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Match Report: Wigan 6 Wakefield 12
Posted by Bilko on February 08 2009 - 17:11

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Wigan Warriors v Wakefield Wildcats - Engage Super League XIV Rd 17.
Sunday 8th February 2009. Kick Off 3:00pm at JJB Stadium.
Fixture was brought forward from weekend of 19th-21st June 2009.

Wigan froze completely in the snow at the JJB with a dire performance to open up the season.

The scene was set really with an early break from Wakefield, straight up the middle of the park which eventually saw Dave Halley score in the left corner inside a minute. Tony Martin converted to make it 6-0.

The second try for Wakefield on 13 minutes also went to Dave Halley. Kick from Brad Drew into the corner and Amos Roberts was somewhat flat footed. It was easy for Halley but Martin missed the conversion this time. Roberts was looking somewhat unfit but perhaps that is an easy excuse. You defend as a team and Wigan came out far too slow.

But 13 minutes in and 10-0 ahead, that was all Wakefield needed to win this game. That statement pretty much sums up how disappointing the Wigan performance was.

Wigan's only first half attempt saw Gareth Hock go over but he dropped the ball trying to score. Sums up the performance that.

Obviously Wakefield had the emotion of Adam Watene's sad off season death but they did nothing more than simple basic play out your set and get a good kick away. I honestly don't believe we lost because they played a blinder. They just tactically got it better than us and coach Noble has to hold his hand up and admit that.

Wigan just did not get going. They either didn't reach the last because of a mistake or when they did the kick was poor. At times it was left to hooker Mark Riddell or second row Gareth Hock to get the kicks away!!

But having got back to 10-6 within five minutes of the second half, Wigan never really looked like winning it in truth. The early second half try arose after a rare clean break which came from Thomas Leuluai. Joel Tomkins finished it off under to posts to give Pat an easy conversion.

I really wasn't worried because I expected Wigan to kick on but it simply didn't happen. Wakefield nudged further ahead with a penalty goal which made it 12-6 in the 54th minute and that is how it finished.

Wigan just did not show enough urgency. Scrums went down but their was never a rush to stop the clock. Even late in the first half with clock ticking down after a fourty-twenty we just laboured up for the scrum. Wakefield just had that extra bit of zip and that's why they won. They kicked better as well. Brad Drew was controlling things completely from dummy half and his kicks put Richard Mathers under all sorts of pressure. His lack of confidence performance was summed up by his sin binning on 65 minutes for an alledged trip - although I'm told that was a bit harsh (was on the other side of the pitch from me in the east stand). Mathers looks like he'd be out of depth in a puddle. He flapped and flapped all day today. Ok they were good quality kicks from Wakefield but you need confidence from the full back and sadly it isn't there at the moment. My colleague "Hogan" shouted "bloody hell Mathers" after 8 seconds today and he is a good (albeit mind reading) judge.

All in all, It can only get better from Wigan really. We should have been looking at a positive start but now we are facing a daunting trip to Hull on Friday. Two defeats out of two would be disastrous. On this match though - well done Wakefield. You did Adam Watene proud!

Reaction to the Action

Brian Noble: "It wasn't the start we wanted, we didn't help ourselves, take nothing away from Wakefield, they used their enthusiasm to upset the apple cart, it was there for all to see. We wouldn't have beaten Dewsbury Celtic today, taking nothing away from Dewsbury Celtic, we had a 40% completion rate. The reality is we dropped too much ball in difficult conditions. It's well documented the start of the season is as much about your kick chase and it is the willingness to bend your back. Those things are important, it's how you look after the ball and we didn't do that. We were naive in respect of what we needed to do sometimes. We got caught cold at the start, there is no doubt about that, there was a slip and a missed tackle and they executed it. There was a kick we didn't clear up and they executed as well. Apart from that we defended OK. I thought Brad Drew had a good game for them, he did things around the ruck, we let him. I think we gave ourselves a chance at the start of the second half but we couldn't hold the ball. However you dress it up, if you do the sort of things we did with the ball you will lose the game and we did."

Wakefield coach John Kear: "It is a special win. Wigan are a very good rugby league side and I know there won’t be many teams that will come here and go away with the two points. It’s two bonus points for us and we’ll put them on the board. Everybody could see we were behind the black ball from the start with only 17 fit men. But it's not who's fit, it's how you play as a collective unit and, as a collective unit, we were magnificent."

