the JJB Stadium on a damp Saturday evening.
The Warriors have continued where they left off 2007 with impressive form at home, their last loss at the JJB, ten games ago in the middle of last year against Hull KR, who incidentally are the next visitors to Wigan over Easter.
The home side turned around an 0-8 deficit to win the game by fourteen points. Five Wigan tries in total through Carmont, Goulding, Richards, Tomkins and Hansen while Richards hit three conversions and a penalty.
Wigan were without the suspended Phil Bailey so Gareth Hock moved up off the bench to start. On the bench was prop Stuart Fielden fit again, after a bicep injury, his first run out of 2008.
It was Wigan who were forced into some early defending as the Bulls pressed for the first score. It came with six minutes on the clock, a penalty for offside, Deacon with a simple kick to make it 0-2.
Referee Richard Silverwood was caning Wigan with penalties to the Bulls and sent Thomas Leuluai into the sin bin with ten minutes on the clock for what was adjudged persistent offside. From a quick tap, the Warriors were caught as Wayne Godwin sneaked over for the first try of the game; Deacon added the extras, 0-8.
Wigan responded a Barrett grubber kick was pounced on by George Carmont for a touchdown on 14 minutes; the try went to the video referee and was give benefit of the doubt. Richards struck the goal, 6-8.
Wigan drew level on 27 minutes, a Richards penalty, 8-8.
Bull’s second rower Glenn Morrison was the next to be shown a yellow card with seven minutes of the half remaining and spent ten minutes on the sidelines, Morrison had been penalised before for lying on.
With three minutes of the half left Wigan opened up the Bulls down the middle courtesy of a clever dummy by Gareth Hock. He had Mathers in support who was held 20 metres short. Wigan worked it quickly to the left, Barrett with the pass to send in Darrell Goulding for the cherry and whites second try out wide. Richards goal was just hit to the right of the sticks, 12-8.
Just five minutes after the interval and Brian Noble’s side extended their lead. Goulding with an initial break from a Hock pass and it looked as if the chance had gone as he failed to see Colbon on his outside. From the play the ball, Barrett with a superb high cross field kick which Pat Richards plucked out of the sky away from James Evans for the try. The winger himself converted to make it 18-8.
Bradford got back into it with a Chris Feather try and Deacon goal, 18-14 the score approaching the mid way point of the second half.
A mistake by Michael Platt on the greasy surface allowed the ball to fall nicely though into the path of Joel Tomkins for Wigan’s fourth try of the night, Richards was spot on once more with the goal, the home side with a ten point advantage with 15 minutes remaining.
Wigan finished the stronger with a fifth try in the dying moments through Harrison Hansen in the corner, the conversion was missed and it ended 28-14.
Bradford never threatened a way back into it and it was another hard earned two Super League points for Brian Noble's side as they now face three trips on the road to Warrington, Huddersfield and St Helens.