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Match Report: Huddersfield 30 Wigan 38
Posted by Bilko on May 16 2010 - 18:44

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Huddersfield Giants v Wigan Warriors - Engage Super League XV Round 14.
Sunday 16th May 2010. Kick Off 3:00pm at Galpharm Stadium.

This was an awesome 80 minutes from Wigan who once again proved that they have what it takes to win trophies this season. Ok nothing is won at this time of the season but yet again we produced a result from a match that we would definitely have lost last season.

The big frustration was referee Richard Silverwood. Both sides conceded many penalties today, which often led to tries, but it was very galling to see us receive two sin bin periods whilst Huddersfield went unscathed. Especially when the penalty count was 12-10 in Wigan's favour! How can they concede two more penalties yet we get two sin bins to none? Doesn't make any sense to me!

Must admit I had a little chuckle in the car back to Rochdale (my friend "Gladys" gave me a lift from Hudds to Rochdale to meet a train back to Wigan) when a Saints fan on the BBC Radio Manchester phone in was giving the excuse that 5 absentee players caused their defeat at Salford yesterday. Well Wigan today, for a variety of reasons, went without Cameron Phelps, Amos Roberts, Martin Gleeson, Harrison Hansen and Feka Paleaaesina but still managed the win. It's a squad game and our strength in depth, in my view, is why we are top of the table. I think it showed today. Our bench proved to be stronger in a key part of the game. But I'll come onto that as I go through how the game panned out.

Bright sunshine met the sides at kick off, although their was a blustery wind that kept it a bit nippy for what must have been at least 2,500 Wigan fans in the shade of the "Pink Link Stand". Huddersfield's Danny Brough belting the kick off straight out on the full helped us to the perfect start.

Tommy Leuluai put the bomb up into the sun and the defender flapped at it under pressure from Richards. Pat didn't collect but Joel Tomkins did to score in the right corner after just 88 seconds. Having not kicked for two weeks Richards was back goal kicking today, although he first miss sailed wide.

Huddersfield soon hit back with the help of referee Silverwood. Back to back penalties got them on the line and the ball was swung to the right corner. Leroy Cudjoe looked a certain scorer but he didn't seem to want to take on Karl Pryce. Sadly he stepped back inside and took advantage of soft tackling to score anyway. Brett Hodgson converted to make it 6-4 Huddersfield.

Wigan responded to that set back with the best try of the match. On half way Sam Tomkins shimmed towards the left, found Pat Richards who made the half break to send Karl Pryce racing down the wing. I never fancied that the defenders would bundle him into touch but rather than take them on he hit George Carmont with a superb inside pass that sent him over. Pat converted to make it 10-6 to Wigan after 11 minutes.

Referee Silverwood helped Huddersfield back into the contest with another set of back to back penalties punishing Wigan. Ball was swung left and ex Warrior David Hodgson squeezed in the corner. Namesake Brett's conversion failed so the scores were level at 10-10 after 16 minutes.

At this point, the game started to become very niggly. Following Nathan Brown's comments after the game at Murrayfield two weeks ago Keith Mason had been targeted by the Wigan pack. Stuart Fielden I recall had nailed him early doors. Mason responded though with a late hit on Thomas Leuluai after he had offloaded the ball. It looked a clear revenge attack for the Sean O'Loughlin incident in Scotland but Silverwood did nothing about it except give a penalty. I can't quite remember if it was at this moment or shortly after but Pat kicked a penalty goal to put Wigan 12-10 ahead.

The big hits continued with Lee Gilmour being nailed by a Paul Prescott hit up. Perfectly clean but Gilmour was wobbly for a few seconds. Moments later Sam Tomkins was on the end of a big hit on a last tackle. It looked high to me and many other Wigan fans, although it was about 60 metres away from us. Silverwood responded by just offering the turnover.