Team Sheets

- Wigan Position Wakefield -
1 Richard Mathers Full Back Matt Blaymire 1
2 Amos Roberts Winger Damien Blanch 2
21 Cameron Phelps Centre Sean Gleeson 19
4 George Carmont Centre Tony Martin 3
5 Pat Richards Winger Dave Halley 22
6 Tim Smith Stand Off Scott Grix 13
7 Thomas Leuluai Scrum Half Sam Obst 14
8 Stuart Fielden Prop Oliver Wilkes 12
9 Mark Riddell Hooker Brad Drew 9
10 Iafeta Paleaaesina Prop James Stosic 15
11 Gareth Hock 2nd Row Steve Snitch 11
12 Phil Bailey 2nd Row Dale Ferguson 12
13 Sean O'Loughlin L.Forward Jason Demetriou 8
- - - - -
14 Joel Tomkins Substitute Ricky Bibey 16
15 Andy Coley Substitute Kevin Henderson 17
16 Harrison Hansen Substitute Kyle Bibb 28
23 Eamon O'Carroll Substitute Jay Pitts 29

Score Sheet

Wigan Warriors 6 --- Wakefield Wildcats 12
Tries (1):
Joel Tomkins
--- Tries (2):
Dave Halley 2
Pat Richards 1/1
--- Goals:
Tony Martin 2/4

Scoring and Incident Pattern

52 Seconds Wigan 00 Wakefield 04 Try: Dave Halley
- Wigan 00 Wakefield 06 Conversion: Tony Martin (1/1)
13th Minute Wigan 00 Wakefield 10 Try: Dave Halley (2)
- Wigan 00 Wakefield 10 T.Martin Missed Conversion (1/2)
Half Time Wigan Warriors 00 Wakefield Wildcats 10
45th Minute Wigan 04 Wakefield 10 Try: Joel Tomkins
- Wigan 06 Wakefield 10 Conversion: Pat Richards (1/1)
54th Minute Wigan 06 Wakefield 12 Penalty Goal: Tony Martin (2/3)
65th Minute Wigan Sin Bin Richard Mathers (Tripping)
74th Minute Wigan 06 Wakefield 12 T.Martin Missed Penalty Goal (2/4)
Full Time Wigan Warriors 06 Wakefield Wildcats 12

Match Stats



Metres Gained 1328 Metres 1436 Metres
Ball Carries 204 210
Tackles 326 341
Marker Tackles 61 43
Offloads 10 5
Attacking Kicks 8 18
Kicks in General Play 20 28
Runs from Dummy Half 23 44
Tackle Busts 36 20
Clean Breaks 3 4
Missed Tackles 1 2
Errors 16 11
Penalties Conceded 11 7


Ian Smith

Penalties Conceded

Wigan 11 Wakefield 7

Goal Line Drop Outs Forced

Wigan 1 Wakefield 3

Match Attendance



Snow flurries.

Match Milestones

Mark Riddell made his first team debut.
Amos Roberts made his first team debut.

Match Reports from Other Sources

Not the start Wigan wanted - wiganwarriors.com
Catastrophe for Warriors - Wigan Evening Post
Great start to season - wakefield.rlfans.com
Injury Hit Wakefield get surprise win at Wigan - BBC Sport
Wounded Cats Stun Warriors - Sky Sports
Wakefield honour Watene with stunning win - The Guardian
Wigan mauled by Wakefield - The Times
Wigan humbled by Wakefield's heart - The Independent
Wildcats Stun Wigan - Wakefield Express


Fixture was brought forward from Round 17, to allow pitch renovation work later in the year, and was the opening game of the 2009 Season.

League Table at Conclusion of This Match

- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 Leeds Rhinos 1 1 0 0 28 6 +22 2
2 Wakefield Wildcats 1 1 0 0 12 6 +6 2
3 Bradford Bulls 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 0
4 Castleford Tigers 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 0
5 Catalans Dragons 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 0
6 Harlequins 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 0
7 Huddersfield Giants 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 0
8 Hull FC 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 0
9 Hull Kingston Rovers 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 0
10 Salford City Reds 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 0
11 St Helens 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 0
12 Warrington Wolves 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 0
13 Wigan Warriors 1 0 0 1 6 12 -6 2
14 Celtic Crusaders 1 0 0 1 6 28 -22 2

Round 3 Fixture Brought Forward
Fri 6 Feb Leeds Rhinos 28 Celtic Crusaders 6 14,827

Round 17 Fixture Brought Forward
Sun 8 Feb Wigan Warriors 8 Wakefield Wildcats 16 14,377

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