Challenge Cup Match Report: Wigan 70 London 0
Posted by cherryandwhite on July 29 2013 - 13:37
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Wigan Warriors v London Broncos - Tetley's Challenge Cup Semi Final
Saturday 27th July 2013
. Kick Off 5:00pm at Leigh Sports Village

Match Report

Painful memories of the Catalan Semi Final in 2007 left some wary of this semi final but they needed have bothered because London showed us all what a poor side they really are. Even the BBC showed highlights of that Catalan match in their build up but it was never on for the sad Broncos.

I genuinely can't see how that London side could have done any better than what they produced. Maybe a bit better discipline first half but overall they were totally dominated up the middle.

The Broncos had high hopes, but I'm not sure it was ever realistic. They lost 64-6 at home to Wigan in May and 82-10 to Warrington not long after. It would have been a hell of a effort to go from that to parity with Wigan, never mind then making the bigger step to actually beating them.

This result certainly sharpens the daggers on London. My personal opinion is that whilst the youth development down there is fantastic and you cannot fault the investment by the owner - the reality is that the playing squad is not top flight standard.

They chose to replace the inexperienced Rob Powell with the very experienced Tony Rea and nothing has changed. They had 3 wins last season, in the league, when Rob Powell was removed and at the same point this season they also have only 3 wins. That tells you they have massive problems there and it starts with the surroundings they play in. Under the shadows of Twickenham is not, and has never been, the place to be.

Anyway, for Wigan they move on to an incredible 15th final appearance during the last 30 years and once they had got past the early London enthusiasm they won at a canter.

Wigan actually started pretty sloppily. Two scrums saw the first pass woefully off target but they got away with it both times.

First try for Wigan came on ten minutes. Penalty helped us down field and from 30 metres out Darrell Goulding darted out of dummy half. We went down the right wing but rather than finding Josh Charnley, he stepped back inside past an awful tackle attempt by Luke Dorn to score under the sticks. Pat converted for 6-0.

Ominous signs already of bad defence from London and I felt an alarming lack of fitness also. Strangely Wigan's next attempt to score came from a penalty goal attempt by Pat from over 40 metres away, but it missed.

Once we got to the 20 minute mark the game opened up for Wigan. The initial interchange period can often break teams and so it proved for London.

Bang, Bang, Bang! Three back to back tries moved the score pretty quickly from 6-0 to 24-0. First of those came after a forced drop out and Lee Mossop went through an huge gap to score, Dorn's last ditch tackling proving inadequate again.

Then, helped by a penalty, Sam Tomkins jinked his way over the line from close range. I was only remarking not long before on Wish FM that he'd been quiet, like I had done just before he had scored during the Widnes commentary. Still quiet for me overall in this game but we didn't really need him.

The third try was set up initially by another Goulding break down the right. His pass towards the supporting Charnley was batted down by Soward but Wigan got the penalty because Goulding shirt was pulled by Liam Colbon to stop him gaining the loose ball. From that, a kick by Matty Smith bounced nicely for Blake Green and he touched down under the posts.

Only 24-0 with 54 minutes to go but I think we all had this game written off as game over. London were shot and an error in their own half helped towards Pat Richards gaining our fifth try down the left. Just quick hands created a huge overlap for him. Another conversion making it 30-0.

We backed that up straight away as well. No penalties to help us this time. Green's offload got Sean O'Loughlin away from 40 metres out and his diagonal run towards the right saw him put Charnley over. Awful tackling again from London but they did get a little grace with Pat missing his first conversion of the day.

An error on that restart from Wigan helped London finish the half strongly but they couldn't find a way past resolute Wigan defending and that score was carried into the sheds.

The only thing for Wigan now was how easy they wanted to make this. Giving the Broncos an early score would have encouraged them to fight, even though 34-0 was a long way back.

Wigan though got the first try and that made it easy for them for the rest of this game. The try came after London had been penalised for a high shot on Sam Tomkins, that turned out to be perfectly ok. Now I will defend touch judge Robert Hicks here because from my position I felt it looked awful also, so clear I thought it was that I didn't even consider looking at big screen replays. But the hit was shown to be on the chest. Bit of luck but you take it and London again were guilty of bad defending. Nice initial burst from Lee Mossop but it was Scott Taylor who crashed under the posts.

From the restart, Wigan were back on the attack. London had already survived a Matty Smith chip over the top to himself, at the expense of a drop out, just before he scored a great try with a quality step back on the inside to leave Matt Cook dead on his feet.

Wigan were dominating possession and territory and found another try on 57 minutes. Quick hands getting Pat in the left corner again and now it was 52-0.

Tries for Liam Farrell and Iain Thornley, both down the left side, took Wigan on to 64-0 but it was Josh Charnley who rounded off the scoring, taking a lovely pass on the inside by Goulding, to score his 100th try for Wigan.

Charnley then claiming his 100th Wigan try in his 91st Wigan appearance. Sam Tomkins took 118 to reach that landmark. So for Josh to do that in 27 games less is quite an achievement.

Final score was 70-0 which is a biggest winning margin a cup semi final. They fell just scored of biggest victory which was Wigan's 71-10 win over Bradford in 1992. Richards however did claim a record for most points in a semi final with his 30 point haul overtaking Frano Botica's 22 points in that same 1992 game.

