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|Friday 13th March 2015|
|Wigan Warriors 13 Hull FC 12|
|DW Stadium, Wigan|
|First Utility Super League 20 - Round 5 of 23|
|Kick Off 8:00pm|
|1||Matty Bowen||32||Jordan Rankin|
|2||Josh Charnley||31||Callum Lancaster||T|
|3||Anthony Gelling||19||Steve Michaels|
|4||Dan Sarginson||T||4||Kirk Yeaman|
|22||Dom Manfredi||5||Feluti Talanoa||T|
|7||Matty Smith||G2||DG||7||Marc Sneyd||G2|
|17||Tony Clubb||22||Josh Bowden|
|9||Michael McIlorum||9||Danny Houghton|
|11||Joel Tomkins||T||17||Dean Hadley|
|12||Liam Farrell||12||Mark Minichello|
|14||John Bateman||13||Joe Westerman|
|6||George Williams||10||Liam Watts|
|24||Taulima Tautai||14||Iafeta Paleaaesina|
|25||Larne Patrick||15||Chris Green|
|29||James Greenwood||16||Jordan Thompson|
In a funny way I thought Wigan played well here, but it depends how
your judging "playing well". I can't really say that in the
conventional sense of beating the opposition in good style with
free flowing rugby, but in terms of correcting severe issues from
the Castleford match, Wigan did that!
At Castleford the issues were discipline, poor defence and a paltry lack of metres in good forward. Here against Hull the discipline was definitely better, so was the defence and we did make 1,527 metres forwards compared to just 942 at Cas.
I don't think we could say it was a good watch though but part of me thinks Wigan needed to strip back to those kind of basics after the awful effort the week before. However, the other part of me worries that we still laboured over the finish line in a game we should have won far more comfortably.
Coach Shaun Wane has said a couple of times recently that "we will click" and with some of the passes going to ground I can see where he is coming from but on the other hand the standard of attacking play hasn't been great to watch.
In this match against Hull, Wigan took the lead in the 9th Minute. After forcing a drop out, Sam Powell and Matty Smith combined to send Joel Tomkins through a gap in the defence to score the right of the posts, Smith converting for 6-0.
The next 25 minutes saw a lot of midfield play. There were hardly any stoppages with both sides going set for set without threatening much.
In the three minutes before half time though, Wigan doubled their lead and that would prove crucial in the end result. First Smith kicked a penalty goal for 8-0 and then, after great work down the right wing by Joel Tomkins, and a correctly given "back to one", Wigan swung left to get Dan Sarginson over. Smith's conversion was woefully off target but Wigan would be happy for 12-0 at the break.
If Wigan had got the first score of the second half I think Hull would have been ripe for a big score against them but once again, like seen a few times before this season, they gifted the opposition hope with a poor try conceded.
Just two minutes in, kick went up by Sneyd and running from opposite directions Anthony Gelling and Matty Bowen both ran into each other, creating the error, and Feluti Talanoa had a gift touch down. Opta stats registered the error down to Bowen but Gelling surely has to leave that to the full back? Poor communication either way and after Sneyd converted it was 12-6.
Though Hull got back in it, they barely threatened Wigan. Odd occasions from deep but rarely were Wigan pressed back on their own line. Wigan meanwhile had opportunities but wasted them repeatedly. One simple try for Joe Burgess being bombed by Matty Bowen's forward pass being an example. Wigan ended up kicking a drop goal on 65 minutes from Matty Smith and that lead seemed comfortable.
That was until 72 minutes when Danny Houghton chucked a unconventionall pass out right that allowed Callum Lancaster to score in the corner. Sneyd converted off the touchline to make it 13-12 and a sweaty finish for Wigan.
Now Hull came mightily close to nicking a draw, or maybe even a win, chucking it about in the last minute but in the main I thought Wigan dealt with the late pressure superbly. They controlled possession for most of that time and whilst you could argue that they should of kicked a penalty goal when they got the opportunity, playing for field position wasn't a bad option either. In fact I'd argue that was the more positive option of the two.
After losing leads to both Widnes and Hull KR, Wigan could have flapped mentally after both the gift try for 12-6, and then at 13-12 with still seven minutes to go. They didn't really do that though. I'm not sure if that was all down to Wigan themselves or Hull not doing enough but we have to draw positives from that, because that's the kind of season it's been so far.
In the end this one goes in the "a win is a win" category. Next week will be another proper gauge of Wigan's potential this season. We will need to rise a hell of a lot in standard to win at Leeds and whilst I've not seen anything to make me positive about that, I'm hoping to be proved wrong.
First Utility Super League 20 - Round 5 Results
|Thu 12 Mar||Huddersfield Giants 22 Castleford Tigers 0||5,257|
|Fri 13 Mar||Warrington Wolves 18 Leeds Rhinos 16||10,075|
|Fri 13 Mar||Widnes Vikings 20 St Helens 30||7,772|
|Fri 13 Mar||Wigan Warriors 13 Hull FC 12||11,718|
|Sun 15 Mar||Hull Kingston Rovers 50 Catalan Dragons 20||6,723|
|Sun 15 Mar||Salford Red Devils 24 Wakefield Wildcats 18||2,712|
First Utility Super League 20 Table - After This Round
|6||Salford Red Devils||5||2||1||2||110||160||-50||5|
|8||Hull Kingston Rovers||5||2||0||3||150||156||-6||4|
Top 8 Qualify for "Super 8s" after Round 23 / Top 4 Qualify for Play Offs