Having seen both half backs on the end of suspect challenges the blood inside Wigan fans was at boiling point. Then to infuriate us further Joel Tomkins was sin binned for a high tackle on Paul Whatuira . Wigan had been warned next offence was a yellow card in fairness but it left us, rightly or wrongly, feeling harshly treated.

Huddersfield took full advantage within a minute as Paul Whatuira got over in the left corner. His try was at the away end of the field, and their was an eruption of "in touch" shouts. Other side of the pitch from me so I don't know but Silverwood gave the try. Brett Hodgson then converted off the touchline to regain the lead at 16-12.

Wigan continued on the back foot whilst down to twelve men. Cudjoe should have dived low for a try down the right wing but in my view shit himself when he saw Pryce in front of him. He was nailed into touch for his troubles, big let off for Wigan.

It was looking like Wigan would survive the rest of the sin bin without any more damage but just when Joel was returning to the field they scored again. Another conceded penalty helped them on the attack and down the left David Hodgson went over for his second. They were clearly targeting the wing defended by Darrell Goulding and Stefan Marsh and it was paying off. Brett Hodgson's conversion missed so Hudds let 20-12 with 7 minutes to half time.

Now I'll be honest, at 20-12 down I was still confident Wigan would come back and win. It looked to me that Wigan could score from deep if needed (proven by the Carmont try) whilst I felt the Giants seemed to need to get inside our ten metres with the help of penalties or forty-twenties to score. But for Wigan to get a try just before half time was a massive bonus for us.

Darrell Goulding scored it in the right corner. Nice hands and a long cut out pass created a huge overlap for him to crash over. Big conversion from Pat left the half time score 20-18 to Huddersfield.

Key for me was that after the big hits had been flying around the twenty five minute mark, Nathan Brown had removed both Keith Mason and Eorl Crabtree from the field. They were probably on the way to a red card in fairness so it was a good call but they wouldn't return until Wigan claimed two early second half tries. Luke Robinson, playing hooker today, was also off the field as well. This is what I mean about strength in depth. Huddersfield's substitutes didn't have half the go forward or impetus as the starters..

First score came after 5 minutes. Helped by a "back to one" Joel Tomkins went over for his second of the afternoon. Then after Leuluai had been held up, Andy Coley should great strength for a superb try. He had four men on him and he out muscled not only them but the post to plonk the ball on the line. Pat converted both tries to put Wigan 30-20 ahead.

It was looking like Wigan would kick on from here and rack up a comfortable win but a second sin bin stopped the momentum. Danny Brough had made a rare break down the left and having just scored Coley was guilty of holding him down too late. It was one of those situations were he was caught trying to hold down enough for the defence to get back. Silverwood binned him leaving us down to 12 for the second time which considering the opposition had not even received a warning for similar offences seemed harsh. At the same time Coley was binned we also lost Lee Mossop with a suspected dislocated shoulder.

In fairness we did ok during this period until Silverwood canned us three times to help Huddersfield get back into the game. The reintroduction of both Mason and Crabtree also played a big part with the latter claiming a try close to the posts on 61 minutes. Easy conversion for Brett Hodgson narrowing the lead to 30-26.

Then with Coley ready to return Danny Brough kicked a 40/20 which helped level the score. David Hodgson scored in the left corner to claim his hatrick but Brett couldn't convert leaving the scores level 30-30.

I still fancied Wigan though now they were back to full strength and they didn't let me down. I think Nathan Brown made a huge error in taking Crabtree back off the field because it allowed Wigan to get on the front foot. Darrell Goulding went over in the left corner and Pat showed his big game nerve with a beautiful touchline conversion. So it was 36-30 to Wigan with ten to play.

Huddersfield looked like they had levelled again moments later with Andy Raleigh scoring close to the sticks. But it was disallowed for a double movement! Opposite end of the field from me so I can't comment.

Wigan went up the other end and Pat tried to seal the game with a drop goal but his effort went wide. Hudds continued to press forward with the help of yet another penalty but despite forcing a drop out, good defence from Marsh and Goulding put Whatuira into touch.

