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Match Report: Bradford 10 Wigan 44
Posted by Bilko on February 20 2011 - 19:46

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Bradford Bulls v Wigan Warriors - Engage Super League XVI Round 2.
Sunday 20th February 2011. Kick Off 3:00pm at Odsal Grattan Stadium.

Match Report

Ominously for the rest of Super League, I don't think Bradford were that poor today but Wigan just hounded them into submission. When they attacked our line we defended brilliantly then when it was our turn to attack we just clinically picked them off. I'm pretty sure glancing through the record books that this was Wigan's best ever victory over Bradford at Odsal Stadium. It's never been an easy ground for us, but today was pretty convincing.

I remember someone on twitter (can't remember who) last week saying we should put Sam Tomkins in at stand off because he get's more involved. Well today proved why Full Back is his better position. He sits off the offensive line biding his time then before the defence knows it, bang he's up at them, then he's out stepped them to break clear, and Wigan are just brilliant these days at supporting the break both right and left. Sam was doing this all afternoon. An classy display from him today, man of the match by a country mile.

I think also a big improvement so far this year is our last tackle kicking. It was good at Cardiff last weekend and same again today. Early on in this match we were in an arm wrestle but on a couple of occasions we settled for playing the territory game with simple kicks into touch. Might seem negative but we lost a few tight games at the back end of last season and I think poor last tackle options was the main reason for those defeats. One such kick to touch today was done by Mike McIlorum. It was a last tackle and he just pinned a neat kick which hit the touchline just before the corner flag. Soon after our defence created an error. Simple stuff, but it works!

Another pleasing aspect was the returns of both Stuart Fielden and Amos Roberts. A fan asked me on twitter was Amos back to his form at the start of last season. I'd say no because a lot of the time he fed off the brilliance of Sam Tomkins rather than created his own tries but he should have claimed a hatrick with an amazing bombed effort. Fielden for me was the more impressive return of the two. Considering he hadn't played pre season I thought it was an excellent shift from him today, particular his first hit out in the opening twenty minutes. Really looking forward to seeing him and Jeff Lima on the park together.

Fear's about the pitch being a mud bath, after snow had hit West Yorkshire yesterday, proved to be unfounded. The surface was in excellent nick considering the time of year. It was bitterly cold on the terraces though. A sharp wind blew into our faces. It wasn't strong but you certainly felt it.

The match kicked off and it took just 15 seconds for Phil Bentham to award Bradford the first penalty of the game and they scored from it, right under the posts after a big bomb in the air. Touch judge was standing his ground though and after consolation, Bentham disallowed the try for offside.

Both sides were exchanging kicks into touch early on, with very few attacking chances until Wigan broke the deadlock in the 11th minute. Going left George Carmont sent Amos Roberts over for his first try since scoring at Wakefield last June. Roberts has always been a right winger when playing wide in his Wigan career but today he was on the left and didn't look out of place on the left alongside Carmont. In truth. a player with no arms would score bag fulls playing alongside Carmont. He's been excellent again so far this year. Paul Deacon, back at his old stomping ground, couldn't convert off the touchline though - 4-0 Wigan.

Michael Maguire showed his ruthlessness by dropping Joel Tomkins to the bench after his display against Saints. A few Wigan fans on the message board felt that Joel was off the mark last week and it seems that Maguire agreed. However I would have expected Liam Farrell to get the call up to start but it was Harrison Hansen instead and he repaid the faith with his second try of the year on the next attack.

Moments before that try Wigan broke down the left. Sam Tomkins found Carmont who found Roberts but amazingly he bombed in. Rather than aiming for the corner he decided to come inside. Should have been four points all the way but luckily it didn't matter. Last week, Hansen took advantage of an error created by a towering kick and he repeated it here. Deacon put the bomb up and Chev Walker flapped in the in goal. Harrison pounced for the score and Deacon's fairly easy conversion made it 10-0 after quarter of an hour.

It was now all Wigan and Sean O'Loughlin looked like he'd burst through to claim another but Bentham brought him back for a forward pass. On the half hour though, Thomas Leuluai would burst from a similar position up the middle and finish a brilliant individual effort. He danced round two defenders before beating full back Brett Kearney on his way to the line. The conversion from Deacon stretched the lead to 16-0.

Time was now ticking towards half time but Wigan kept the pressure on the throat of the Bulls with two more tries, both created by Sam Tomkins. First the little magician broke to send Liam Farrell powering over, then with ten seconds left on the official clock he found Farrell again but this time the ginger pearl sent Darrell Goulding over for a simple try in the right corner. Deacon converted the first but missed the second to leave the half time score 26-0.

