Play Off Match Report: Wigan 32 Huddersfield 8
Posted by Bilko on October 02 2015 - 00:51
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Wigan Warriors v Huddersfield Giants - First Utility Super League Play Off Semi.
Thursday 1st October 2015. Kick Off 8
:00pm at DW Stadium.

Match Report

Well I think Ryan Hall did us a favour last week in scoring that late winner because we ended up with an easy progression into the Grand Final against this meek Huddersfield side, instead of what would have been a derby against St Helens.

Wigan dominated the contest because they did all the small things better and smarter. They were not pushed into needing to find a top level performance and that is a sad indictment on Huddersfield. Wigan were as good as needed to be.

For them I think they lost to the same old problem. Every time I do a match involving Huddersfield I see Paul Anderson struggling with how to manage the interchange. In August when they visited they lost the game after the interchanges with Wigan putting on 18 points to nil when Eorl Crabtree, Craig Huby and Luke Robinson were off the field.

Here, it seems Anderson tried to cope better by using Crabtree off the bench this time. Trouble was, they were already 8-0 down when he came on and whilst it would have been fine had they found 8-6 after his introduction, it was actually Wigan who found the next try for 12-0. That to me is the major reason Huddersfield fall down.

Not just that though. Danny Brough. Time and again I see him wasting energy with verbal sprays towards the referee at every single decision that goes against him. After the penalty try he threw the ball in anger, arguably in the direction of the referee, either way that is a major weakness that harms Huddersfield badly.

Compare that to Matty Smith. He isn't gods gift to half back play Smith but what he perhaps doesn't have in top draw individual quality, he makes up for in mental smartness. How often do you see him verbally spraying at a decision by an match official? I can't remember it happening ever. 16 drop goals in three years he's kicked for Wigan. That is smart, cool, calm, collected. Brough could learn a lot from him.

For Wigan, what about John Bateman. I think if you asked Shaun Wane deep down he'd rather Bateman was playing in the back row but he has been absolutely fantastic in the centres. Arguably that switch has turned our fortunes from also rans into bone fide Grand Final contenders.

I say also rans because it was the week after a dire performance away at Warrington in early July that saw the switch made. We were dreadful at the Halliwell Jones that evening and I remember using words like "shambles" on commentary.

A week later against Leeds, Bateman was in the centres and we've won 9 of 11 since then. We've looked far more solid as a unit and here against Huddersfield it was his defence that struck me most. Jake Connor and Aaron Murphy kept trying it on his side of the field first half but he kept standing up and winning the tackles one on one.

The match itself saw Wigan find early control with a good reverse pass by Matty Smith sending Ben Flower through a huge gap under the posts for 6-0 after Matty Bowen converted.

Mango then got a penalty opportunity for 8-0 and unlike at Saints two weeks ago, they took the chance this time to go two scores ahead.

Huddersfield had territory to hit back after the interchanges came into affect but Wigan soaked up the pressure then found a 34th Minute try in which a kick from Sam Powell was plucked out of the air by Dom Manfredi and John Bateman finished for 12-0, Bowen missing the conversion this time.

The Giants threatened a try late in the half but had to settle for a penalty with the clock expired for 12-2 from Brough.

First try of the second half was going to be huge and Wigan found it from Dom Manfredi and with Bowen converting well from out wide it was now 18-2. Then came a penalty try on 55 minutes when Scott Grix clearly tripped Bateman, which stopped him from scoring. That decision by the video ref meant the conversion was brought in front of the posts for 24-2.

Another penalty from Bowen made it 26-2 with 15 minutes to go and the job was pretty much done. Even when Brett Ferres scored a consolation soon after for 26-8 it never threatened a comeback, despite Sky claiming it "was on". The Giants were well beaten and Wigan sealed their third consecutive Grand Final appearance with a last minute converted try from Tony Clubb.

Team Sheets

- Wigan Position Huddersfield 1
1 Matty Bowen Full Back Scott Grix 1
22 Dom Manfredi

Right Wing

Jermaine McGillvary 2
14 John Bateman Centre Leroy Cudjoe 3
34 Oliver Gildart Centre Jake Connor 22
5 Joe Burgess Left Wing Aaron Murphy 5
6 George Williams Stand Off Danny Brough 6
7 Matty Smith Scrum Half Jamie Ellis 20
8 Dom Crosby Prop Craig Kopczak 15
9 Mike McIlorum Hooker Luke Robinson 7

Ben Flower


Craig Huby

11 Joel Tomkins 2nd Row Joe Wardle 4
12 Liam Farrell 2nd Row Jack Hughes 12
13 Sean O'Loughlin L.Forward Brett Ferres 11
16 Sam Powell Substitute Eorl Crabtree 8
17 Tony Clubb Substitute Chris Bailey 13
23 Lee Mossop Substitute Michael Lawrence 14
25 Larne Patrick Substitute Ukuma Ta'ai 17
- Shaun Wane Coach Paul Anderson -

Score Sheet

Wigan Warriors 32


Huddersfield Giants 8

Tries (5):
Ben Flower
John Bateman
Dom Manfredi
(Penalty Try)
Tony Clubb


Tries (1):
Brett Ferres

Matty Bowen 6/7
--- Goals:
Danny Brough 1/2

Scoring and Incident Pattern

04mins:43 Wigan 04 Huddersfield 00 Try: Ben Flower
Wigan 06 Huddersfield 00 Conversion: Matty Bowen (1/1)
16mins:47 Wigan 08 Huddersfield 00 Penalty Goal: Matty Bowen (2/2)
34mins:10 Wigan 12 Huddersfield 00 Try: John Bateman
Wigan 12 Huddersfield 00 Missed Conv: Matty Bowen (2/3)
40mins:00 Wigan 12 Huddersfield 02 Penalty Goal: Danny Brough (1/1)
Half Time Wigan Warriors 12 Huddersfield Giants 02
49mins:42 Wigan 16 Huddersfield 02 Try: Dom Manfredi
Wigan 18 Huddersfield 02 Conversion: Matty Bowen (3/4)
54mins:06 Wigan 22 Huddersfield 02 Try: (Penalty Try)
Wigan 24 Huddersfield 02 Conversion: Matty Bowen (4/5)
64mins:16 Wigan 26 Huddersfield 02 Penalty Goal: Matty Bowen (5/6)
67mins:00 Wigan 26 Huddersfield 06 Try: Brett Ferres
Wigan 26 Huddersfield 08 Conversion: Danny Brough (2/2)
79mins:01 Wigan 30 Huddersfield 08 Try: Tony Clubb
Wigan 32 Huddersfield 08 Conversion: Matty Bowen (6/7)
Full Time Wigan Warriors 32 Huddersfield Giants 08

Video Highlights

To Follow Monday


Ben Thaler

Penalties Conceded

Wigan 7 Huddersfield 9

Match Attendance



Dry Night.