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Match Report: Wigan 38 Crusaders 6
Posted by Bilko on February 05 2010 - 22:44

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Wigan Warriors v Crusaders - Engage Super League XV Round 1.
Friday 5th February 2010. Kick Off 8:00pm at DW Stadium.

A good professional start to the season from Wigan saw them easily dispatch a poor Crusaders side, that at times struggled to make the half way line against an impressive Wigan defence.

Having said that Wigan didn't get off to the best of starts after a fumbled kick off saw Crusaders immediately force a drop out. But the visiting attack was flat at best and Wigan easily saw out two consecutive sets on their line.

Once Wigan got the ball for the first time, they themselves went on the offensive and forced a drop out but a knock on from Pat Richards saw the attack come to nothing. Our next attack also ended with an error. The rustiness that was on display in the pre season clash at Warrington was still evident here early on.

Eventually though we began to control the territory and moments after Joel Tomkins had been held up over the line, Wigan took the lead on 16 minutes. A kick to the corner saw Amos Roberts out leap Gareth Raynor for  the try. However, the touchline conversion proved too difficult for Pat Richards who hit the woodwork. 4-0 Wigan.

Crusaders had done well to restrict Wigan to 6 points after twenty minutes but the interchange bench proved too powerful for them to handle. Feka Paleaaesina and Andy Coley came on around the twenty minute mark with Coley making an immediate impact by scoring a try on 23 minutes. He had a simple crash over the line close to the posts and Richards conversion stretched the lead to 10-0.

Wigan were now dominating the opposition and should have gone further ahead on 28 minutes. They had a clear overlap down the left hand side but Sam Tomkins chose the wrong option and kicked when a pass would have got either George Carmont or Pat Richards over. Despite being a poor kick they did win a drop out which led to our next score.

This time Martin Gleeson walked over close to the line. He was sent in on the right hand side, with another two men spare on his outside. Easy, easy try. Richards converted to make it 16-0 after half an hour.

Soon after we scored again. Nice kick from Cameron Phelps to the left corner was easily touched down by Richards but he couldn't covert off the sideline. 20-0 after 34 minutes. Whilst that try was being scored, Paul Deacon came onto the field to make his debut.

At this point I went downstairs for my half time pint and I was genuinely thinking quietly that we could nil Crusaders tonight, they were that poor. But a strange referee decision close to half time allowed them to get on the score sheet. Getting a penalty twenty metres out they swung the ball towards the right wing and Luke Dyer squeezed in the corner. Nice try. Michael Witt converted off the touchline to make the half time score very flattering for the visitors at 20 points to 6. Wigan did get another chance to score before the break but knocked on over the line.

Into the second half and Wigan immediately went on the offensive, winning the ball from their own kick off. But Crusaders survived five attempts on their line by Wigan before finally being breached.

The try came on 52 minutes. Deacon put in a nice kick towards the posts and Cameron Phelps leaped like a gazelle to beat Lincoln Withers in the air and touch down under the sticks. Easy conversion from Pat made it 26-6 and ended the contest.

Wigan's defence was so much on top, the Crusaders were struggling to get close to half way. A ball steal penalty finally got them into the Wigan half on 55 minutes but nothing came of the attack.

Wigan would increase their lead on 57 minutes. Amos Roberts collected the ball about 45 metres out on the right wing and he went on a lovely solo run all the way to the line. Nice pace against albeit point defence. We never saw anything like that in the whole of last season from him. Pat's conversion made it 32-6.

Again Crusaders struggled for go forward, but back to back penalties on 63 minutes got them on a rare attack on the the Wigan line but we defended out two sets easily.

Soon after that Wigan scored their seventh and final try of the night. Sam Tomkins sent Lee Mossop over from close range and the conversion made it 38-6.

Now I was thinking Crusaders would collapse at this point like last week against Leeds. They had defended so much during the game I thought tiredness would get to them, but to their credit they hung in to deny Wigan any further scores.

In fact they finished the game the stronger after finally managing to get into the Wigan half without the aid of the referee's whistle. The broke clear down the middle and almost scored but Phelps just got back to deny them. A penalty was awarded to Crusaders but Wigan survived two sets on their line to ensure the score remained at 38-6.

So in summary a good nights work. Bigger tests to come for sure but defensively we look a pretty solid unit and in attack we did a good professional job without ever needing to step up into the higher gears. Should be a cracker next week against Hull KR.

A final thought - much better on the beer front tonight. The half time pint pulling was a vast improvement and when I went in the South Bar I eventually found a new and improved can bar. Although they could have warned that they had moved it!!!

Reaction to the Action

Michael Maguire: "I was happy with that, we have obviously been working hard for the last two months and things are starting to play out for us now. There's still plenty of improvement from what we saw tonight and hopefully over the next few weeks we can see that improvement. There was a togetherness of the players, they worked very hard defensively, that is a key area we have been working on in pre-season and I thought it played its part tonight. The boys had to work very hard for each other and it allowed us to get into our attacking game tonight. We do need to be patient and take our opportunities when they come. I think at times there may have been opportunities to score more points, we will review our game and see where we can improve, that's what we will do this week leading into next Friday's game. (On the injury front) Martin Gleeson got a spasm in his back but he is fine, we came through OK with no problems."