Now then, I won't have been the only Wigan fan to recall last year's slump from 20-0 up to 22-20 defeat and for a good ten to fifteen minutes at the start of the second half it looked pretty ominous that Bradford were on the comeback again.

They almost scored from their own kick off. The ball hit the post and was somehow gathered by Bradford, a charge at the line went in but Wigan just about held them out. A couple of penalties and also a couple of errors, helped them to put in a sustained four minutes of pressure on our line and the pressure eventually told with a try from Elliott Whitehead from a grubber kick. Patrick Ah Van converted to make it 26-6.

In truth Wigan were flapping a bit at this point, Bradford had come out much better in the second half. But Wigan were a bugs dick away from hitting straight back. Leuluai snaffled up a loose ball thirty metres out and looked a certain try scorer but he was hauled down inches short and eventually the territory went to waste. That would have settled my stomach down no end, but the the mental haunting from last year's collapse refused to go away from my head.

Bradford really need a quick second try but Wigan's defence held them out until the 56th minute when Patrick Ah Van scored from another bomb in the right corner. Nice take from Paul Sykes' kick but he couldn't convert, so 26-10 was now the score.

Sadly for Ah Van, it was his error that allowed Wigan to close out this game. Four minutes after his try, a bomb was put up towards the Wigan left and Ah Van dropped it. Seconds later, Roberts was sent in for his second. Lovely Wigan passing was too quick for the Bulls defence to handle. Deacon hit a neat conversion as well to make it 32-10 with 19 minutes to go.

That try killed Bradford off and Wigan closed the game out with relative ease. After last week's late collapse against St Helens I think coach Maguire will be pleased that Wigan managed to get two more tries in the last four minutes.

Both came down the left again. First quick hands saw Carmont go over, nice step on the inside helping him over, then Sam Tomkins claimed a deserved try in a similar position. Deacon converted both to make the final score 44-10.

All in all a good afternoon's work out ahead of next week's World Club Challenge. Many pundits predicted the game next week would prove a distraction but so far this year I've seen a Wigan side looking well drilled and being really clinical in attack. Forwards are doing the work first, second and third tackle then we find gaps out wide. Deacon had a pretty good afternoon kicking as well. It shows our strength in depth because Pat Richards hasn't really been missed so far this year. Personally I think it'll be brilliant if Pat get's fit and can't even find a way back into the team. We shall see if it happens!

ps I just remembered. I went for hot drink for me and "Gladys" at half time. Got two hot chocolates and what a waste of money that turned out to be. It was more like half a cup of hot chocolate powder (way too much!) with a drizzle of lukewarm water. "Gladys" went somewhere else for two teas but they were not hot either, only warm!  Very poor, I'll stick to beer next time (was too cold for it today!).

Reaction to the Action

Michael Maguire: "It was very pleasing, especially after last week. It was good to see the boys doing what they are capable of doing. We will get a lot of confidence out of that. To see Amos (Roberts) run around the way he did was very positive for the team. It was good to see him back. (Martin Gleeson) could feel (his hamstring) tightening up so it was largely precautionary (to take him off). From what I've been told by the doctor, it looks like it's pretty good news."

Bradford coach Mick Potter: "The score probably didn't reflect the toughness of it. There is a gap and Wigan are at the top of the pile. They are a good team and they came up with some fantastic plays. We need to be better than that but we can improve. We make a bundle of errors, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. We have got to be a bit more resilient with the ball."

Team Sheets

- Bradford Position Wigan -
25 Shad Royston Full Back Sam Tomkins 1
5 Patrick Ah Van Winger Darrell Goulding 2
1 Michael Platt Centre Martin Gleeson 3
4 Chev Walker Centre George Carmont 4
19 Gareth Raynor Winger Amos Roberts 19
3 Paul Sykes Stand Off Paul Deacon 6
6 Brett Kearney Scrum Half Thomas Leuluai 7
8 Nick Scruton Prop Stuart Fielden 8
9 Heath L'Estrange Hooker Mike McIlorum 9
10 Andy Lynch Prop Paul Prescott 14
11 Olivier Elima 2nd Row Ryan Hoffman 16
12 Elliott Whitehead 2nd Row Harrison Hansen 11
15 Bryn Hargreaves L.Forward Sean O'Loughlin 13
-
14 Matt Diskin Substitute Andy Coley 10
16 Craig Kopczak Substitute Joel Tomkins 12
17 Ian Sibbitt Substitute Lee Mossop 21
23 Tom Olbison Substitute Liam Farrell 22
- Mick Potter Coach Michael Maguire -

