Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match
|Sunday 18th March 2012|
|Wigan Warriors 42 London Broncos 30|
|DW Stadium, Wigan|
|Stobart Super League 17 - Round 7 of 27|
|Kick Off 3:00pm|
|1||Sam Tomkins||T||1||Luke Dorn|
|2||Josh Charnley||5||Michael Robertson||T|
|3||Darrell Goulding||T||4||David Howell|
|4||George Carmont||T||24||Dan Sarginson||T|
|5||Pat Richards||T||G7||3||Jamie O'Callaghan|
|6||Brett Finch||T2||6||Michael Witt||T2||G5|
|7||Thomas Leuluai||7||Craig Gower|
|8||Paul Prescott||8||Antonio Kaufusi|
|9||Michael McIlorum||9||Chad Randall|
|21||Epalahame Lauaki||13||Tony Clubb|
|11||Harrison Hansen||20||Matt Cook|
|12||Gareth Hock||T||17||Jason Golden|
|13||Sean O'Loughlin||12||Chris Bailey|
|8||Jeff Lima||6||Karl Temata|
|10||Liam Farrell||15||Mark Bryant|
|14||Chris Tuson||18||Julien Rinaldi|
|16||Ben Flower||26||Chris Melling||T|
Well the talk after this game was about Wigan being poor. I'm not sure we were that poor! Obviously conceding thirty points in defence is disappointing but this was not the London Broncos that had looked dire in losing it's opening five matches. They clearly had got a huge lift from beating Castleford 42-16 at home last weekend and came here full of spark, vigour and enthusiasm.
The Broncos were well led by good combination from half backs Michael Witt and Craig Gower, and I actually take the view that we did well to win this game because I thought London were excellent on the day. At 18-6 down we could have collapsed in a heap but instead we dug deep, scored some good tries, and got a hard earned two points.
After the Widnes debacle last week, coach Wane recalled Sam Tomkins, Pat Richards, Thomas Leuluai, Sean O'Loughlin and Liam Farrell with Matty Russell, Anthony Gelling, Joe Mellor, Logan Tomkins and Tom Spencer dropping out. George Carmont and Paul Prescott also returned from injury in place of Lee Mossop and Jack Hughes.
Amazingly it took Wigan a full 8 minutes to get possession of the football in this contest and that early Broncos pressure had to tell. It was naivety really from Josh Charnley that put us right on the back foot. A bomb had gone out towards the left and it was going nowhere really but Josh went to collect the ball in the air and subsequently got bundled into touch. You could see that coming a mile off. Soon after that Michael Witt squeezed in the right corner where the defensive line just wasn't set. He then nailed a touchline conversion to give them a 6-0 lead.
Wigan finally got the football as the clock ticked into the 9th minute and they were soon on the score sheet to level it up. Brett Finch scored it from a standing start with a diagonal run through the middle of the Broncos defence. Pat converted for 6-6.
Sat there now thinking, here we go, we'll take full control of this one now, but London had other ideas. They scored the games next two tries. First on 18 minutes good passing from Gower and Luke Dorn saw Michael Robertson score in the left corner. Then on 28 minutes Dan Sarginson mugged Sam Tomkins to get over from close range. Witt converted both tries to give them an 18-6 lead.
The bottom line for Wigan here was that they were playing at a slow lethargic pace. These kind of games at home, when the away stand is shut, are always difficult ones to play if you are not setting the tone and that's really why Wigan found themselves 18-6 down. After that score they clearly stepped up the pace and score three tries before half time to take the lead.
First, on 31 minutes, Finch's offload out of a tackle to Jeff Lima allowed him to send Gareth Hock crashing through a missed tackle by Chris Bailey. A penalty soon after the restart got Wigan up field again and this time it was Sam Tomkins who found Lima with an offload before Darrell Goulding showed good pace to get in the right corner. Then on the next set, brilliant footwork from Sam got him clear through. Although the defence recovered somewhat, they never got him tackled and hands left from Finch and O'Loughlin allowed George Carmont to steam over in the left corner. Pat converted all three tries to give Wigan a 24-18 half time lead.
Into the second half and Wigan scored pretty quickly to extend that lead. Excellent offload from Hock got Richards in and with his conversion the lead was 30-18. Pat was now down to just 5 points needed for 2,000 in his Wigan career and with 38 minutes to go it was odds on that the landmark would be reached today, but he would end up stranded in the end on 1,999 points.
Your thinking now whether Wigan could repeat the clinical second half job they produced against Catalan in the previous home match but London hit back just four minutes later to keep Wigan sweating. Gower took advantage of a bad missed tackle to burst up the middle and it allowed him to send ex Wigan Chris Melling over. Witt's conversion made it 30-24 and still game on.
London were all over us after that and we did well not to allow them to level the scores. I would have feared for us had they scored next but thankfully we soaked up pressure before taking advantage of a London error which gave us a scrum feed ten metres out on 56 minutes. Finch was the capitalist with another lovely jinking step getting him chiming at the line. It took some finishing but he had the power to see off the last ditch tackling. Pat conversion made it 36-24.
Then on 64 minutes came a moment that highlights the difference between a good half back and one of sheer genius. Wigan received an offside penalty twenty metres from their own line and London ambled back expecting the kick to touch. Sam Tomkins though had other ideas. He tapped the penalty and had raced past the whole Broncos defensive line before they had even noticed what was happening. It was totally embarrassing for them. They were absolutely mugged. He completed an unopposed diagonal 78 metre dash under the posts and really it was a try that was needed because the game still hadn't felt comfortable. Pat's conversion made it 42-24.
London still left Wigan sweating when Witt scored his second try from an intercept pass thrown by Leuluai on 71 minutes but that proved to be the final score of the contest, which Wigan had won 42-30.
So the 30 points conceded will be a bit of a concern but to be honest I think that was a performance in which we had more than half an eye on the Warrington match next Friday. We always looked like we were playing well within ourselves and the fact Warrington had a similar scruffy win suggests that even more to me. It'll be totally different on Friday with a packed house inside the DW. Bring it on!
Super League 17 - Round 7 Results
|Fri 16 Mar||Huddersfield Giants 42 Castleford Tigers 4||6,928|
|Fri 16 Mar||Salford City Reds 16 Leeds Rhinos 56||6,891|
|Sat 17 Mar||Bradford Bulls 12 St Helens 8||11,360|
|Sat 17 Mar||Catalan Dragons 20 Hull Kingston Rovers 12||7,337|
|Sun 18 Mar||Hull FC 58 Widnes Vikings 10||10,705|
|Sun 18 Mar||Warrington Wolves 32 Wakefield Wildcats 30||10,686|
|Sun 18 Mar||Wigan Warriors 42 London Broncos 30||12,608|
Stobart Super League 17 Table - After This Round
|8||Salford City Reds||7||3||0||4||160||210||-50||6|
|10||Hull Kingston Rovers||7||2||1||4||156||178||-22||5|