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Match Report: Wigan 34 Salford 18
Posted by Bilko on June 05 2009 - 21:26

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Wigan Warriors v Salford City Reds - Engage Super League XIV Round 15.
Friday 5th June 2009. Kick Off 8:00pm at JJB Stadium.

Match Report

Last week we watched these two play basking in the sunshine, this week it was a cold, cold night with a blustery wind making it feel more March than June.

But Wigan got off to a hot start scoring four tries in the opening 15 minutes. The first came after just three minutes. Thomas Leuluai broke through and George Carmont finished off. Pat Richards converted to make it 6-0.

In the match preview this week I commented on our poor last tackle options but the second try came from a neat kick from Sean O'Loughlin. Attacking down the right he dinked a neat kick which bounced kindly for Amos Roberts who passed inside for Tim Smith to claim his first try since August last year against Wakefield. Richards converted to make it 12-0 in 5 minutes.

Wigan just kept hammering at Salford's line and after forcing a drop out. That came after a Leuluai kick was almost touched down by Carmont. From the drop out it was Carmont who got Richards away down the left and he touched down to make it 16-0 but he couldn't convert off the touchline.

Then it was Mark Riddell who scored and this try was embarrassing. It was pat-a-cake defending from the visitors and Riddell eased through to score close to the posts and Richards conversion made it 22-0 after 15 minutes.

So a fantastic start from Wigan which had seen some excellent attacking play but we couldn't keep it up after that. Maybe it was coincidence but the introduction of Stuart Fielden and Feka Paleaaesina saw us step down a gear rather than up.

Also I think it's fair to say we had a hefty weight of possession in our favour early door, highlighted by us forcing four drop outs first half, and once it evened out Salford competed well. Sadly for them it came too late, the game was lost.

They did hit back on 20 minutes after receiving a penalty. Malcolm Alker broke through so soft Wigan defence which eventually saw Luke Swain score despite Wigan scrambling back well. John Wilshere converted to make it 22-6.

At this point I'm thinking we've started well but another try for Salford would waste all that early effort. Salford had a couple of attempts at Wigan's line but we managed to hang on and perhaps crucially in the context of the match Pat Richards claimed a second try late in the half. It was a simple ball swung out wide and he walked in the corner. Richards was attacking the wing defended by Salford's Wigan loanee Darrell Goulding and he had a busy night in defence. Richards nailed a conversion off the touchline to make it 28-6 at the break.

Wigan's discipline had been superb first half but the second half was a stark contrast. Ian Smith went from anonymous to whistle happy and perhaps an early second half barney between Gareth Hock and Malcolm Alker forced his hand? He didn't shuffle his cards but Hock was the man to be penalised but it came to nothing for the Reds.

9 minutes into the second half though they gave themselves hope. Richard Myler put a bomb up which was plucked out the air by Mark Henry. Wilshere converted to make it 28-12.

Salford sense a comeback and had another good spell attacking Wigan's line but our defence held pretty firm.

But Wigan should have had a further try when Amos Roberts touched down diving in the corner. The touch judge stuck his flag up but most of the East Stand had a perfect view to see that he touched it down before taking the flag out.

It didn't matter though because Wigan put any comeback beyond doubt 11 minutes from time. O'Loughlin, who was probably my man of the match, broke through and sent Harrison Hansen over for his third try of the campaign. Richards converted to make it 34-12.

The game was over but Salford scored the games last try with Malcolm Alker touching down with a minute to go. Wilshere converted to make it 34-18 which after the first 15 minutes was a bit disappointing from our point of view. Shaun McCrae says himself below that we would have been entitled to put 50-60 points past them but, as we seem to have done all season, we make our performances harder work than perhaps they should be.

Anyway the win takes us into the top eight and lets hope we can hammer Celtic next weekend despite the absence of Hock and O'Loughlin. Ahead of a week off that would be a perfect tonic to send us into the crunch end of the season.

Reaction to the Action

Wigan Coach Brian Noble: "I thought our execution, the level of our skill and the quality of our passing was pretty special in that first 20-25 minutes. We got a little scruffy after that, but the discipline of our play in that period was good and something we can take into the rest of the season. It can be a dangerous fixture (to play them twice in a row) and mentally you've got to be ready. I'm delighted we've come up with two two points because we need to start getting the points in this competition. Sean O'Loughlin has got to be in line for Man of Steel, he has been outstanding for us every game. It's brilliant Sam (Tomkins is) going with England. My only concern is we don't put him in the universe team before his feet have landed. We know we haven't got him next week so it was important we had a look at (Tim) Smith."

Salford Coach Shaun McCrae: "We were clearly blown away at the start of the game. We had 12 sets in the first half and that is not going to put you in a winning position. That is the difference, compared to their 23 sets. In the second half we had 24 sets, Wigan had 17 and we had twice as much ball. Then we showed what we can do and I am encouraged that we won the second half 12-6. I think a side like Wigan are entitled to go on and win that by 50 or 60 points."

