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Match Report: Hull Kingston Rovers 16 Wigan 28
Posted by Bilko on April 16 2011 - 09:05

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Hull Kingston Rovers v Wigan Warriors - Engage Super League XVI Round 10.
Friday 15th April 2011. Kick Off 8:00pm at Craven Park.

Match Report

This performance was not pretty but far more like it from Wigan. The whole game was a massive midfield war of endurance but our defence was pretty strong for the most part.

Wigan made several changes to their line up. Josh Charnley replaced Darrell Goulding on the right wing whilst Joel Tomkins switched back from second row to right centre in place of Stefan Marsh. Paul Deacon made a welcome return at Stand Off, with Brett Finch dropping down to the bench, and Jeff Lima and Liam Farrell both returned to boost the pack.

The fact it took 17 minutes before the opening score came highlighted how much of a defensive battle this was. I think first score was always going to be crucial and Joel Tomkins claimed it, punishing an error from Scott Murrell close to his own line. They just swung it right and Sean O'Loughlin's pass allowed Joel to take advantage of the overlap. Pat couldn't convert - 4-0.

Soon after Wigan went in again. This time Ryan Hoffman scored from close range and Pat Richards converted to make it 10-0 after 22 minutes but Rovers soon responded after a Wigan error in their own quarter. Matt Cook claimed the try, scored towards the right corner. Scott Murrell converted to make it 10-6.

Now what Wigan did well for the rest of the game was that every time Rovers claimed a hard fought try, within four minutes we'd re-established a two score lead. The response to the Matt Cook try came from a familiar routine. It worked so well at the back end of last season with the full back, stand off and scrum half all combining towards the right centre/wing combination. It doesn't matter what order they combine, the routine just seemingly works every time.

Brett Finch had come into the half back role, whilst Tommy had replaced McIlorum at dummy half, so it was he who combined with Sam Tomkins and Paul Deacon to get the ball to right centre Joel Tomkins. His pass sent Josh Charnley angling at the right corner and he just had to much pace for full back Ben Cockayne. Pat Richards conversion made it 16-6 and that was a perfect tonic to take us into half time.

Having said that, two Rovers errors gave Wigan great opportunities to extend that lead just before the break but Wigan couldn't take advantage. By now the rain which had been threatening all night finally came but thankfully it wasn't enough to get us soaked in the open away stand. It was pretty much gone by the time the teams returned.

Now if you look back on recent trips to Craven Park they've all followed the same pattern. Wigan build a first half lead, Rovers get bollocked at half time and come out strong after the restart but Wigan still win anyway. So it perhaps should not have been much of a surprise to see Rovers claim the first try after half time.

Willie Mason scored it with a close range barge over but crucially perhaps, Scott Murrell failed to convert. 16-12 would have put a lot of sweat on Wigan but 16-10 relieved the pressure.

Then again you relieve your own pressure with a quick response don't you and it came from a trademark Thomas Leuluai effort. He loves to scoot towards the line from ten metres out and spinning out the tackles he crashed down for a big four pointer. Pat converted to make it 22-10 with 33 minutes to go.

Defences were so on top this really was a big two score lead but I do think Wigan should have just been a bit more clever and just kicked a bloody drop goal to end the contest. They had opportunities but kept going wide.

A drop goal would certainly have helped when Rovers hit back on 65 minutes. They had broke well up the left wing but I think it was Joel who chased back with a superb tackle. Didn't really matter because Ben Cockayne soon crashed over from close range, Murrell's conversion making it 22-16.

The Rovers fans sensed they now had a big chance but a massive moment in the end result came at the restart. It was bang in front of us. Pat Richards put in a superb well hung kick off that was aimed direct at the crossbar. It didn't hit it but the ball had to be taken in the in goal and although the Rovers attacker did get two metres beyond the try line, a wall of four Wigan defenders, led by Sean O'Loughlin, barrelled him back over the line for a drop out.

Then from the drop out Rovers conceded a penalty which was an easy "take the two" decision. Simple kick from pretty much in front and 24-16 was game over on a night like this, even though 12 minutes remained.

In the end Wigan claimed a cherry on top of the cake try in the 77th minute. Going left they found an overlap with George Carmont scoring in the corner. Pat's conversion missed but it didn't really matter - 28-16 was the final score.

So in summary - a good professional performance by Wigan. They didn't really flow in attack but they weren't allowed to by Hull KR. We ground out a good win and our kicking game was much improved. Not just from Deacon either, Sam Tomkins put in two excellent kicks in the second half that pinned Rovers well back, one of them was actually a 40/20 in the last minute.

This victory extends our unbeaten run away from DW Stadium to 20 matches (including neutral venues). It's a run that makes our current home form all the more laughable but I'll take all those home game struggles if it means we beat the enemy next Good Friday!

Post Match confirmation of Michael Maguire's departure at the end of the season has to be welcomed as well. Of course I'd much prefer he was staying a decision either way needed to happen sooner rather than later. We can finally move on and I hope this win proves to be the kick start our so far stuttering season needs.

Finally that was another great following from the Wigan fans. "Best following of the season" says a Rovers fan on our message board, not bad for a Friday night trip. Although the "Ultra's" section can piss off after the "Bilko is a Wanker" chant that I got when I walked past during the first half - haha!

ps Jeff Lima incident right on the hooter. Really didn't see what caused that bust up so can't really comment.

