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Match Report: Wigan 18 Hull Kingston Rovers 12
Posted by Bilko on March 24 2008 - 17:48

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Wigan Warriors v Hull Kingston Rovers. Engage Super League XIII Rd 8.
Easter Monday 24th March 2008. Kick Off 3:00pm at JJB Stadium.

Thoughts on the Match

On the back of Good Friday, the two home defeats to Hull KR last season and losing the lead from 10-0 up - that was a good response from Wigan today.

It wasn't pretty in a very defensive game but we reacted and didn't collapse into a slump of bad form. And now, after Saints defeat today, we are still level with them having played just 3 home matches and travelled away to our two Lancashire rivals.

Nothing is pretty from Wigan at the moment - we are certainly not flowing with class and emphatic skill - but we're in the top six and backing this up on Friday against Wakefield (who are playing in France tonight) and we'll have repaired a lot of Good Friday's damage.

The effort was certainly there today. Not much conviction but Hull KR proved twice at the JJB last year that they can defend well.

Thomas Leuluai was superb with some excellent big shots whilst Liam Colbon with a positive display on the back of a poor derby.

Perhaps the key to Wigan's win today was holding out for four consecutive sets right on half time. For about 22 tackles they clung on to a 4-0 break lead and although Hull KR did come back to take the lead - that phase of play was pivotal to the final outcome.

Must praise the following from Hull KR today - excellent showing once again, outdoing the likes of Leeds and Bradford in recent times by far today.

Story of the Match

I was told that Wigan were sent straight to Orrell after Friday's shambolic display to look back at the tape and review that sorry embarrassing show and whether that is true or not - at least today our discipline was much, much better. Very few mistakes and very few conceded penalties.

In fact I think Ben Thaler had a great game, the game flowed for both sides and that's what we all want to see.

Wigan began much the stronger and early with a try from Liam Colbon in the 4th minute. Richards missed a difficult touchline conversion and for the rest of the half, Wigan pressed but were met by stiff defence from the visitors..

That early try would prove to be the only score of the first half. Wigan in the main kept Rovers in check until just before half time when they had four consecutive sets on the Wigan line.

Led superbly I thought by scrum half James Webster they put in some neat kicks, which caused drop outs, but Wigan managed to see them out until half time and maintain their hard fought 4-0 lead.

Into the second half and Wigan's lead was stretched to 10-0 on 50 minutes. Great break down the left, I think from Carmont, saw him send Liam Colbon over for his second. It was excellent work and passing in heavy traffic and also nice to see centre and winger combining like that. Richards hit a great kick off the sideline to make it 10-0.

Wigan were looking comfortable until a 2 minute spell on the hour saw Hull KR take the lead. Both tries came from deep breaks - first Chev Walker finished off a break from Webster then Clint Newton finished off another break. Paul Cooke converted both to make it 12-10 to Hull KR. The Wigan fans got a bit nervous, thinking "here we go" but Wigan did not collapse.

A penalty goal to level the scores on 68 minutes settled the nerves and it was Wigan who did all the late pressing. With just four minutes left they had an opportunity to drop goal but didn't take it - I was screaming at them for not doing so but they swung it out wide to Calderwood who on his wing stepped back inside to go over and another touchline conversion from Pat made it 18-12 /

Rovers kick off then failed to go 10 metres and from that Wigan never looked like losing. They comfortably saw it out although Stuart Fielden wants a rocket up his arse for that offload he made in the final moments which felt straight into opposition hands. It was well in KR's half but completely unnecessary when protecting a lead in the dying moments.

In the end a fair result I feel. Not much between these two sides but Wigan definetly just about shaded it.

Game Breaking Moment

After our late winning try - Rovers kick off failed to go 10 metres and it was game over.

Top Player

Liam Colbon - Between him and Leuluai but Colbon scored twice and looked very enthusiastic at dead ball situations.

Reaction to the Action

Brian Noble: "I thought we were worth our win and, had we executed a little bit better, we could have scored a few more points. But Hull KR were never going to go away, and were always looking for that reason to stay in the game. Those two scores in the second half could have embarrassed us but I've got to applaud the efforts of the players to find enough resolve and energy to get back down their end of the field and post another score, which was really pleasing. Had we executed properly, certainly in the first half, and a couple of opportunities in the second half, it would have been a little bit more comfortable. But you're never going to get a comfortable game against a team like Hull KR. In relation to what we dished up last week, when we didn't look enthusiastic at all, to defend your line for 23 plays (just before half time) was a great testament to the effort. We're pretty pleased about what we did in relation to how we showed up on Friday. We only had 10 minutes on the practice field yesterday. We've got bumps on top of bumps on top of bumps. I'd like to pay particular praise to our medical staff to get Pat Richards and Phil Bailey ready, because certainly on Friday it didn't look like they'd be able to play any part at all. But the doctors have found reasons to fix their eyes, and they've toughed it out as well - because they've got two painful eyes between them."

