Well what a difference a
fortnight makes. Two weeks ago the boys got booed off after a
dreadful display against Castleford. Tonight they got a rousing
reception from the field after an excellent display against an
albeit poor Bradford side.
And the difference? Well a simple
change of personnel in the half backs. Sam Tomkins in for Tim
Smith and Wigan all of a sudden have skill, spark and most
importantly pace in their go forward.
It's easy to praise young Sam to the hilt for his performances
so far, I mean there's a long way to go before he makes it yet,
however, for me, he is only a try short of a perfect start to his
Super League career. Simple as that. All by himself, with just
with a touch of magic here and there, he has lifted the whole
side. Piggy Riddell for example has started to move at dummy half
and the go forward from the pack just seemed to have that extra
bit of zest.
Fair enough you have to say alot of today's performance may
have been caused by Bradford being dreadfully poor but you can
only play what the opposition gives you. Wigan did a good
professional job, scored some great tries and most importantly
they never sat back on the lead they had built.
Bradford never, ever, looked like winning this match. The
Warriors controlled from start to finish and in truth I honestly
believe 44-10 flatters the visitors.
First try came on 9 minutes. Nice intercept from Phil Bailey
down the right, although he was eventually scrambled down by the
Bulls defence. But they couldn't form the defensive line fast
enough. Quick hands saw George Carmont send Pat Richards away down
the centre of the park for an easy score under the posts. He had
time to stop for a picnic it was so easy, as easy has his
conversion in fact which made it 6-0.
Double the time on the clock and Wigan doubled their lead.
Riddell away from dummy half to send Gareth Hock over the line.
Richards converted to make it 12-0.
The next twenty minutes was nip and tuck but Wigan just had the
edge territorially and personally I was thinking 12-0 was a bit of
a disappointing lead the way we had played. The disappointment
sprung from our failure to convert a Sam Tomkins break. He
sprinted through a gap and had Richards in support on his left but
he darted by himself right. Definite blown try for me but pleasing
to see the youngster break through like that.
Down I went for my half time pint and inevitably I missed a try
- it happens every home match. Two minutes before the break Hock
sent Carmont over and Richards conversion made it a very happy
18-0. Nice to have a half time break with little to moan about.
Into the second half and the game was won for me. Bradford
simply never had a fight back in them. Early penalty goal from
Paaaat made it 20-0. Then came a brilliant break from Gareth Hock.
Straight down the middle he had easy support in Richards and Sam
Tomkins but bombed the opportunity by keeping hold of possession.
Dreadful decision in truth - but Hock was generally superb in this
Hock's error actually opened the door for Bradford to finally
get on the scoreboard. Nice hands down the right wing involving
many passes eventually saw Rikki Sherriffe touch down. Paul Deacon
couldn't convert so it was still 20-4 to Wigan.
Slight bit of worry at this point but Wigan retook the
initiative within three minutes. Hock had just bombed a certain
try by being greedy but he made up for it by powering over from
close range. Richards again converted to make it 26-4.
Three minutes later Harrison Hansen was sent over by Sam
Tomkins on the right to make it 32-4 with 25 minutes left.
Absolute game over. Bradford would not have clawed that back with
25 hours to play, never mind that many minutes.
In fact Wigan win would put more gloss on the scoreboard.
Hansen went over again, this time down the left hand side, before
Feka powered from close range over himself. Richards finished 100%
with the boot to give Wigan a 44-4 lead.
Must say I was hoping we'd get up to 50 points but a late
consolation for Steve Menzies did little to dent out first home
win of the season. Well done boys. Great effort - hope we continue
on at Leeds next Friday.