Well I commented in my Match
Preview that I didn't fancy Wigan to win this one because I
expected it to be tight and Wigan just do not know how to win
tight games. It panned out just as I expected.
Wigan suffered a
late blow going into the game with Tim Smith flying home to
Australia for family reasons. Phil Bailey and George Carmont were
also absent injured so that meant recalls for Sam Tomkins, Shaun
Ainscough and Harrison Hansen.
Wigan made a great start to this match with Pat Richards' kick
off forcing a Warrington drop out. This triggered a 9 minute spell
of possession for the Warriors but we could only manage one try.
That try came in the 4th minute when a grubber from Sam Tomkins
was touched down by Cameron Phelps. Richards converted to make it
Another kick, this time a bomb, got Wigan over the line again
but Amos Roberts' touch down was chalked off by video ref Ian
Smith after he deemed Pat Richards had knocked on in leaping for
the ball. Fair call I thought. Joel Tomkins was also denied after
being held up over the line by Richard Mathers.
Eventually, after finally getting some ball to play with,
Warrington began to pressure the Wigan line but we defended quite
well. Wigan weren't helping themselves with Martin Gleeson and
Sean O'Loughlin both knocking on well inside our own half. This
almost saw Warrington score but Matt King couldn't take a bomb
from Lee Briers.
He made up for that though on 35 minutes when another bomb from
Briers saw him leap above Shaun Ainscough to score. Chris Bridge
missed the extras so Wigan went into half time with a narrow 6-4
Wigan increased that lead to 8-4 with a penalty goal on 51
minutes but it was the re-introduction of Garreth Carvell and
Adrian Morley off the bench that swung this game Warrington's way.
Wigan kept conceding penalties to which Lee Briers made great
distance on when finding touch. It was tap penalty in front of the
sticks that would lead to them scoring. Simon Grix out wide beat
Amos Roberts and got Chris Riley over for the try. Bridge
converted to make it 10-8 to Warrington.
Then on 66 minutes Michael Monaghan won the match by scoring a
nice individual try to which Bridge converted to make it 16-8.
Wigan never came close to mounting a comeback. The pack was
defeated and our last tackle kicking was again pretty dire. No
direction and rarely did they split the full back and winger. Our
last tackle options have been poor all season. We did defend quite
well I thought but the pressure of conceding penalties will always
create too much pressure.
So this was another tight defeat which we could have nicked but
again no one is standing up to take control. Lee Briers and
Michael Monaghan certainly did that for Warrington. Briers is the
most wasted talent ever in my lifetime watching rugby league but
he still leads his side around the park. Wigan lack this and
that's why we continue to struggle.