Everyone was telling me to just write "we were
shit" and leave this match report at that and to be honest I
probably would have done that had I headed straight home after the
game. But I've now slept on it, so here we go with the thoughts on
this sorry display.
First of all it was a great performance by
Catalan and very big credit to them for that. Ok, they literally
had no defence to contend with but in return they defended very
solid and 28 points against them is a bit of an injustice for that
effort from them.
Now their are all sorts of theories going round
in the post match beers, "trouble in the camp" that kind of thing,
and next week will be very interesting to see if their is a
reaction, but it is worth remembering that we did put in a pretty
similar performance to this last year when
Harlequins beat us 38-24 here.
Quins that night were ripping us to bits from
deep and defensively the Wigan players all looked like they all had
lead boots on and it was exactly the same in this game. The try on
21 minutes summed that up. A loose ball in the in goal was Mike
McIlorum's to claim all day and yet he was beaten to it.
No doubt fans on our message board will be
bagging individuals, and I do agree that Brett Finch really needs
dropping to the Under 20s to find his fitness, but for me you
really have to condemn the whole team for a disgraceful defensive
display. Our pack absentees don't excuse that performance either!
Kris Radlinski came out in the South Stand Bar
post match and, despite his role on the coaching staff, absolutely
panned them. "Not fit for the shirt" was his exact words
on that performance. He made
other comments which I can't quite recall but you could see the
hurt in him.
Chairman Ian Lenegan came out with Rads and I
have to say I respect him for coming out and not hiding. I mean I
will always respect Ian Millward for coming out and facing the
music, and getting a verbal battering for that matter, after one of
our shocking early 2006 displays and same here. I mean Maurice
Lindsay would have retreated to an underground bunker after that
kind of display but Lenegan came out, apologised, and said we'll
make up for it next week. He said it reminded him of "that shit
Huddersfield in 2009 when we lost 34-4. He also said it was
marvellous how the boos were "muted" and how we clapped Catalan
when they were getting set for every kick off restart in the second
half. He reckoned no other fans in the league would have done that
and I think he's right.
The story of the match is pretty simple. Wigan
got off to a great start with a classy Sam Tomkins try after just
85 seconds. He went attacking down the right, took on winger Damien
Blanch, and chalking the touchline he beat him for pace and arched
round him for the score. Pat couldn't convert - 4-0 Wigan.
After that it was a real no contest. I don't
really need to describe these individually, they were all the same.
Catalan broke clear through a non existent defensive line and Wigan
had no pace to chase back. Frédéric Vaccari, Steve Menzies (twice), Rémi Casty
and Scott Dureau all scored and let's not forget they also bombed
another clean break with a forward pass. All five tries went
converted to make the score 30-4 but a try from Mike McIlorum (I
was at the bar, missed it!) in the 40th minute did give Wigan some
At half time I'm thinking that the next 40
minutes would tell us a lot and whilst on paper it looks like the
same game because Catalan did stretch their half time lead to 46-10
at one point, it wasn't really like that.
did improve but what they really didn't need to do was throw an
intercept try to Frédéric Vaccari just two minutes after the
restart. That made it 36-10 and game over. Who knows, had that not
happened we might have been able to have a proper crack at them.
Dureau missed the kick but added a penalty goal two minutes later.
Then to sum up the night further, Wigan threw a second intercept
try to Dureau on 58 minutes. He raced 70 metres for an easy try
under the posts, which he then converted. Three later Damien Blanch
scored again and although the kick missed, the scoreline was now
46-10 and with 19 minutes remaining it was looking like our biggest
ever defeat at DW Stadium was on the cards.
thankfully I suppose Catalan only added a drop goal in the final 19
minutes whilst Wigan scored three tries. Nice efforts in truth. The
first saw Pat taking on Blanch down the left, showing great
strength, then finding a ball inside to send George Carmont over.
Next try saw Sean O'Loughlin touch down a very neat kick and Stefan
Marsh claimed the final consolation effort. I think it's worth
noting Josh Charnley coming off the bench did provide some spark
for Wigan in this final period. I'm not going to slag Stefan Marsh
off but I'm really not seeing why he gets in the team ahead of
Charnley. Pat converted all three of those tries and that's the
only real positive out of the game. He came through the contest
fine and kicked pretty well.
Massive straw clutch here but I do wonder what
may have been had we not thrown them two intercept efforts in that
second half. We got to 28 points somehow and that was against what
I thought was an excellent defensive display from the French. I'm
not convinced they switched off late in the game. I mean those late
tries needed effort!
All in all, Maguire now has the biggest test of
his coaching career. Not just next week but for the rest of the
season. He absolutely has to get our home form improved. This
result now means Wigan have lost 8 of our last 13 home matches and
that is totally unacceptable. I can't really explain why we are
struggling at home but whatever they are doing routine wise, it