Match Report: Wigan 20 Warrington 22
Posted by cherryandwhite on March 26 2012 - 14:56
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Wigan Warriors v Warrington Wolves - Stobart Super League XVII Round 8.
Friday 23rd March 2012. Kick Off 8:00pm at DW Stadium.

Match Report

Forget about Eric Lauaki being an idiot, Wigan completing only two of 8 sets in the last twenty minutes, or the fact that Warrington's winning penalty goal, that scraped the cross bar, was taken seven metres forward from where it should of been - this loss was all about us. Lack of composure and lack of positivity.

Early second half we were all over Warrington like flies round Wigan legend "Fat Harry" sunbathing. A 16-12 lead and they are looking dead. We get a penalty under the posts. That was the time to go for the kill. It was clear as day. But no we took the easy two points and just 70 seconds later Lee Briers had intercepted to make it 18 all.

A Warrington fan tweeted me at the time asking "is that respect to Warrington or just being negative?" - I think it was far too much respect. In the whole game really I thought that was a Wire team that was flagging and hanging in as best they could against a Wigan pack that was dominating them.

Very worrying though how bad our last twenty minutes was. It was same at Widnes, but this time we had the experience on the park and we should be more composed than that. Thomas Leuluai in particular had a very poor second half and it's these type of games that highlight why he isn't a scrum half. Don't get me wrong, I think he one of the games most under-rated players at both club and test level, but he's a clear as day hooker! He'll do a job at scrum half, but in the big games, I think he struggles when in that position.

However, like I said, we should have had the game won before the last twenty minutes. Wigan showed their intentions early on by taking a penalty shot after just two minutes from Pat Richards - which incidentally took him over 2,000 points in his Wigan career. Didn't really have a problem with that. Early settler can sometimes be good but you have to concentrate on the restart and sadly we didn't. Paul Prescott lost the football and 73 seconds after Pat had slotted his goal, Ryan Atkins had scored in the left corner, Brett Hodgson converted and we were 6-2 down.

We certainly deserved to take the lead on 18 minutes when Gareth Hock crashed over from dummy half at close range. We'd been the side making the half breaks in a tight game and had just that little bit more territory. Pat converted to make it 8-6 Wigan, but that would end up being his last goal kick attempt of the game. He had his thigh/hamstring strapped up whilst the previous Ryan Atkins try was being video ref checked and a collision with Sam Tomkins soon after made it worse. Kris Radlinski admitted in the south stand bar afterwards that Pat should have come off the field but remained on because we had no back replacements on the interchange bench.

Now I think their is a call for a back on the bench because with the interchange being reduced from 12 per match to 10, I think Chris Tuson as an option has become negligible. His stats seems to bare that out. However the impact in this game from Liam Farrell and Jeff Lima off the bench was superb I thought.

It was actually the Ginger Pearl's first touch which led to Wigan's second try. Brett Finch sent him breaking through "boy wonder" Richard Myler's missed tackle before stepping round Brett Hodgson. Myler did enough to recover but damage was done. Quick play the ball and Mike McIlorum was over. The value of a quality regular kicker was shown though because Josh Charnley missed the extras, so the lead was just 12-6. It was a vital miss perhaps, a two score lead at any point in this game would have been massive.

Your thinking now with Farrell and Lima on fire that we would have a dominating ten minutes to half time but it quickly went away from us. Wigan let Warrington's restart bounce out and although we survived that, it gave Warrington a lift and they were soon in for a soft try out wide on the right from Joel Monaghan. Hodgson missed the touchline conversion so we still led 12-10.

Wigan's composure continued to lack. Sam Tomkins hammered the restart out on the full and this continued the pattern of ourselves putting ourselves on the back foot, rather than the opposition.

We did have the best chance of a try before the break however on 38 minutes when Farrell broke down the left, but he too showed a total lack of composure by passing far too early to the supporting Josh Charnley. He failed to draw in Chris Riley and sent Josh up a cul-de-sac. That in effect wasted the break. Sadly as well, Wigan conceded a penalty for offside right on half time and Warrington were able to level the scores with a two pointer.

Wigan came out on fire second half though and had retaken the lead after just 79 seconds with Richards scoring in the left corner. Excellent 60 metre break from Sam Tomkins in the build up also. Josh couldn't convert however so the lead was just 16-12.