Team Sheets

- Wigan Position Salford -
21 Cameron Phelps Full Back John Wilshere 2
2 Amos Roberts Winger Mark Henry 3
22 Martin Gleeson Centre Stuart Littler 15
4 George Carmont Centre Jordan Turner 14
5 Pat Richards Winger Darrell Goulding 29
6 Tim Smith Stand Off Stefan Ratchford 19
7 Thomas Leuluai Scrum Half Richard Myler 7
15 Andy Coley Prop Ray Cashmere 8
9 Mark Riddell Hooker Malcolm Alker 9
19 Paul Prescott Prop Craig Stapleton 10
11 Gareth Hock 2nd Row Luke Adamson 20
14 Joel Tomkins 2nd Row Rob Parker 12
13 Sean O'Loughlin L.Forward Luke Swain 13
- - - - -
8 Stuart Fielden Substitute Jeremy Smith 6
10 Iafeta Paleaaesina Substitute Ian Sibbit 11
16 Harrison Hansen Substitute Phillip Leuluai 16
17 Mike McIlorum Substitute Lee Jewitt 18

Score Sheet

Wigan Warriors 34 --- Salford City Reds 18
Tries (6):
George Carmont
Tim Smith
Pat Richards 2
Mark Riddell
Harrison Hansen
--- Tries (3):
Luke Swain
Mark Henry
Malcolm Alker
Goals:
Pat Richards 5/6
--- Goals:
John Wilshere 3/3

Scoring and Incident Pattern

3rd Minute Wigan 04 Salford 00 Try: George Carmont
- Wigan 06 Salford 00 Conversion: Pat Richards (1/1)
5th Minute Wigan 10 Salford 00 Try: Tim Smith
- Wigan 12 Salford 00 Conversion: Pat Richards (2/2)
11th Minute Wigan 16 Salford 00 Try: Pat Richards
- Wigan 16 Salford 00 P.Richards Missed Conversion (2/3)
15th Minute Wigan 20 Salford 00 Try: Mark Riddell
- Wigan 22 Salford 00 Conversion: Pat Richards (3/4)
20th Minute Wigan 22 Salford 04 Try: Luke Swain
- Wigan 22 Salford 06 Conversion: John Wilshere (1/1)
35th Minute Wigan 26 Salford 06 Try: Pat Richards (2)
- Wigan 28 Salford 06 Conversion: Pat Richards (4/5)
Half Time Wigan Warriors 28 Salford City Reds 06
49th Minute Wigan 28 Salford 10 Try: Mark Henry
- Wigan 28 Salford 12 Conversion: John Wilshere (2/2)
68th Minute Wigan 32 Salford 12 Try: Harrison Hansen
- Wigan 34 Salford 12 Conversion: Pat Richards (5/6)
79th Minute Wigan 34 Salford 16 Try: Malcolm Alker
- Wigan 34 Salford 18 Conversion: John Wilshere (3/3)
Full Time Wigan Warriors 34 Salford City Reds 18

Referee

Ian Smith (Oldham)

Penalties Conceded

Wigan 11 Salford 9

Match Attendance

11,550 (487 Away Supporters)

Weather

Dry but Blustery and Cold.

League Table at Conclusion of Super League 14 Round 15

- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 St Helens 15 12 0 3 441 262 +179 24
2 Hull Kingston Rovers 15 10 1 4 362 257 +105 21
3 Leeds Rhinos 15 10 0 5 379 237 +142 20
4 Huddersfield Giants 15 10 0 5 370 249 +121 20
5 Harlequins 14 9 0 5 349 259 +90 18
6 Wakefield Wildcats 16 8 0 8 376 373 +3 16
7 Wigan Warriors 16 7 0 9 374 321 +53 14
8 Castleford Tigers 15 7 0 8 335 371 -36 14
9 Hull FC 15 7 0 8 294 334 -40 14
10 Warrington Wolves 15 7 0 8 345 392 -47 14
11 Catalans Dragons 15 6 0 9 352 418 -66 12
12 Bradford Bulls 14 5 1 8 305 365 -60 11
13 Salford City Reds 15 5 0 10 252 433 -181 10
14 Celtic Crusaders 15 1 0 14 218 481 -263 2

Round 6 - Rearranged Fixture
Sat 30 May Celtic Crusaders 6 Wakefield Wildcats 50 2,089

Round 15 Results
Fri 5 June Huddersfield Giants 22 Hull Kingston Rovers 6 6,346
Fri 5 June Hull FC 6 St Helens 30 12,009
Fri 5 June Wigan Warriors 34 Salford City Reds 18 11,550
Sat 6 June Harlequins 26 Celtic Crusaders 6 2,245
Sat 6 June Castleford Tigers 18 Warrington Wolves 34 5,628
Sat 6 June Catalan Dragons 32 Leeds Rhinos 30 7,913
Sun 7 June Bradford Bulls 36 Wakefield Wildcats 22 8,387

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