Time was now Wigan's friend and into the last minute they received a penalty of their own. It was an easy slot over for Pat that made the final score 38-30. He proved his worth today because on the face of it the difference was goal kicking. Six tries each but four extra goals claimed the two points.

A draw may have been the fairest result but personally (maybe biased) if anyone deserved the win it was Wigan. Really pleased with a result that puts us four points clear at the top of Super League. Word of caution though. Last time we went four clear we lost our next game unexpectedly to Harlequins, so let's hope we can back this up away at Crusaders next Saturday.

Final note to praise Karl Pryce. Fought he showed up well today and may well have silenced a few of his harsh critics. Probably not though I suspect.

Reaction to the Action

Coach Michael Maguire: "(The Sin Bins) put a lot of pressure on us. We had to fight for everything and I'm really pleased for the boys. We got ourselves in a tough position at times throughout that game but they kept working hard for each other and we were lucky enough to come out the right end. When we had the ball we knew we had to complete and get down the other end because the other team are quality. Every time we got down into their area, we came up with some points so it was pleasing from that point of view but we've got to make sure we don't put ourselves in that position too often. (In terms of Martin Gleeson being dropped), we've got certain areas in the way we perform on and off the field and unfortunately he stepped outside that so he was back playing for the Under-20s yesterday, (Lee Mossop will) go for scans (on a suspected dislocated shoulder) but I know he is going to work very hard and I'd imagine he'd be back pretty soon, depending on the severity of it,"

Huddersfield coach Nathan Brown: "The response we got (to last weeks 60-4 home cup loss to Warrington) was good. We made a few subtle changes to our attack and we caused a good side a lot of problems. If we score 30, we should win. I think both coaches weren't rapt with their defences but both sides played some good attacking football. Defence hasn't been an issue for us for 18 months. Obviously when we get it right we do pretty well but the last two weeks we've been exposed pretty badly in some areas. We've just got to work hard and I'm sure we'll rediscover what we need to rediscover and we'll improve."

Team Sheets

-HuddersfieldPositionWigan-
1Brett HodgsonFull BackPat Richards5
2Leroy CudjoeWingerDarrell Goulding24
3Jamahl LolesiCentreStefan Marsh27
4Paul WhatuiraCentreGeorge Carmont4
5David HodgsonWingerKarl Pryce20
6Kevin BrownStand OffSam Tomkins6
34Danny BroughScrum HalfThomas Leuluai7
8Eorl CrabtreePropStuart Fielden8
7Luke RobinsonHookerMike McIlorum15
10Keith MasonPropAndy Coley10
11Lee Gilmour2nd RowPhil Bailey16
14Stephen Wild2nd RowJoel Tomkins12
20David FaiumuL.ForwardSean O'Loughlin13
-
9Shaun LuntSubstituteMark Riddell9
15Andy RaleighSubstitutePaul Prescott14
16Darrell GriffinSubstituteEamon O'Carroll21
22Martin AspinwallSubstituteLee Mossop23
-Nathan BrownCoachMichael Maguire-

Score Sheet

Huddersfield Giants 30---Wigan Warriors 38
Tries (6):
Leroy Cudjoe
David Hodgson 3
Paul Whatuira
Eorl Crabtree
 
---Tries (6):
Joel Tomkins 2
George Carmont
Darrell Goulding 2
Andy Coley
Goals:
Brett Hodgson 3/6
---Goals:
Pat Richards 7/8