Score Sheet

Bradford Bulls 10 --- Wigan Warriors 44
Tries (2):
Elliott Whitehead
Patrick Ah Van
--- Tries (8):
Amos Roberts 2
Harrison Hansen
Thomas Leuluai
Liam Farrell
Darrell Goulding
George Carmont
Sam Tomkins
Goals:
Patrick Ah Van 1/2
--- Goals:
Paul Deacon 6/8

Scoring and Incident Pattern

11th Minute Bradford 00 Wigan 04 Try: Amos Roberts
- Bradford 00 Wigan 04 P.Deacon Missed Conversion (0/1)
15th Minute Bradford 00 Wigan 08 Try: Harrison Hansen
- Bradford 00 Wigan 10 Conversion: Paul Deacon (1/2)
32nd Minute Bradford 00 Wigan 14 Try: Thomas Leuluai
- Bradford 00 Wigan 16 Conversion: Paul Deacon (2/3)
36th Minute Bradford 00 Wigan 20 Try: Liam Farrell
- Bradford 00 Wigan 22 Conversion: Paul Deacon (3/4)
40th Minute Bradford 00 Wigan 26 Try: Darrell Goulding
- Bradford 00 Wigan 26 P.Deacon Missed Conversion (3/5)
Half Time Bradford Bulls 00 Wigan Warriors 26
44th Minute Bradford 04 Wigan 26 Try: Elliott Whitehead
- Bradford 06 Wigan 26 Conversion: Patrich Ah Van (1/1)
56th Minute Bradford 10 Wigan 26 Try: Patrick Ah Van
- Bradford 10 Wigan 26 P.Ah Van Missed Conversion (1/2)
60th Minute Bradford 10 Wigan 30 Try: Amos Roberts (2)
- Bradford 10 Wigan 32 Conversion: Paul Deacon (4/6)
76th Minute Bradford 10 Wigan 36 Try: George Carmont
- Bradford 10 Wigan 38 Conversion: Paul Deacon (5/7)
79th Minute Bradford 10 Wigan 42 Try: Sam Tomkins
- Bradford 10 Wigan 44 Conversion: Paul Deacon (6/8)
Full Time Bradford Bulls 10 Wigan Warriors 44

Video Highlights

Top 5 Wigan Players as voted on our Message Board

Man of the Match: Sam Tomkins
2nd: Thomas Leuluai 3rd: Ryan Hoffman 4th: Stuart Fielden 5th: Mike McIlorum

Referee

Phil Bentham

Penalties Conceded

Bradford 8 Wigan 9

Match Attendance

15,348

Match Highlights

Video: Click Here Wish FM Commentary: Click Here

Weather

Dry but bitterly cold.

League Table at Conclusion of Super League 16 Round 2

- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 Castleford Tigers 2 2 0 0 58 32 +26 4
2 Leeds Rhinos 2 2 0 0 64 46 +18 4
3 Harlequins 2 2 0 0 31 22 +9 4
4 St Helens 2 1 1 0 72 38 +34 3
5 Wigan Warriors 2 1 1 0 60 26 +34 3
6 Hull Kingston Rovers 2 1 0 1 56 46 +10 2
7 Huddersfield Giants 2 1 0 1 40 36 +4 2
8 Warrington Wolves 2 1 0 1 42 50 -8 2
9 Hull FC 2 0 0 2 40 66 -26 0
10 Catalan Dragons 2 0 0 2 18 49 -31 0
11 Bradford Bulls 2 0 0 2 38 76 -38 0
12 Salford City Reds 2 0 0 2 34 42 -98 0
13 Crusaders* 2 1 0 1 60 32 +28 -2
14 Wakefield Wildcats* 2 1 0 1 58 54 +4 -2

*Crusaders and Wakefield both deducted 4 points for entering administration.

Round 2 Results
Fri 18 Feb Hull FC 18 Leeds Rhinos 32 12,513
Fri 18 Feb Salford City Reds 22 St Helens 56 5,929
Sat 19 Feb Catalans Dragons 14 Wakefield Wildcats 38 7,500
Sat 19 Feb Castleford Tigers 18 Huddersfield Giants 12 5,992
Sun 20 Feb Harlequins 20 Crusaders 18 1,766
Sun 20 Feb Bradford Bulls 10 Wigan Warriors 44 15,348
Sun 20 Feb Warrington Wolves 24 Hull Kingston Rovers 22 10,899

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