|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
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
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!