Couple more notes here. Sean O'Loughlin and Harrison Hansen were the key men for me. Outstanding down the middle all game. Beasts! Pleased with Scott Taylor's impact again also.

I also have to note Iain Thornley's defence. Criticised by me before he was dropped but now he has a chance to re-take his place with Gelling injured. Both had good shouts in my view for the left centre spot at Wembley. Up to them to take it.

Finally my biggest praise its Wigan's will to maintain the nil in the last five minutes. London had a dig to avoid it but we kept going. Standards good there and I think we are in a good place heading towards the end of the season. Key men fully fit and fresh is a stark contrast to this time last season.

Reaction to the Action

Coach Shaun Wane: "I'm ecstatic. I'm really pleased for the players that we've got to Wembley, especially after last year's disappointment. I can't tell you how proud I am. We lost against Leeds and played poorly last year. I thought we were outstanding today and there is no comparison to last year which took me a week to get over. We had a really tough week with it being short. I don't think everybody trained in the one session that we had. It's all credit to the players. It shows their mental toughness. It was a real good effort and to still defend as tough as we did in the last five minutes was typical of their attitude."

Sean O'Loughlin: "We got off to a really good start, got some points on the board and it was hard for London to come back. With the score line, we needed to keep everyone switched on for 80 minutes."

London Coach Tony Rea: "It hurts beyond hurt. It's my biggest disappointment as a coach. We really wanted that for a number of reasons. It was exactly what we didn't want to happen and it's incredibly disappointing. There was a point in the first half when the game was in the balance for 15 or 16 minutes. One team was ready to crack and we had to be strong but we weren't. It was a massive penalty count against us and we had an horrendous completion rate. We didn't have the ball and we were at our worst when we had the ball."

Team Sheets

- Wigan Position London 1
1 Sam Tomkins Full Back Luke Dorn 1
2 Josh Charnley


Liam Colbon 2
3 Darrell Goulding Centre Michael Robertson 5
17 Iain Thornley Centre Rhodri Lloyd 37
5 Pat Richards Winger Dan Sarginson 19
6 Blake Green Stand Off Jamie O'Callaghan 3
7 Matty Smith Scrum Half Jamie Soward 33
20 Gil Dudson Prop Matt Cook 20
9 Mike McIlorum Hooker Tommy Lee 23
10 Lee Mossop Prop Mark Bryant 10
11 Harrison Hansen 2nd Row Shane Rodney 11
12 Liam Farrell 2nd Row Antonio Kaufusi 8
13 Sean O'Loughlin L.Forward Jacob Fairbank 34
15 Ben Flower Substitute Scott Wheeldon 14
16 Chris Tuson Substitute Olsi Krasniqi 18
21 Scott Taylor Substitute Mike McMeekan 24
23 Logan Tomkins Substitute Ben Fisher 26
- Shaun Wane Coach Tony Rea -

Score Sheet

Wigan Warriors 70 --- London Broncos 00

Tries (12):
Darrell Goulding
Lee Mossop
Sam Tomkins
Blake Green
Pat Richards 2
Josh Charnley 2
Scott Taylor
Matty Smith
Liam Farrell
Iain Thornley


Tries (0):

Pat Richards 11/13
--- ---

Scoring and Incident Pattern

09mins:41 Wigan 04 London 00 Try: Darrell Goulding
- Wigan 06 London 00 Conversion: Pat Richards (1/1)
16mins:11 Wigan 06 London 00 P.Richards Missed Penalty Goal (1/2)
20mins:28 Wigan 10 London 00 Try: Lee Mossop
- Wigan 12 London 00 Conversion: Pat Richards (2/3)
23mins:12 Wigan 16 London 00 Try: Sam Tomkins
- Wigan 18 London 00 Conversion: Pat Richards (3/4)
26mins:38 Wigan 22 London 00 Try: Blake Green
- Wigan 24 London 00 Conversion: Pat Richards (4/5)
31mins:31 Wigan 28 London 00 Try: Pat Richards
- Wigan 30 London 00 Conversion: Pat Richards (5/6)
34mins:07 Wigan 34 London 00 Try: Josh Charnley
- Wigan 34 London 00 P.Richards Missed Conversion (5/7)
Half Time Wigan Warriors 34 London Broncos 00
47mins:25 Wigan 38 London 00 Try: Scott Taylor
- Wigan 40 London 00 Conversion: Pat Richards (6/8)
51mins:02 Wigan 44 London 00 Try: Matty Smith
- Wigan 46 London 00 Conversion: Pat Richards (7/9)
57mins:41 Wigan 50 London 00 Try: Pat Richards (2)
- Wigan 52 London 00 Conversion: Pat Richards (8/10)
62mins:03 Wigan 56 London 00 Try: Liam Farrell
- Wigan 58 London 00 Conversion: Pat Richards (9/11)
65mins:03 Wigan 62 London 00 Try: Iain Thornley
- Wigan 64 London 00 Conversion: Pat Richards (10/12)
73mins:03 Wigan 68 London 00 Try: Josh Charnley (2)
- Wigan 70 London 00 Conversion: Pat Richards (11/13)
Full Time Wigan Warriors 70 London Broncos 00

Video Highlights


Phil Bentham (Video Referee: Ben Thaler)

Match Attendance