You could sense now that we were killing them and I remain absolutely convinced had we scored another try here, we'd have gone on to win the game quite comfortably. Something like 30-12. But as I said earlier, on 48 minutes we chose to take a penalty goal for 18-12 and 70 seconds later Lee Briers intercepts a Thomas Leuluai pass and we are, in another blink of an eye, level at 18 all.

In this game you really need to be killing off the opposition mentally and Wigan yet again in this game had failed to do it. It was same against Huddersfield in Round 1. We had a brilliant start that day but never scored, and they rose in confidence from that. In this game just think - Prescott's knock on at the restart following our opening penalty, Sam Tomkins kicking out on the full from a kick off, letting a Warrington kick off go out for their ball, this intercept from Leuluai - those things all happened before our bad last twenty minutes. All avoidable and all contributed to raising Warrington's spirits that for me were flagging for most of the game.

You can point the finger at the coach if you want but their isn't really much the coach can do about basic errors that. Paul Prescott is an experienced player. Sam Tomkins has played over 100 games now, should know better! Thomas Leuluai is also an experienced player. Wane can bollock them if he wishes, but at the end of the day, they themselves have to look themselves in the eye this week and realise that those small margins are going to be the difference this season between us being near first or nearer fourth - because this looks a far more competitive league than the previous two.

Easy for me to say I know but I remember saying at the time that "I can't believe how much hard work we are making of this game". On 54 minutes Wigan decided to go for goal again to make it 20-18 and I still thought we should have been going for the try. It just left me feeling that inevitable Warrington would claw clear and that's what happen.

I don't really need to review the last quarter. It was garbage from our point of view. Eric Lauaki should go and sit in his room whilst he gets his inevitable suspension for stupid leading with the elbow. And yes the winning penalty was placed 7 metres forward from where it should of been and considering it scraped the bar as it went over, that was crucial!!! Very, very poor officiating. Warrington can't complain about lack of luck. Seven Metres gained on that crucial penalty a week after they scored a crucial try to win off a seventh tackle. But I tweeted then minutes before the end of this game that "Wigan had lost this long ago" and that summed it up for me. We lost that game, Warrington didn't win it. It is a good loss, if we learn from it, so here's hoping!

Reaction to the Action

Shaun Wane: "It was probably good to watch but it was disappointing from my point of view. If we had been smart and showed some composure in the last 20 minutes we would have won that game. We need to be better. I've said that a few times this year. We've a lot to work on. (Lauaki is) absolutely devastated. He thinks he's lost us the game. I rate him and he's been great for me this year. He was great again tonight but he needs to be smarter. He let himself down by not concentrating on his tackle technique."

Warrington coach Tony Smith: "We're doing it the hard way. It was fantastic to watch I'm sure but it's frustrating for players and coaches. There was a bit of anxiety among the players. They are trying hard and they were gutsy and determined. Sometimes it goes your way and sometimes it doesn't. There is not much between the top teams. It's fine-line stuff, it could easily have gone Wigan's way tonight."

Team Sheets

- Wigan Position Warrington 1
1 Sam Tomkins Full Back Brett Hodgson 1
2 Josh Charnley Winger Chris Riley 2
3 Darrell Goulding Centre Chris Bridge 3
4 George Carmont Centre Ryan Atkins 4
5 Pat Richards Winger Joel Monaghan 5
6 Brett Finch Stand Off Lee Briers 6
7 Thomas Leuluai Scrum Half Richard Myler 7
8 Paul Prescott Prop Adrian Morley 8
9 Mike McIlorum Hooker Michael Monaghan 9
21 Epalahame Lauaki Prop Mike Cooper 17
11 Harrison Hansen 2nd Row Trent Waterhouse 11
12 Gareth Hock 2nd Row Ben Westwood 12
13 Sean O'Loughlin L.Forward Simon Grix 15
-
14 Jeff Lima Substitute Paul Wood 16
16 Liam Farrell Substitute Matty Blythe 18
17 Chris Tuson Substitute Chris Hill 20
23 Ben Flower Substitute Brad Dwyer 33
- Shaun Wane Coach Tony Smith -

Note: Warrington 33. Brad Dwyer was an unused substitute.

