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|Thursday 6th August 2015|
|Wigan Warriors 30 Huddersfield Giants 22|
|DW Stadium, Wigan|
|First Utility Super League 20 Super 8s - Round 1 of 7|
Kick Off 8:00pm
|1||Matty Bowen||1||Scott Grix|
|2||Josh Charnley||2||Jermaine McGillvary||T2|
|14||John Bateman||3||Leroy Cudjoe|
|3||Anthony Gelling||4||Joe Wardle|
|22||Dom Manfredi||T||5||Aaron Murphy|
|6||George Williams||T||6||Danny Brough||G3|
|7||Matty Smith||G5||20||Jamie Ellis|
|8||Dom Crosby||T||8||Eorl Crabtree||T|
|9||Michael McIlorum||7||Luke Robinson|
|11||Joel Tomkins||17||Ukuma Ta'ai|
|12||Liam Farrell||T||12||Jack Hughes||T|
|13||Sean O'Loughlin||14||Michael Lawrence|
|16||Sam Powell||13||Chris Bailey|
|17||Tony Clubb||15||Craig Kopczak|
|24||Taulima Tautai||24||Kruise Leeming|
|25||Larne Patrick||T||32||Daniel Smith|
This match for me was more about the result that the performance.
The difference between going five points clear of Huddersfield with
the win was huge, opposed to the loss in which they'd only be one
point behind us.
It could have gone either way to be fair but Wigan just had a bit more class to gain tries from deep and that proved the ultimate difference.
A better interchange bench was also pivotal. The score was 18-0 to Wigan when Eorl Crabtree, Craig Huby and Luke Robinson were all interchanged onto the bench by Huddersfield coach Paul Anderson.
Wigan started slowly, like they had done in recent home games against Salford and Widnes, and Huddersfield found two tries in the first 12 minutes. Both were scored by Jermaine McGillvary on Wigan's defensive left edge.
Lot's of finger pointing at Dom Manfredi and Anthony Gelling defending out there but they are both just returning from recent injuries and although their was a terrible missed tackle by Gelling second half, in the main I felt the pair did fix that problem after those two tries. Danny Brough converted the first for 10-0.
Like against Salford and Widnes, the more the first half went on, the more I'm happy to take even 10-0 down to half time. We hung in for a while but on 32 minutes we got a try to hit back. Liam Farrell broke down the left from 40 metres to finish himself and a good conversion from Matty Smith made the deficit just 10-6 at the break.
Second Half saw Wigan gain control of the contest with a quick fire double around the 50th Minute. First Dom Manfredi scored for 12-10 before a second big break of the game from Farrell saw the supporting George Williams finish. Smith was in good kicking form for a 18-10 Wigan lead.
Game management was the key now and it wasn't perfect but what I would say is that the air of calmness around this side at the moment is pleasing. Trailing early? No panic. Huddersfield kept hitting back. No Panic. Of course the extra two point cushion helped but that's a pleasing trait and it shows the massive importance of goal kicking. Smith seems more on the good side than bad with his efforts in that department now.
Ironies occurred after the hour mark with the two sides loanee swaps both scoring. First Jack Hughes finished well for Huddersfield but four minutes later Wigan responded with a quality offload from George Williams getting Larne Patrick over.
That had Wigan 24-16 ahead with 15 minutes to go but Huddersfield just didn't go away and they found a fourth close range try with Eorl Crabtree crashing over after a break down the right had been created following a poor missed tackle by Gelling.
So at 24-22 with 8 minutes to go, the match was still in the balance and the massive swing between a five point gap for Wigan or one point behind for Huddersfield was just one try away for either side.
Thankfully it was Wigan who found it as Dom Crosby crashed over to seal the win with three minutes to go. Smith made it 5 out of 5 to ensure their would be no Huddersfield come back this time and the match finished 30-22.
This result takes the pressure off Wigan now as they head to Leeds and Warrington. For me that gives them a free pass at Leeds at least and they should go to Headingley, enjoy it and see what happens. No need to put pressure on themselves because they took the pressure off with this victory.
First Utility Super League 20 Super 8s - Round 1 Results
|Thu 6 Aug||Wigan Warriors 30 Huddersfield Giants 22||11,448|
|Fri 7 Aug||Castleford Tigers 36 Hull FC 30||6,760|
|Fri 7 Aug||Leeds Rhinos 49 Warrington Wolves 10||13,118|
|Sat 8 Aug||Catalan Dragons 26 St Helens 16||7,392|
First Utility Super League 20 Table - After This Round
Top 4 Qualify for Play Offs