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Match Report: Wigan 38 Harlequins 20
Posted by Bilko on June 27 2008 - 22:44

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Wigan Warriors v Harlequins. Engage Super League XIII Round 19.
Friday 27th June 2008. Kick Off 7:30pm at JJB Stadium.

Thoughts on the Match

Phil Vievers said it all post match in the south stand bar when he said "hmmm well it was two points" - he couldn't add anything more. Really Poor Match but a win is a win and 38-20 looks like a good result.

Our goal line defence though was poor. Really soft tries conceded especially first half.

Mick Higham was given the sponsors man of the match and Stevo on Sky tonight was praising him for a good performance as were two of my mates up in the stand - but I'm sorry not for me. Ok he scored and set another up brilliantly but generally I thought the go forward was poor with him on the pitch. I mean some stats came up on Sky's coverage around about the half hour mark which stated possession as 35%-65% to Quins and Time in Opposition Half was 4 mins for Wigan to the Londoner's 13 mins. Those stats say it all really.

Cameron Phelps was back up hooker off the bench tonight. 35th minute he came on and Wigan were dying really at 16-6 down. Soon as he came on - bang, bang, bang, bang - four tries in 8 minutes either side of half time. Could be a coincidence but I don't think so.

Unfortunately Phelps came off on 55 minutes with what looked like a bad injury but he later re-appeared on the bench. Looked like a knee to the face knocked him out cold for a good few minutes.

All in all 38-20 is a flattering score for us but a job done. We will have to improve massively in defence for next week v Leeds. But we can do it as proved at Headingley in April.

Finally its been a long 42 day wait for a home match whilst they re-laid the JJB turf but it looked in great nick despite Thursday's all day torrential rain and even tonight it was a bit soggy.

Story of the Match from Sportinglife.com

Four tries in the space of 10 minutes either side of half-time helped Wigan to a morale-boosting 38-20 victory over Harlequins at the JJB Stadium.

With much of the attention in the rugby league world focused on Toulouse, where England were playing France, the Warriors trailed 16-6 before Pat Richards and Joel Tomkins added to Mickey Higham's early touchdown to edge them in front at half-time.

Quins were good value for their 10-point lead thanks to tries from Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Joe Mbu and Tony Clubb, but were unable to find a response and Wigan ran in further tries in the second half from Gareth Hock, Darrell Goulding (2) and Thomas Leuluai, before Clubb added a second of his own with five minutes remaining.

The Warriors started aggressively after the disappointment of last weekend's draw at Castleford and, after determined charges from Andy Coley, Stuart Fielden and Hock, took the lead with only four minutes on the clock.

After a short kick from Trent Barrett forced a repeat set, Coley was halted inches from the visitors' line, only for Higham to burrow over from dummy half.

Richards added the goal, but the home side were unable to make their territorial superiority tell, and the visitors levelled the scores after 17 minutes with virtually their first attack.

McCarthy-Scarsbrook came on to replace Danny Ward and, seconds after being smashed by Fielden with his first touch, took a lovely pass from hooker Chad Randall to cross by the side of the posts, with Wigan old boy Paul converting.

And Harlequins took the lead three minutes later when Scott Hill drew the line of defence and slipped a neat kick behind them for Mbu to score down the right-hand flank.

Wigan tried to respond but the Quins defence was proving difficult to break down, and the Londoners extended their advantage seven minutes before the interval through Clubb.

An uncharacteristic mistake from Richards gave Harlequins a scrum in the Warriors 20-metre zone, and Clubb barged through an attempted tackle from Harrison Hansen to score his side's third try.

Paul's conversion from way out right made it 16-6, but Richards made amends three minutes later when he followed a grubber kick from Leuluai and touched it down by the posts, and his conversion reduced the arrears to just four points.

Warriors then took the lead right on half-time when, after Leuluai had broken through but had been chased down by full-back Chris Melling, the ball was switched towards the right wing.

With the hooter sounding, Barrett's kick was collected by Goulding, and his pass inside bounced kindly for Tomkins to score by the corner flag, with the boot of Richards edging Wigan in front.

Quins will have felt a little aggrieved to have trailed at the break and their mood was not improved when they conceded two more tries in the first five minutes of the second half.

Mbu spilled the ball direct from the kick-off and, after Eamon O'Carroll managed to offload in a three-man tackle, Cameron Phelps, Leuluai and Iafeta Paleaaesina combined to send Hock over.

Richards converted, but was off target three minutes later after a beautiful cut-out ball from Barrett sent Goulding in at the corner.

There was then a lengthy stoppage after home debutant Phelps suffered a worrying-looking injury whilst attempting to tackle Jon Grayshon, and the Australian was stretchered off in a neck brace after receiving oxygen on the field.

Wigan did not let it affect their rhythm, though, and Higham - back on for Phelps - immediately broke down the middle to send Leuluai over under the posts, with Richards' fifth goal a formality.

With the game looking beyond them at 16-34, Quins were then denied a consolation when Michael Worrincy saw a try ruled out by the video referee for the illegal use of a dummy runner.

There was further good news for Wigan when news filtered through that Phelps had recovered sufficiently to sit up in the home dressing room.

And there was still time for Goulding to grab his second try with a scrappy effort late on, before Clubb grabbed his second in the dying stages from a 90-metre interception despite Mark Calderwood's valiant chase.

Game Breaking Moment

Well I've already said I think it was bringing Phelps off the bench.

Top Player

Joel Tomkins - Not really for tonight alone but I think he's had a great few weeks - since Locky went down injured really and he's got a regular run in the team.

