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|Sunday 13th September 2009|
|Huddersfield Giants 48 Wigan Warriors 16|
|Galpharm Stadium, Huddersfield|
|Engage Super League 14 - Round 27 of 27|
|Kick Off 3:00pm|
|21||Cameron Phelps||1||Brett Hodgson||T|
|2||Amos Roberts||21||Leroy Cudjoe||T3|
|22||Martin Gleeson||19||Michael Lawrence|
|4||George Carmont||4||Paul Whatuira||T|
|5||Pat Richards||T||G2||5||David Hodgson||T||G8|
|13||Sean O'Loughlin||6||Liam Fulton|
|7||Thomas Leuluai||7||Luke Robinson|
|15||Andy Coley||35||Danny Sculthorpe|
|17||Michael McIlorum||9||David Faiumu|
|19||Paul Prescott||15||Paul Jackson|
|14||Joel Tomkins||T||13||Stephen Wild|
|16||Harrison Hansen||12||Andy Raleigh|
|26||Mark Flanagan||T||2||Martin Aspinwall|
|8||Stuart Fielden||8||Eorl Crabtree|
|10||Iafeta Paleaaesina||10||Darrell Griffin|
|20||Karl Pryce||24||Shaun Lunt||T2|
|24||Lee Mossop||30||Larne Patrick|
Well I know their was little to play for this afternoon for Wigan but that performance mugged the huge Wigan following that travelled over today. It was a pretty packed "Pink Link" away stand that witnessed a non arsed effort.
Every bit of poor play in the book was displayed by Wigan. Incomplete sets, penalties conceded, rubbish execution, terrible defence, forward passes, kick offs out on the full, passes intercepted - you name it Wigan did it today. Huddersfield were classy in executing in attack but they really didn't have to work hard because Wigan kept gifting them the territory.
We also lacked direction in the absence of Sam Tomkins (ankle injury) and also Mark Riddell who had returned home on compassionate grounds.. Sean O'Loughlin started at stand off with Mike McIlorum replacing Riddell and Mark Flanagan playing at Loose Forward. Huddersfield also had absences with Keith Mason and Scott Moore being stood down for an alleged breach of club discipline.
The home side took the lead on 8 minutes with a classy try from Brett Hodgson after Mike McIlorum was penalised for holding down. I've been saying on the message board he should be a shoe in for Man of Steel and he rubber stamped my opinion today with an outstanding effort. He also kicked the first of 8 goals to make it 6-0.
Wigan though responded well with a nice try. They had territory gifted though with Liam Fulton's last tackle kick sailing well out on the full but nice hands from Thomas Leuluai and Sean O'Loughlin saw Mark Flanagan break the line and dart over for his first Wigan try. Pat Richards, needing 15 points today to be Super League's top points scorer for a third consecutive season, missed the conversion.
The pressure was all Huddersfield's though, helped by a 40/20 from Brett Hodgson on 17 minutes. Luke Robinson went close but was just short after having his ankles tapped. Although that 40/20 ended up with a knock on by Michael Lawrence, they would soon get the ball back and force Wigan into making two goal line drop outs in a row. Richards belted the second drop out 70 metres but David Hodgson, looking like he was going nowhere on the left wing, broke out of a pathetic tackle attempt from Amos Roberts and then sidestepped Cameron Phelps to score on 28 minutes. Roberts should hang his head in shame for that. Really poor and he knew it. Hodgson converted to make it 10-4.
More poor tackle attempts followed for the Giants next try three minutes later. Shaun Lunt darted over from close range but with three or four men on him he surely would be held up? That'll be a no then because he somehow grounded and the conversion from Hodgson made it 18-4. Shocking try to concede that - no way should he have got close to grounding it.
Wigan at this point made changes. Mike McIlorum had done ok, playing his first game since July 3rd v Harlequins, but he was now blowing hard. Karl Pryce came on to play centre with Martin Gleeson I think moving into the halves and Thomas Leuluai into dummy half.
It paid immediate dividends with a try on 37 minutes for Richards. 30 metres out Sean O'Loughlin fired a beautiful long range pass out wide to send Richards easily racing to the corner. He also hit an excellent conversion to make it 18-10 at half time. Quite pleasing at that point considering Wigan had no more than three attacks and had scored from two of them.
But we started the second half appallingly and Huddersfield scored three times before Wigan had any kind of meaningful possession.
First Leroy Cudjoe touched down a neat grubber kick, then after a kick off from Richards sailed out on the full giving Hudds easy territory, a kick from Hodgson was fumbled by O'Loughlin and pounced on by Shaun Lunt. Shockingly Richards belted another kick off out on the full which gave the Giants more easy yardage for Paul Whatuira to score from. Brett Hodgson converted all three to take the score to 36-10 and game over.
So with the two drop outs in a row first half and two kick offs out on the full second half, Huddersfield had a combined spell of about twenty minutes of ball without Wigan getting a touch. During that time they scored five tries with most of the damage coming from attacking kicks either to force the drop outs or to score the tries. This is something Wigan don't do ever. Watch the video of this and compared out last tackle options to theirs! It really shows us up in that department and for me the lack of a last tackle kicking game is why keep falling short in semi finals.
Anyway at this point Wigan really did have nothing to play for and it was looking like Huddersfield could rack up sixty points. But referee Ian Smith seemed to be feeling sorry for us at this point - giving us most of the 50/50 decisions. Leroy Cudjoe did claim a second try on 62 minutes to make it 42-10 before Joel Tomkins scored a nice try, which, although it was from the opposite angle, was similar to his Murrayfield Magic effort earlier in the season. But Wigan summed up their day by finishing off with an intercept thrown straight to Cudjoe who raced 80 metres to complete his hatrick with four minutes to go.
So a really poor display but I think it may do us good going into next week to get a bad display out the way. Also I think playing Castleford is probably better than Catalans although should we win we will now face a tougher match in Week 2. We really struggled without Sam Tomkins though and hopefully he will be back next week.
Positives? Well not many but I it does have to be said that on the rare occasions we did attack, we generally scored. We got three tries from possibly six goes at the Giants line? It can't have been much more than that because we didn't have enough ball.
At the end of the day Leigh would have beaten Wigan today the way they played. They just didn't want it and Noble admitted it looked like they were complacent. Hopefully this is not a sign of things to come next week when they play Castleford in the play offs on Sunday Night.
Super League 14 - Round 27 Results
|Fri 11 Sept||Hull FC 18 Bradford Bulls 21||10,412|
|Fri 11 Sept||Salford City Reds 24 Leeds Rhinos 30||6,101|
|Fri 11 Sept||St Helens 12 Catalan Dragons 24||8,268|
|Sat 12 Sept||Wakefield Wildcats 24 Hull Kingston Rovers 10||6,328|
|Sun 13 Sept||Huddersfield Giants 48 Wigan Warriors 16||8,988|
|Sun 13 Sept||Warrington Wolves 44 Harlequins 34||10,387|
|Sun 13 Sept||Castleford Tigers 35 Celtic Crusaders 22||6,547|
Final Engage Super League 14 Table
|4||Hull Kingston Rovers||27||17||1||9||650||516||+134||35|
|13||Salford City Reds||27||7||0||20||456||754||-298||14|