I actually came off this game feeling under whelmed. Not sure why. Perhaps I felt sorry for Pat that he just couldn't take the record for most points in a regular season off Andy Farrell. Perhaps it was because I expected a big scoring victory for Wigan but in fairness it was not a poor Bradford that turned up. They put plenty of effort in but our defence was just too strong for them.
One thing is for certain. Knocking on three times from kick off restarts is pretty dire for any teams standards. You'd be kicking the Under 10s up the arse if they were doing that, never mind a Super League side. Let's hope Wigan have produced all their play off errors in this one game.
Wigan put themselves under early pressure, with Joel Tomkins guilty of conceding a stupid last tackle penalty, but our defence held firm to see out two consecutive sets.
It was a scrappy affair early doors but Sam Tomkins looked like he'd opened the score with an excellent try in the 13th minute but referee Ian Smith ruled obstruction in back play.
Didn't really matter because Wigan went in again four minutes later to open the scoring. Good work from Liam Farrell, he got the offload away to send George Carmont over. Pat needing 15 points to take Andy Farrell's record kicked his first two points towards that with the conversion.
It was a poor game so I decided to go and stock up at the bar. The queues though were abysmal. Whilst queuing good work from Piggy Riddell saw Feka Paleaaesina double Wigan's lead on 28 minutes with a typical belly flop try from close range under the sticks. Easy conversion for Pat making it 12-0.
Bradford continued to put the effort it but the quality was non-existent. Wigan were helping them with persistent fouling and this saw a warning given from referee Ian Smith. Despite inviting on the pressure our defence was holding firm.
Then on 33 minutes a great cheer when Pat got over a try. Sean O'Loughlin loves a bullet pass out wide and he hit Pat with a perfect one to send him in. His conversion hit the post but he was 8 points towards the 15 he needed with plenty of time to go.
Wigan though knocked on the restart and then gave away another last tackle penalty. Coach Michael Maguire would have been tearing his hair out but again our defence stood up to the pressure.
When that pressure is soaked up the best thing you can do is go up the other end and claim a try yourself. Wigan did just that a minute before half time. Joel Tomkins scored it all by himself with a lovely solo run. Pat failed to convert again but 20-0 at half time was a good score against a Bulls side that certainly weren't rolling over.
The comments at half time were drawing comparisons with how Wigan led 20-0 at Odsal in March before cocking up big style in losing 22-20. But we put those fears straight to bed with a try just 1 minute into the second half.
Lovely run from Riddell set up the territory and Deacon's chip was well taken by Pat who juggled in the process of scoring. Again he missed the conversion but with 39 minutes to get just 3 points for the record it looked odds on he would do. Wigan knocking on the restart for a second time invited more pressure but again our defence stood up.
Pat should have claimed it with a try on 50 minutes. Carmont sent him chiming at the line but he instead passed back inside only for Liam Farrell to knock on. Another opportunity on 55 minutes saw a majestic move almost finished off by him but Bradford just scrambled back at the expense of a drop out.
The game began to die on it's arse and time began to kick. It was now the 68th minute when Thomas Leuluai sent Darrell Goulding over in the right corner and Pat hit the conversion to equal Andy Farrell's record.
So with a 30-0 lead and ten minutes to go Pat just needed 1 point for a record that would have capped off a perfect regular season for him. The will of the team and crowd for him to get it perhaps contributed to them taking their eye of the ball in defence. After a third knock on from the restart Rikki Sherriffe went in over in the right corner but the touch judge ruled him in touch. But when they came at us again Wigan gifted them another penalty and that saw them claim a cheap try under the sticks from Craig Kopczak with Paul Sykes converting to make it 30-6.
Bradford knocked on the restart this time and amazingly Wigan rushed to stop the clock despite the 30-6 lead. They wanted this record for Pat and it was all on when Goulding scored again in the right corner. The conversion was right off the touchline and you could hear a pin drop has he swung his boot. Most of the stadium thought it was over but it just shaded in front of the posts. With 2 minutes ago you knew his chance had gone.
In fact desperately trying to score again from him, Wigan knocked on in their own half and Bradford claimed a second cheap try. Andy Lynch claimed it and they allowed Steve Menzies, playing his last game for Bradford, to take the easy conversion. That wrapped up the 34-12 win.
After the game the presentation of the league leaders shield was set up. First the Under 20s paraded the Floodlit 9s Trophy they won last week, ironically it looks a better cup than the "Hub Cap". It was emotional to see them lift that. I mentioned to
someone stood next to me that it wasn't that long ago we walked off Knowsley Road in disgust after a really poor Good Friday display and suffering embarrassment in Cardiff. Those bad times make the good times even more special. Let's hope we kick on now in the play offs.