Reaction to the Action

Michael Maguire: "It was extremely hard (to decide to leave at the end of the season). We have been able to build a great team in my time here and this team will definitely be taking things forward for Wigan. We managed to get on the big stage against St George and that's where Wigan deserve to be. The speculation has been going a long time, a hell of a long time, but over the last couple of days it became real and I choose for personal reasons and a lot of things that it was the right time to make the decision. The players are a great bunch and I really enjoy coaching them. They have worked so hard to achieve where we are and we are going to try and achieve a lot more this year."

Hull KR coach Justin Morgan: "We made too many errors in good field position. We got ourselves back in the game through a try and then we'd made a mistake from a kick-off. We were always chasing our tail but I thought we continuously turned up but the errors cost us."

Team Sheets

- Hull KR Position Wigan 1
28 Ben Cockayne Full Back Sam Tomkins 1
5 Liam Colbon Winger Josh Charnley 25
4 Jake Webster Centre Joel Tomkins 12
3 Kris Welham Centre George Carmont 4
21 Sam Latus Winger Pat Richards 5
6 Blake Green Stand Off Paul Deacon 6
13 Scott Murrell Scrum Half Thomas Leuluai 7
10 Joel Clinton Prop Andy Coley 10
18 Josh Hodgson Hooker Mike McIlorum 9
20 Mick Vella Prop Jeff Lima 15
23 Willie Mason 2nd Row Harrison Hansen 11
8 Rhys Lovegrove 2nd Row Ryan Hoffman 16
12 Ben Galea L.Forward Sean O'Loughlin 13
-
9 Ben Fisher Substitute Paul Prescott 14
14 Liam Watts Substitute Brett Finch 17
17 Matt Cook Substitute Lee Mossop 21
22 Scott Taylor Substitute Liam Farrell 22
- Justin Morgan Coach Michael Maguire -

Score Sheet

Hull Kingston Rovers 16 --- Wigan Warriors 28
Tries (3):
Matt Cook
Willie Mason
Ben Cockayne
--- Tries (5):
Joel Tomkins
Ryan Hoffman
Josh Charnley
Thomas Leuluai
George Carmont
Goals:
Scott Murrell 2/3
--- Goals:
Pat Richards 4/6

Scoring and Incident Pattern

17th Minute Hull KR 00 Wigan 04 Try: Joel Tomkins
- Hull KR 00 Wigan 04 P.Richards Missed Conversion (0/1)
22nd Minute Hull KR 00 Wigan 08 Try: Ryan Hoffman
- Hull KR 00 Wigan 10 Conversion: Pat Richards (1/2)
27th Minute Hull KR 04 Wigan 10 Try: Matt Cook
- Hull KR 06 Wigan 10 Conversion: Scott Murrell (1/1)
31st Minute Hull KR 06 Wigan 14 Try: Josh Charnley
- Hull KR 06 Wigan 16 Conversion: Pat Richards (2/3)
Half Time Hull Kingston Rovers 06 Wigan Warriors 16
43rd Minute Hull KR 10 Wigan 16 Try: Willie Mason
- Hull KR 10 Wigan 16 S.Murrell Missed Conversion (1/2)
47th Minute Hull KR 10 Wigan 20 Try: Thomas Leuluai
- Hull KR 10 Wigan 22 Conversion: Pat Richards (3/4)
65th Minute Hull KR 14 Wigan 22 Try: Ben Cockayne
- Hull KR 16 Wigan 22 Conversion: Scott Murrell (2/3)
68th Minute Hull KR 16 Wigan 24 Penalty Goal: Pat Richards (4/5)
77th Minute Hull KR 16 Wigan 28 Try: George Carmont
- Hull KR 16 Wigan 28 P.Richards Missed Coversion (4/6)
Full Time Hull Kingston Rovers 16 Wigan Warriors 28

Video Highlights

Top 5 Wigan Players as voted on our Message Board

Man of the Match: Thomas Leuluai
2nd: Paul Deacon 3rd: Sam Tomkins 4th: Josh Charnley  5th: Paul Prescott

Referee

Thierry Alibert

Match Attendance

8,703

Weather

Initially dry but a shower hit around half time.

League Table at Conclusion of Super League 16 Round 10

- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 Huddersfield Giants 10 8 0 2 273 134 +139 16
2 St Helens 10 7 1 2 306 178 +128 15
3 Castleford Tigers 9 7 1 1 287 168 +119 15
4 Warrington Wolves 10 7 0 3 329 167 +162 14
5 Wigan Warriors 9 5 2 2 210 169 +41 12
6 Catalan Dragons 10 5 0 5 228 225 +3 10
7 Leeds Rhinos 10 4 1 5 260 268 -8 9
8 Harlequins 10 4 1 5 220 306 -62 9
9 Salford City Reds 10 4 0 6 236 294 -58 8
10 Bradford Bulls 10 4 0 6 222 324 -102 8
10 Hull FC 10 3 0 7 212 240 -28 6
11 Hull Kingston Rovers 10 3 0 7 232 288 -56 6
13 Wakefield Wildcats* 10 3 0 7 182 300 -118 2
14 Crusaders* 10 2 0 8 204 340 -136 0

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

Round 10 Results
Fri 15 Apr Harlequins 26 Castleford Tigers 26 4,128
Fri 15 Apr Leeds Rhinos 6 Huddersfield Giants 38 14,768
Fri 15 Apr Hull Kingston Rovers 16 Wigan Warriors 28 8,703
Fri 15 Apr St Helens 52 Wakefield Wildcats 6 7,003
Fri 15 Apr Warrington Wolves 64 Crusaders 6 10,002
Sat 16 Apr Salford City Reds 56 Bradford Bulls 16 2,809
Sat 16 Apr Catalan Dragons 28 Hull FC 10 8,025

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