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Sunday 9th August 2020 Wakefield Trinity 22 Wigan Warriors 23 Headingley, Leeds
(Switched from Belle Vue, Wakefield due to Covid-19 Restrictions)
Betfred Super League 25 - Round 8 of 20
Kick Off 3:15pm
- Wigan - Wakefield 6 Bevan French T 39 Tony Gigot G2 21 Dom Manfredi 38 Liam Kay T2 1 Zak Hardaker T G3 4 Reece Lyne 23 Jake Bibby T 3 Bill Tupou 2 Liam Marshall T 2 Tom Johnstone T 7 Thomas Leuluai 6 Jacob Miller 31 Jackson Hastings 21
9 Sam Powell 23 Josh Wood 19
11 Willie Isa 36 Kelepi Tanginoa 12 Liam Farrell 14 Jay Pitts 30
Interchange: 10 George Burgess 8 David Fifita 16 Morgan Smithies 9 Kyle Wood T 22 Mitch Clark 12 Danny Kirmond 28 Harry Smith DG 18 Adam Tangata
Poor game management saw Wigan almost chuck this one away against Wakefield in their first match back after 149 days of shutdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Switched to Headingley, Leeds and played in hot conditions, both sides produced scrappy play throughout the contest.
Wigan had more territory early but ended up conceding the first points of the game for the sixth time in eight games this season when Tony Gigot kicked Wakefield 2-0 ahead in the 11th Minute.
Thomas Leuluai had rolled his ankle early in the game and young Harry Smith off the bench soon provided a response for Wigan by sending Zak Hardaker through a gap for his first try of the season on 14 minutes. He converted for 6-0.
A back injury to Bevan French saw a further switch with him going onto the right wing with Zak back to Full Back and Dom Manfredi budging in to centre.
It wasn't a trouble though when Hardaker grubbered for French to claim his fifth try of the campaign in the right corner on 23 minutes. Zak couldn't convert - only 10-2.
The next period wasn't managed at all well by Wigan who invited Wakefield back into the contest. It wasn't a surprise when Kyle Wood scored, although the defense, which had been generally excellent, suddenly fell apart to let Kyle Wood claim a soft try. It was an easy conversion for Tony Gigot but he somehow hit the post and that miss would prove costly later for the Wildcats.
Wigan's response though was swift with Jackson Hastings grubbering perfectly for Liam Marshall to finish down the left just before half time and his slight rounding towards the sticks helped Hardaker convert for 16-6 at the break. That late score just about making a fair reflection of the territory Wigan had.
When Jake Bibby scored his first Wigan try for 22-6 on 50 minutes that really should have been enough for Wigan to go on and really gloss this result but again the game was managed poorly with inexperience showing on occasion.
Wakefield gained momentum and two tries in five minutes from Tom Johnstone and Liam Kay left Wigan sweating on a 22-16 lead with 9 minutes left to play.
Wigan had been starved of the ball for a while but found some possession eventually and had set up perfectly for the drop goal but Harry Smith showed his inexperience by going for a try on the last from a couple of metres out. Sam Powell was seen berating him for that dumb decision.
The berating worked. A couple of minutes later Smith nailed a drop goal from 23-16 and with just 3:19 remaining you expect a comfortable finish.
Nah! Wigan never win short kick offs. Wakefield claim and quickly score - Liam Kay's second - for 23-22 with Max Jowitt's conversion offering hope.
Still 2:21 remained and a drop goal would take us to golden point but Wakefield's one chance was not close to the target and Wigan saw out time to much relief.
A poor finish but this Wigan team is not the finished article. It's still a growing side with a few youngsters who need and will get wiser from experiences like this. They almost chucked it away but if they keep getting into good winning positions in the first place they will eventually start kicking on. And we are the league leaders despite, I think, having plenty more to come.
10mins:38 Wakefield 02 Wigan 00
Penalty Goal: Tony Gigot (1/1)
13mins:39 Wakefield 02 Wigan 04
Try: Zak Hardaker
Wakefield 02 Wigan 06
Conversion: Zak Hardaker (1/1)
23mins:17 Wakefield 02 Wigan 10
Try: Bevan French
Wakefield 02 Wigan 10
Missed Conv: Zak Hardaker (1/2)
32mins:52 Wakefield 06 Wigan 10
Try: Kyle Wood
Wakefield 06 Wigan 10
Missed Conv: Tony Gigot (1/2)
36mins:33 Wakefield 06 Wigan 14
Try: Liam Marshall
Wakefield 06 Wigan 16
Conversion: Zak Hardaker (2/3)
Half Time Wakefield Trinity 6 Wigan Warriors 16 50mins:14 Wakefield 06 Wigan 20
Try: Jake Bibby
Wakefield 06 Wigan 22
Conversion: Zak Hardaker (3/4)
65mins:14 Wakefield 10 Wigan 22
Try: Tom Johnstone
Wakefield 12 Wigan 22
Conversion: Tony Gigot (2/3)
70mins:45 Wakefield 16 Wigan 22
Try: Liam Kay
Wakefield 16 Wigan 22
Missed Conv: Tony Gigot (2/4)
76mins:41 Wakefield 16 Wigan 23
Drop Goal: Harry Smith
77mins:39 Wakefield 20 Wigan 23
Try: Liam Kay (2)
Wakefield 22 Wigan 23
Conversion: Max Jowitt (1/1)
Full Time Wakefield Trinity 22 Wigan Warriors 23 Referee:
0 (No Fans in Attendance due to Covid-19 Restrictions)
Played as part of a triple header at Headingley, Leeds due to Covid-19 Restrictions..
This match was originally meant to be Round 9 of 29 in original fixture list and played on Friday 27th March 2020.
Betfred Super League 25 - Round 2 Result
Sun 2 Aug Huddersfield 26 Leeds 27 (GP) (Played at Leeds) 0
Betfred Super League 25 - Round 4 Result
Sun 2 Aug St Helens 34 Catalan 6 (Played at Leeds) 0
Betfred Super League 25 - Round 8 Results
Sat 8 Aug Castleford 14 Catalan 40 (Played at Leeds) 0 Sat 8 Aug Warrington 40 Hull KR 10 (Played at Leeds) 0 Sun 9 Aug Salford 54 Hull FC 18 (Played at Leeds) 0 Sun 9 Aug Wakefield 22 Wigan 23 (Played at Leeds) 0 Sun 9 Aug Leeds 0 St Helens 48 (Played at Leeds) 0
2020 Betfred Super League 25 Table - After This Round
- Team P W D L F A Diff Pts 1 Wigan Warriors 7 5 0 2 163 104 +59 10 2 St Helens 7 4 0 3 186 91 +95 8 3 Warrington Wolves 7 4 0 3 124 92 +32 8 4 Leeds Rhinos 6 4 0 2 141 122 +19 8 5 Catalan Dragons 6 4 0 2 158 141 +17 8 6 Castleford Tigers 7 4 0 3 144 134 +10 8 7 Huddersfield Giants 6 4 0 2 114 105 +9 8 8 Hull FC 8 3 0 5 163 230 -67 6 9 Wakefield Trinity 6 2 0 4 115 132 -17 4 10 Salford Red Devils 7 2 0 5 124 166 -42 4 11 Hull Kingston Rovers 7 1 0 6 94 209 -115 2
Top 4 Qualify for Play Offs / No Relegation
Covid 19 Suspension Implications
*It was decided on June 26th that Play Offs would revert to Top 4.
*Toronto Withdrew from the league on July 20th.
*It was decided on July 20th that relegation would be abandoned for the season.
*It was decided on July 24th that records against Toronto would be expunged.