Hull KR coach Justin Morgan: "The game has come a long way, and it takes so much out of your team and out of your players. Penalties cost us too, and we just gave away too much field position. We were a bit fatigued and a bit tired after Friday. That's no excuse, but penalties were a big issue for us. But Wigan deserved to win the game, coming off a loss to St Helens. All credit to them at the end - when they could have gone for a field goal, they backed themselves. But I think in all our games this year we've been competitive, especially two games over Easter against two established teams in Hull and Wigan. To win one and be very competitive in the other shows we've come a long way. But it'll be the aftermath of this weekend, and how we put the pieces back together, which will be the test for us."

Team Sheets

- Wigan Position Hull KR -
5 Pat Richards Full Back Shaun Briscoe 1
2 Mark Calderwood Winger Jon Steel 21
3 Darrell Goulding Centre Chev Walker 3
4 George Carmont Centre Jake Webster 4
14 Liam Colbon Winger Daniel Fitzhenry 5
6 Trent Barrett Stand Off Ben Galea 12
7 Thomas Leuluai Scrum Half James Webster 7
8 Stuart Fielden Prop Michael Vella 20
17 Mike McIlorum Hooker Ben Cockayne 15
15 Andy Coley Prop David Mills 10
12 Phil Bailey 2nd Row Stanley Gene 14
16 Harrison Hansen 2nd Row Clint Newton 11
13 Sean O'Loughlin L.Forward Scott Murrell 13
- - - - -
9 Mick Higham Substitute Paul Cooke 6
10 Iafeta Paleaaesina Substitute Ben Fisher 9
22 Joel Tomkins Substitute Makali Aizue 17
24 Eamon O'Carroll Substitute Rhys Lovegrove 18

Score Sheet

Wigan Warriors 18 --- Hull Kingston Rovers 12
Tries (3):
Liam Colbon 2
Mark Calderwood
--- Tries (2):
Chev Walker
Clint Newton
Goals:
Pat Richards 3/5
--- Goals:
Paul Cooke 2/2

Scoring and Incident Pattern

6th Minute Wigan 04 Hull KR 00 Try: Liam Colbon
- Wigan 04 Hull KR 00 P.Richards Missed Conversion (0/1)
17th Minute Wigan On Report Darrell Goulding (Alleged Trip)
25th Minute Wigan 04 Hull KR 00 P.Richards Missed Penalty Goal (0/2)
Half Time Wigan Warriors 04 Hull Kingston Rovers 00
50th Minute Wigan 08 Hull KR 00 Try: Liam Colbon
- Wigan 10 Hull KR 00 Conversion: Pat Richards (1/3)
58th Minute Wigan 10 Hull KR 04 Try: Chev Walker
- Wigan 10 Hull KR 06 Conversion: Paul Cooke (1/1)
61st Minute Wigan 10 Hull KR 10 Try: Clint Newton
- Wigan 10 Hull KR 12 Conversion: Paul Cooke (2/2)
68th Minute Wigan 12 Hull KR 12 Penalty Goal: Pat Richards (2/4)
76th Minute Wigan 16 Hull KR 12 Try: Mark Calderwood
- Wigan 18 Hull KR 12 Conversion: Pat Richards (3/5)
Full Time Wigan Warriors 18 Hull Kingston Rovers 12

Referee

Ben Thaler

Penalties Conceded

Wigan 7 Hull KR 11

Goal Line Drop Outs Forced

Wigan 3 Hull KR 2

Match Attendance

16,457

Weather

Very nippy. Sun was out at times and even very light snow.

League Table at Conclusion of Super League 13 Round 8

- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 Leeds Rhinos 8 7 0 1 270 80 +190 14
2 Warrington Wolves 8 6 0 2 227 184 +43 12
3 St Helens 8 5 0 3 220 183 +37 10
4 Wigan Warriors 8 5 0 3 193 191 +2 10
5 Hull Kingston Rovers 8 4 0 4 151 145 +6 8
6 Harlequins 8 4 0 4 178 191 -13 8
7 Bradford Bulls 8 4 0 4 169 184 -15 8
8 Catalans Dragons 8 4 0 4 159 182 -23 8
9 Huddersfield Giants 8 3 0 5 175 188 -13 6
10 Wakefield Wildcats 8 3 0 5 160 218 -58 6
11 Hull FC 8 2 0 6 119 185 -66 4
12 Castleford Tigers 8 1 0 7 147 237 -90 2

Round 8 Results
Mon 24 Mar Hull FC 4 Leeds Rhinos 30 14,113
Mon 24 Mar Huddersfield Giants 28 St Helens 26 7,131
Mon 24 Mar Wigan Warriors 18 Hull Kingston Rovers 12 16,457
Mon 24 Mar Castleford Tigers 31 Warrington Wolves 34 7,245
Mon 24 Mar Bradford Bulls 32 Harlequins 24 8,428
Mon 24 Mar Catalan Dragons 28 Wakefield Wildcats 20 8,120

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