Scoring and Incident Pattern

2nd MinuteHuddersfield 00Wigan 04Try: Joel Tomkins
-Huddersfield 00Wigan 04P.Richards Missed Conversion (0/1)
7th MinuteHuddersfield 04Wigan 04Try: Leroy Cudjoe
-Huddersfield 06Wigan 04Conversion: Brett Hodgson (1/1)
11th MinuteHuddersfield 06Wigan 08Try: George Carmont
-Huddersfield 06Wigan 10Conversion: Pat Richards (1/2)
16th MinuteHuddersfield 10Wigan 10Try: David Hodgson
-Huddersfield 10Wigan 10B.Hodgson Missed Conversion (1/2)
21st MinuteHuddersfield 10Wigan 12Penalty Goal: Pat Richards (2/3)
23rd MinuteWigan Sin BinJoel Tomkins (High Tackle)
24th MinuteHuddersfield 14Wigan 12Try: Paul Whatuira
-Huddersfield 16Wigan 12Conversion: Brett Hodgson (2/3)
33rd MinuteHuddersfield 20Wigan 12Try: David Hodgson (2)
-Huddersfield 20Wigan 12B.Hodgson Missed Conversion (2/4)
38th MinuteHuddersfield 20Wigan 16Try: Darrell Goulding
-Huddersfield 20Wigan 18Conversion: Pat Richards (3/4)
Half TimeHuddersfield Giants 20 Wigan Warriors 18
45th MinuteHuddersfield 20Wigan 22Try: Joel Tomkins (2)
-Huddersfield 20Wigan 24Conversion: Pat Richards (4/5)
49th MinuteHuddersfield 20Wigan 28Try: Andy Coley
-Huddersfield 20Wigan 30Conversion: Pat Richards (5/6)
53rd MinuteWigan Sin BinAndy Coley (Holding Down)
61st MinuteHuddersfield 24Wigan 30Try: Eorl Crabtree
-Huddersfield 26Wigan 30Conversion: Brett Hodgson (3/5)
64th MinuteHuddersfield 30Wigan 30Try: David Hodgson (Hatrick)
-Huddersfield 30Wigan 30B.Hodgson Missed Conversion (3/6)
69th MinuteHuddersfield 30Wigan 34Try: Darrell Goulding
-Huddersfield 30Wigan 36Conversion: Pat Richards (6/7)
80th MinuteHuddersfield 30Wigan 38Penalty Goal: Pat Richards (7/8)
Full TimeHuddersfield Giants 30 Wigan Warriors 38

Video Highlights

Top 5 Wigan Players as voted on our Message Board

Man of the Match: Stuart Fielden
2nd: Pat Richards 3rd: Joel Tomkins 4th: Thomas Leuluai 5th: Andy Coley

Referee

Richard Silverwood

Penalties Conceded

Huddersfield 12 Wigan 10

Match Attendance

8,930

Match Milestones

Joel Tomkins marked his 100th Wigan Appearance.

Weather

Sunny but not too hot.

League Table at Conclusion of Super League 15 Round 14

-TeamPWDLFADiffFormPts
1Wigan Warriors141202460210+250W224
2Warrington Wolves141004450208+242L120
3St Helens141004450270+180L120
4Bradford Bulls14815266250+16W117
5Huddersfield Giants14806354214+140L216
6Hull FC14806300279+21W116
7Leeds Rhinos14716360300+60W215
8Hull Kingston Rovers14707293325-32W114
9Wakefield Wildcats14608264333-69L512
10Crusaders13508213337-124L110
11Castleford Tigers14509280378-98L110
12Harlequins13409225389-164W38
13Salford City Reds144010215397-182W18
14Catalans Dragons142012180420-240L64

Round 14 Results
Fri 14 MayLeeds Rhinos 26 Warrington Wolves 1616,773
Fri 14 MayWakefield Wildcats 10 Bradford Bulls 295,381
Sat 15 MayCatalans Dragons 14 Hull FC 286,512
Sat 15 MaySalford City Reds 42 St Helens 345,685
Sun 16 MayHarlequins 40 Castleford Tigers 242,941
Sun 16 MayHuddersfield Giants 30 Wigan Warriors 388,390
Sun 16 MayHull Kingston Rovers 54 Crusaders 107,273

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