Score Sheet

Wigan Warriors 20 --- Warrington Wolves 22
Tries (3):
Gareth Hock
Mike McIlorum
Pat Richards
--- Tries (3):
Ryan Atkins
Joel Monaghan
Lee Briers
Goals:
Pat Richards 2/2
Josh Charnley 2/4
--- Goals:
Brett Hodgson 4/5

Scoring and Incident Pattern

05mins:49 Wigan 02 Warrington 00 Penalty Goal: Pat Richards (1/1)
07mins:02 Wigan 02 Warrington 04 Try: Ryan Atkins
- Wigan 02 Warrington 06 Conversion: Brett Hodgson (1/1)
17mins:35 Wigan 06 Warrington 06 Try: Gareth Hock
- Wigan 08 Warrington 06 Conversion: Pat Richards (2/2)
26mins:12 Wigan 12 Warrington 06 Try: Mike McIlorum
- Wigan 12 Warrington 06 J.Charnley Missed Conversion (0/1)
34mins:44 Wigan 12 Warrington 10 Try: Joel Monaghan
- Wigan 12 Warrington 10 B.Hodgson Missed Conversion (1/2)
40mins:00 Wigan 12 Warrington 12 Penalty Goal: Brett Hodgson (2/3)
Half Time Wigan Warriors 12 Warrington Wolves 12
41mins:09 Wigan 16 Warrington 12 Try: Pat Richards
- Wigan 16 Warrington 12 J.Charnley Missed Conversion (0/2)
47mins:00 Wigan 18 Warrington 12 Penalty Goal: Josh Charnley (1/3)
48mins:10 Wigan 18 Warrington 16 Try: Lee Briers
- Wigan 18 Warrington 18 Conversion: Brett Hodgson (3/4)
54mins:46 Wigan 20 Warrington 18 Penalty Goal: Josh Charnley (2/4)
66mins:11 Wigan 20 Warrington 20 Penalty Goal: Brett Hodgson (4/5)
71mins:34 Wigan 20 Warrington 22 Penalty Goal: Brett Hodgson (5/6)
Full Time Wigan Warriors 20 Warrington Wolves 22

Video Highlights

Top 5 Wigan Players as voted on our Message Board

Man of the Match: Gareth Hock
2nd: Jeff Lima 3rd: Liam Farrell 4th: Sam Tomkins 5th: Mike McIlorum

Referee

Richard Silverwood

Penalties Conceded

Wigan 12 Warrington 8

Match Attendance

21,267 (Approx 3,580 Warrington Supporters in North Stand)

Television

Weather

Dry Night

League Table after Super League 17 Round 8

- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1 Warrington Wolves 8 6 1 1 239 148 +91 13
2 Huddersfield Giants 8 6 0 2 251 144 +107 12
3 Hull FC 7 5 1 1 200 116 +84 11
4 Wigan Warriors 8 5 0 3 270 147 +123 10
5 Leeds Rhinos 7 5 0 2 208 146 +62 10
6 Catalan Dragons 7 5 0 2 190 162 +28 10
7 Salford City Reds 8 4 0 4 198 228 -30 8
8 Bradford Bulls 8 4 0 4 160 211 -51 8
9 St Helens 8 3 1 4 220 161 +59 7
10 Hull Kingston Rovers 8 3 1 4 196 200 -4 7
11 Wakefield Wildcats 7 2 0 5 146 172 -26 4
12 Widnes Vikings 8 2 0 6 139 340 -201 4
13 London Broncos 8 1 0 7 178 276 -98 2
14 Castleford Tigers 8 1 0 7 122 266 -144 2

Round 8 Results
Fri 23 Mar Wigan Warriors 20 Warrington Wolves 22 21,267
Sun 25 Mar Bradford Bulls 6 Salford City Reds 38 11,290
Sun 25 Mar Hull Kingston Rovers 40 Huddersfield Giants 22 7,616
Sun 25 Mar Widnes Vikings 38 London Broncos 30 5,635
Sun 25 Mar Castleford Tigers 28 Hull FC 42 9,050
Sun 25 Mar Wakefield Wildcats 32 Catalan Dragons 22 7,254
Sun 25 Mar St Helens 46 Leeds Rhinos 6 15,199