Wigan should be celebrating reaching 25 home matches unbeaten.
Instead we are stunned after somehow putting ourselves in a position
were yet again we have started a season poorly, without actually being that
If you don't know, Wigan have launched a new text your man of the match service
this year and the fans voted Kevin Brown. Why?
Ok he scored what should have been the winning try but it was his wild pass
into touch which gave Bradford the initiative to capitalise and begin an
unlikely fight back.
For me that moment lost us the game. It was crazy. Perhaps you can use
youthful enthusiasm as an excuse for him but twenty metres from your own line,
there was no need for a pass like that and it wasn't even close to a good pass.
Perhaps I am being harsh for singling out him, and that moment for the
reason we lost but I definitely feel that was the key. It gave the Bulls a very
much needed lift because until then I felt we looked really comfortable.
Now I'm sure many fans will be critical of referee Steve Ganson for some of
his decisions but although I was a bit bemused myself, it is not an excuse for
10 Minutes to go, 27-12 up, no way should any side lose a lead like that!
Our experienced players mainly Radlinski, Orr and Moran have got to step up and
together replace Andy Farrell because lets be honest if Faz was on the pitch,
do you think we'd have lost? I don't think so.
Wigan took this game to Bradford from the off. Two tries in the opening
quarter from David Vaealiki and Terry Newton got us off to a roaring start.
Vaealiki beat ex Warrior Paul Johnson to score his try and Newton created his
own luck, when the ball bounced in his favour off the post.
Defence from Wigan was excellent despite some very weird refereeing calls
Unlike Mr Silverwood last week, Ganson did show a bit of authority by
warning captain Radlinski early on and then sin binning Sean O'Loughlin
for dissent on 26 minutes.
Unfortunately this cost us dear as Bradford scored with Locky in the bin
Langley touching down on 28 minutes.
But two Tickle goals and a brilliant 40 metre drop goal from O'Loughlin gave us a comfortable half-time
cushion of 15-6.
Into the second half and early on I expected a Bradford onslaught but it
didn't happen as Wigan took advantage of a Paul Johnson sin binning. They stretched their lead with Vaealiki
scoring his second, making the score 21-6.
But then the wild pass from Brown opened the door for a Bulls fightback. From the resulting scrum Iestyn Harris was first to react when Leon Pryce somehow
offloaded in the tackle. He touched down and gave Bradford hope, 21-12 after 54
That hope should have been extinguished when Kevin Brown made up in a way
for his earlier error with a great run which eventually finished in a good try
for him on 62 minutes. Brown celebrated as if the game was won, but a match
lasts 80 minutes. To be fair though, 27-12 with 18 minutes to go, it should be
However Bradford never gave up hope and three tries in the final ten minutes
from Jamie Peacock, Stuart Reardon and Michael Withers broke our hearts and
snatched a victory that they didn't deserve.
I suppose its swings and round abouts though because I remember us doing
that to them at the JJB in 2001. But it doesn't make a loss like that an
easier. We could so easily be 3-0 now. Instead we are 1-2 and its a bitter pill
After the match Coach Denis Betts said: "We did everything but win the game,"
"Bradford got a sniff towards the end and showed you don't become world champions and win a couple of Grand Finals by being also-rans.
"Once you get a taste for it, you know how to win and they came after us.
"There was a lot of inexperience out there. When we won the game, we just didn't have it in ourselves to be able to control that last 10 minutes.
"You could see the momentum swinging away and that bit of extra power and size started to really pay. Their offloads started to hurt us in the last 10 or 12 minutes."