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|Sunday 12th April 2015|
|Wigan Warriors 34 Catalan Dragons 0|
|DW Stadium, Wigan|
|First Utility Super League 20 - Round 10 of 23|
|Kick Off 3:00pm|
|20||Ryan Hampshire||T||G||1||Morgan Escare|
|22||Dom Manfredi||T3||20||Damien Cardace|
|3||Anthony Gelling||T||17||Elliott Whitehead|
|4||Dan Sarginson||T||4||Willie Tonga|
|5||Joe Burgess||T2||19||Mathias Pala|
|6||George Williams||14||Thomas Bosc|
|7||Matty Smith||7||Scott Dureau|
|24||Taulima Tautai||15||Jeff Lima|
|9||Michael McIlorum||9||Ian Henderson|
|11||Joel Tomkins||11||Zeb Taia|
|12||Liam Farrell||12||Louis Anderson|
|8||Dom Crosby||24||Jason Baitieri|
|17||Tony Clubb||8||Olivier Elima|
|25||Larne Patrick||13||Gregory Mounis|
|26||Logan Tomkins||16||Eloi Pelissier|
|28||Ryan Sutton||18||Benjamin Garcia|
I thought this was Wigan's best all round performance of the
season. Not pretty, because the conditions didn't allow for that,
but they scored some great tries to demoralise Catalan in a defeat
The only real downside was a woeful 1 from 8 conversion rate by Ryan Hampshire. Tough windy conditions would excuse for some of the misses but the last miss from easy range topped off a difficult day. Slight cause for concern but Matty Smith wasn't kicking due to a "tight hamstring" and he will return to kicking extras on Thursday against Warrington.
Rocky though played his part in a good attacking display despite driving rain and the notorious heavy pitch at the DW. It was sloppy early on to be fair and Catalan had two early opportunities near the try line, one after a 40/20 by Scott Dureau, but Wigan muscled up well in defence.
Then on the quarter hour, Wigan got an opportunity from a close scrum and quick simple hands saw Dan Sarginson send Joe Burgess in the left corner.
Space always looked on via the left wing and the second try also came that way with Sarginson going himself this time through a big gap.
That was 8-0 after 22 minutes and Wigan began to take control with the interchange option of Tony Clubb being a particular advantage. Dom Crosby also had a great return starting the game, albeit from an unusual loose forward position.
Towards half time, two more tries came. Dom Manfredi got over in the right corner on 29 minutes and then a minute before the break, Joel Tomkins pass got Hampshire away and Anthony Gelling finished off. No conversions so far left the score at just 16-0 half time.
Wigan had been guilty of poor second halves this season, particularly at Widnes and Hull KR where they bombed big leads. So I'm hoping for some control at the start of the second half. Simple stuff was all that was required and although it stifled some attack for a while, they saw that period out well, bar a couple of penalties.
Then once they found a try on 56 minutes, they were able to kick on. The try that broke the second half came from a break by Burgess up his left wing and Hampshire was in support to finish an 80 metre move. He was able to convert that one for 22-0.
That try broke Catalan and Wigan found three more scores in the final quarter. Dom Manfredi scored two, to complete a hat-trick, either side of Burgess claiming his second. The last try by Manfredi came from a great kick by Hampshire, nicely weighted and finished.
Job done though and we now turn to Warrington. Josh Charnley, Sam Powell, Sean O'Loughlin all come back into contention for that and with the suspension of Ben Flower ending also, it's not a bad position to be in at the end of the tough Easter run.
I see small signs that we are beginning to turn the corner this season, but Warrington will be another big test of that and then we need to start finding form away. Shaun Wane has alluded to the fact we have been "good in patches" this season but I think those patches are getting longer and better. He still admits though that he wants "to see a good month" of consistency before getting carried away and that has to be the target.
What pleased me most here was the patience. If we didn't score we forced two or three drop outs to keep the pressure on. Then we controlled the lead we had built in the second half. Those are things we were failing on earlier in the season, so it is progress being made.
First Utility Super League 20 - Round 10 Results
|Fri 10 Apr||Hull FC 22 Widnes Vikings 8||9,295|
|Sat 11 Apr||Warrington Wolves 80 Wakefield Wildcats 0||8,036|
|Sat 11 Apr||Castleford Tigers 25 Hull Kingston Rovers 4||6,012|
|Sun 12 Apr||Huddersfield Giants 8 St Helens 11||5,825|
|Sun 12 Apr||Leeds Rhinos 28 Salford Red Devils 18||4,000|
|Sun 12 Apr||Wigan Warriors 34 Catalan Dragons 0||12,162|
First Utility Super League 20 Table - After This Round
|4||Salford Red Devils||10||5||1||4||222||256||-34||11|
|7||Hull Kingston Rovers||10||5||0||5||234||245||-11||10|
Top 8 Qualify for "Super 8s" after Round 23 / Top 4 Qualify for Play Offs