Crusaders coach Brian Noble: "I thought Wigan were more physical than we were. It was hard for us to hold on to them. Our lack of preparation time showed. I always had a feeling after the euphoria of last week that it would be tough. The game is about territory and, when you give Wigan field position, it makes it so easy for them. We need to learn those lessons. It was frustrating because some of the things we did, we did to ourselves. Some of the things we did in the first half showed we're nowhere near where we need to be. We've still a bit to work on but we knew that. It's a tough place to come and play, especially when you haven't been together long but we're not going to get any easy games."

Team Sheets

-WiganPositionCrusaders-
1Cameron PhelpsFull BackNick Youngquest2
2Amos RobertsWingerLuke Dyer14
3Martin GleesonCentreRocky Trimarchi13
4George CarmontCentreVince Mellars4
5Pat RichardsWingerGareth Raynor5
6Sam TomkinsStand OffMichael Witt6
7Thomas LeuluaiScrum HalfLincoln Withers9
8Stuart FieldenPropRyan O'Hara8
9Mark RiddellHookerTommy Lee15
14Paul PrescottPropJamie Thackray18
11Harrison Hansen2nd RowJason Chan12
12Joel Tomkins2nd RowWeller Hauraki11
13Sean O'LoughlinL.ForwardFrank Winterstein16
-
10Andy ColeySubstituteMark Bryant10
17Iafeta PaleaaesinaSubstituteAdam Peek17
19Paul DeaconSubstituteJordan James19
23Lee MossopSubstitutePeter Lupton23
-Michael MaguireCoachBrian Noble-

Score Sheet

Wigan Warriors 38---Crusaders 6
Tries (7):
Amos Roberts 2
Andy Coley
Martin Gleeson
Pat Richards
Cameron Phelps
Lee Mossop
---Tries (1):
Luke Dyer
Goals:
Pat Richards 5/7
---Goals:
Michael Witt 1/1

Scoring and Incident Pattern

16th MinuteWigan 04Crusaders 00Try: Amos Roberts
-Wigan 04Crusaders 00P.Richards Missed Conversion (0/1)
23rd MinuteWigan 08Crusaders 00Try: Andy Coley
-Wigan 10Crusaders 00Conversion: Pat Richards (1/2)
30th MinuteWigan 14Crusaders 00Try: Martin Gleeson
-Wigan 16Crusaders 00Conversion: Pat Richards (2/3)
34th MinuteWigan 20Crusaders 00Try: Pat Richards
-Wigan 20Crusaders 00P.Richards Missed Conversion (2/4)
39th MinuteWigan 20Crusaders 04Try: Luke Dyer
-Wigan 20Crusaders 06Conversion: Michael Witt (1/1)
Half TimeWigan Warriors 20 Crusaders 06
52nd MinuteWigan 24Crusaders 06Try: Cameron Phelps
-Wigan 26Crusaders 06Conversion: Pat Richards (3/5)
57th MinuteWigan 30Crusaders 06Try: Amos Roberts (2)
-Wigan 32Crusaders 06Conversion: Pat Richards (4/6)
68th MintueWigan 36Crusaders 06Try: Lee Mossop
-Wigan 38Crusaders 06Conversion: Pat Richards (5/7)
Full TimeWigan Warriors 38 Crusaders 06

Video Highlights

Referee

James Child (Dewsbury)

Penalties Conceded

Wigan 8 Crusaders 9

Drop Outs Forced

Wigan 4 Crusaders 1

Top 5 Wigan Players as voted on our Message Board

Man of the Match: Joel Tomkins
2nd: Amos Roberts 3rd: Martin Gleeson 4th: Sean O'Loughlin 5th: Cameron Phelps

Match Attendance

13,680 (Approx 10 Away Supporters)

Match Milestones

Paul Deacon made his Wigan debut.

Weather

Dry.

League Table at Conclusion of Super League 15 Round 1

-TeamPWDLFADiffFormPts
1Wakefield Wildcats22004630+16W24
2Warrington Wolves1100580+58W12
3Wigan Warriors1100386+32W12
4Hull FC11003212+20W12
5Hull Kingston Rovers11003012+18W12
6Leeds Rhinos21014430+14L12
7Castleford Tigers11002410+14W12
8Huddersfield Giants11002412+12W12
9Catalans Dragons10012028-8L10
10Bradford Bulls10011224-12L10
11Salford City Reds10011230-18L10
12St Helens10011232-20L10
13Crusaders20021272-60L20
14Harlequins20021076-66L20

Super League 15 - Round 1 Results
Fri 5 FebHuddersfield Giants 24 Bradford Bulls 129,774
Fri 5 FebLeeds Rhinos 10 Castleford Tigers 2415,875
Fri 5 FebWigan Warriors 38 Crusaders 0613,680
Sat 6 FebSt Helens 12 Hull FC 3212,142
Sun 7 FebHull Kingston Rovers 30 Salford City Reds 129,123
Sun 7 FebWarrington Wolves 58 Harlequins 011,678
Sun 7 FebWakefield Wildcats 28 Catalans Dragons 205,818

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