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|Friday 9th September 2011|
|Wigan Warriors 42 Crusaders 10|
|DW Stadium, Wigan|
|Engage Super League 16 - Round 27 of 27|
|Kick Off 8:00pm|
|1||Sam Tomkins||1||Clinton Schifcofske||G|
|25||Josh Charnley||T2||5||Stuart Reardon|
|12||Joel Tomkins||T||3||Tony Martin|
|4||George Carmont||4||Vince Mellars|
|5||Pat Richards||T||G7||18||Elliott Kear|
|6||Paul Deacon||19||Lloyd White|
|17||Brett Finch||T||7||Jarrod Sammut||T|
|15||Jeff Lima||22||Richard Moore|
|7||Thomas Leuluai||9||Lincoln Withers|
|14||Paul Prescott||10||Mark Bryant|
|11||Harrison Hansen||13||Frank Winterstein|
|16||Ryan Hoffman||T||12||Jason Chan|
|13||Sean O'Loughlin||23||Peter Lupton||T|
|9||Michael McIlorum||16||Ben Flower|
|20||Eamon O'Carroll||21||Paul Johnson|
|22||Liam Farrell||T||24||Lee Williams|
|23||Chris Tuson||28||Andy Bracek|
First of all I'd like to offer my condolences to the family and friends of Mark Evans. He was a Wigan supporter who sadly suffered a heart attack in the South Stand just before this game was about to start. Rest in Peace!
For a large part of this game I think Wigan continued to show the tired lethargy that had dogged them in the visit to Warrington last week. Very sloppy stuff with ball in hand and little punch forward in the attack. However our goal line defence was much better, but then again we were facing one of the league's worst attacks.
Following Gareth Hock's deserved suspension, it was welcome news to see Chris Tuson returning having missed the last 7 matches. Eamon O'Carroll also came on to the bench with Andy Coley sitting this game out, not sure why?
Crusaders were playing their last Super League game after withdrawing their licence to compete back in July. This last game saw a 600 strong following from Wales with many having taken part in a "Save the Cru" charity walk for kids with cancer. They away fans sat in the corner of the East Stand though with the normal away end (the North Stand) housing a strong presence of Wigan fans in a deal that was done with local businesses including Heinz.
Pre match saw a great atmosphere as the club paraded a whole host of ex players with this game being this "heritage day" The lethargy I talked about on the field really started from the off though. Ok, they took the lead in the fourth minute with a try that was well taken by Brett Finch, converted by Pat Richards, but for a long time this game was boring. News of Warrington racking up points away at Hull, to wrap up the league leaders shield, didn't really help.
In fairness though Crusaders were putting in a big effort and deserved their equalising try in the 21st minute. Lloyd White sent Peter Lupton over from close range with Clinton Schifcofske adding the extras.
The match really was dull and needed a spark from somewhere. Who else was going to provide it than Sam Tomkins? He took a quick tap penalty and broke through a poor tackle attempt from ex Wigan player Paul Johnson. Sam was eventually trapped going down the left but passing back towards the right, Tuson, Finch and Joel Tomkins all got a touch before Josh Charnley been another poor tackle attempt from Johnson to score under the posts. Pat converted for 12-6 after 31 minutes/
Another try came three minutes later with some super passing. Lovely pass out the back door from Finch to Sean O'Loughlin and he sent Ryan Hoffman racing through a gap to score. Pat's conversion made it 18-6 and that was how it stayed until half time.
You sensed a quick try second half would kill Crusaders enthusiasm and we did just that! A great try from Ginger Farrell this one. Taking the play the ball he put in a superb fend to flatten Lincoln Withers onto his arse before Paul Johnson was again tackling like a man with no arms. Farrell wasn't done, he then beat Schifcofske and White before crashing down on the line. He had a great game I felt Farrell, really lifted this side from it's flat start. Pat converted for 24-6.
The game was won in reality and the last 30 minutes saw Wigan go through the motions. They added three more tries though. First on 51 minutes, Crusaders were guilty of standing off some more great footwork from Sam Tomkins and he sent Charnley over for his second try in the right corner. Again though, pathetic tackling attempts, this time from Elliott Kear.
Four minutes later, Pat Richards took advantage of poor defence. Stuart Reardon was guilty this time. He went far too high on Carmont and he just offloaded to Pat who had too much strength for Schifcoske.
The final Wigan try came on 64 minutes. This was a neat try finished by Joel Tomkins after some great switch passing between Paul Prescott, Paul Deacon and Finch. Lovely stuff!
All three of those tries were converted by Pat to ensure he finished with a 100% conversion rate. The only other score came from Crusaders and it was a gift 60 metre interception from Jarrod Sammut who took advantage of a shocking pass from Finch. Amazingly despite scoring under the posts, Jason Chan missed the extra from bang in front. That left the final score a comfortable 42-10 to Wigan.
So a win is a win and this was perhaps always going to be a training session type match but for me, Wigan have a lot of improving to do before facing St Helens in the play offs next week.
Super League 16 - Round 27 Results
|Fri 9 Sept||Hull FC 12 Warrington Wolves 34||10,845|
|Fri 9 Sept||Wigan Warriors 42 Crusaders 10||19,104|
|Fri 9 Sept||Wakefield Wildcats 26 Bradford Bulls 14||6,486|
|Sat 10 Sept||Harlequins 16 St Helens 34||3,546|
|Sat 10 Sept||Hull Kingston Rovers 26 Castleford Tigers 24||8,936|
|Sun 11 Sept||Huddersfield Giants 24 Leeds Rhinos 31||10,428|
|Sun 11 Sept||Salford City Reds 18 Catalan Dragons 44||10,146|
Final Engage Super League 16 Table
|7||Hull Kingston Rovers||27||14||0||13||713||692||+21||28|
|11||Salford City Reds||27||10||0||17||542||809||-267||20|
*Crusaders and Wakefield both deducted 4 points for entering administration.