Reaction to the Action

Brian Noble: "I think (playing at home) makes a difference to us. It shouldn't in theory, because it's still a green field, but we got in the winners' enclosure and justifiably so. We showed enough quality in the end, and the try just before half-time really gave us a lift. I think sometimes (players) have to run (themselves) out of a little bit of poor form. I thought Andy Coley and Stuart Fielden were outstanding tonight, complemented by Mickey Higham. I just see some really good signs from Stuart Fielden at the moment. That's his third game on the bounce that he's looked like his old self. He's been technically very good and he's looked strong. Danny Ward kept running at him and that's a brave thing to do because he was in the groove and kept getting Danny right. They were all legitimate, really good tackles, which was pleasing to see - for us. "

Quins coach Brian McDermott: "Wigan came out like a house on fire (after the break) and we let them as well. The script was that Wigan get an unforced error from us and come up with a great play and score a try, and that's exactly what happened. We had far too many unforced errors from our team. There was some soft defence and we've got to get rid of that. I thought we toughed it out and we were brave, and the young fellows stood up and handled it okay in certain areas, but there were other areas that us, as a group, were very, very poor."

Team Sheets

-WiganPositionHarlequins-
5Pat RichardsFull BackChris Melling15
2Mark CalderwoodWingerJamie O'Callaghan30
3Darrell GouldingCentreTony Clubb19
4George CarmontCentreWill Sharp24
14Liam ColbonWingerLamont Bryan25
6Trent BarrettStand OffScott Hill6
7Thomas LeuluaiScrum HalfDanny Orr7
15Andy ColeyPropGareth Haggerty16
9Mick HighamHookerChad Randall9
8Stuart FieldenPropDanny Ward17
16Harrison Hansen2nd RowMichael Worrincy27
22Joel Tomkins2nd RowJoe Mbu12
11Gareth HockL.ForwardHenry Paul23
-----
10Iafeta PaleaaesinaSubstituteDaniel Heckenberg10
21Cameron PhelpsSubstituteLouie
McCarthy-Scarsbrook
11
24Eamon O'CarrollSubstituteJon Grayshon20
27Lee MossopSubstituteDavid Tootill21

Score Sheet

Wigan Warriors 38---Harlequins 20
Tries (7):
Mick Higham
Pat Richards
Joel Tomkins
Gareth Hock
Darrell Goulding 2
Thomas Leuluai
---Tries (4):
L.McCarthy-Scarsbrook
Joe Mbu
Tony Clubb 2
Goals:
Pat Richards 5/7
---Goals:
Henry Paul 2/3
Danny Orr 0/1

Scoring and Incident Pattern

03mins:51Wigan 04Harlequins 00Try: Mick Higham
-Wigan 06Harlequins 00Conversion: Pat Richards (1/1)
17mins:40Wigan 06Harlequins 04Try: Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook
-Wigan 06Harlequins 06Conversion: Henry Paul (1/1)
21mins:37Wigan 06Harlequins 10Try: Joe Mbu
-Wigan 06Harlequins 10H.Paul Missed Conversion (1/2)
32mins:28Wigan 06Harlequins 14Try: Tony Clubb
-Wigan 06Harlequins 16Conversion: Henry Paul (2/3)
36mins:56Wigan 10Harlequins 16Try: Pat Richards
-Wigan 12Harlequins 16Conversion: Pat Richards (2/2)
40mins:00Wigan 16Harlequins 16Try: Joel Tomkins
-Wigan 18Harlequins 16Conversion: Pat Richards (3/3)
Half TimeWigan Warriors 18 Harlequins 16
40mins:48Wigan 22Harlequins 16Try: Gareth Hock
-Wigan 24Harlequins 16Conversion: Pat Richards (4/4)
44mins:44Wigan 28Harlequins 16Try: Darrell Goulding
-Wigan 28Harlequins 16P.Richards Missed Conversion (4/5)
55mins:03Wigan 32Harlequins 16Try: Thomas Leuluai
-Wigan 34Harlequins 16Conversion: Pat Richards (5/6)
71mins:21Wigan 38Harlequins 16Try: Darrell Goulding (2)
-Wigan 38Harlequins 16P.Richards Missed Conversion (5/7)
74mins:39Wigan 38Harlequins 20Try: Tony Clubb (2)
-Wigan 38Harlequins 20D.Orr Missed Conversion (0/1)
Full TimeWigan Warriors 38 Harlequins 22

Video Highlights

Referee

Ian Smith (Video Referee: Phil Bentham).

Penalties Conceded

Wigan 6 Harlequins 6

Goal Line Drop Outs Forced

Wigan 2 Harlequins 2

Match Attendance

11,453

Television

Weather

Bit of drizzle but not too bad.

League Table at Conclusion of Super League 13 Round 19

-TeamPWDLFADiffPts
1Leeds Rhinos191504582278+30430
2St Helens191405625353+27228
3Catalans Dragons191315498406+9227
4Wigan Warriors181017441445-421
5Bradford Bulls191009485446+3920
6Warrington Wolves191009463496-3320
7Wakefield Wildcats191009418466-4820
8Harlequins198011399489-9016
9Hull Kingston Rovers197111361489-12815
10Huddersfield Giants185112403468-6511
11Hull FC195113372453-8111
12Castleford Tigers193115363621-2587

Round 19 Results
Fri 27 June Wigan Warriors 38 Harlequins 20 11,453
Sat 28 June Leeds Rhinos 18 Castleford Tigers 12 17,619
Sun 29 June Bradford Bulls 40 Hull Kingston Rovers 20 9,741
Sun 29 June St Helens 46 Huddersfield Giants 16 8,597
Sun 29 June Hull FC 22 Warrington Wolves 24 11,988
Tue 1 July Wakefield Wildcats 14 Catalan Dragons 30 5,479

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