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31st July 1998: Halifax 14 Wigan 20
Posted by Bilko on January 04 2016 - 13:22
Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Halifax Blue Sox 14 Wigan Warriors 20 - Friday 31st July 1998
Venue: The New Shay, Halifax
Competition: JJB Sports Super League 3 - Round 15
Kick Off: 7:30pm

WiganlBacks:l 1. Kris Radlinski, 5. Mark Bell, 4. Gary Connolly, 3. Danny Moore, 2. Jason Robinson, 6. Henry Paul, 7. Tony Smith
WiganlForwards:l 16. Terry O'Connor, 9. Robbie McCormack, 10. Tony Mestrov, 11. Denis Betts, 12. Simon Haughton, 13. Andy Farrell

14. Mick Cassidy, 17. Stephen Holgate, 20. Lee Gilmour, 25. Paul Johnson


Kris Radlinski, Henry Paul, Robbie McCormack

WiganlGoals:l Andy Farrell 4

HalifaxlBacks:l 1. Damien Gibson, 26. Jamie Bloem, 15. Diao Powell, 19. David Bouveng, 23. Fereti Tuilagi, 24. Chris Chester, 7. Gavin Clinch
HalifaxlForwards:l 8. Karl Harrison, 9. Paul Rowley, 17. Richard Marshall, 11. Gary Mercer, 10. Des Clark, 13. Martin Moana
HalifaxlInterchanges:l 4. Kelvin Skerrett, 6. Martin Pearson, 12. Simon Baldwin, 28. Martin Hall


Martin Moana, Chris Chester

HalifaxlGoals:l Martin Pearson 3
Half Time:l

Halifax 12 Wigan 12




Steve Ganson (St Helens)


Live Coverage on Sky Sports 1

Top of the JJB Sports Super League 3 - After This Round
1st Place:l Wigan - Played - 15 - Won - 14 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 1 - Points: - 28
2nd Place:l Leeds - Played - 15 - Won - 12 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 3 - Points: - 24
3rd Place:l Halifax - Played - 15 - Won - 11 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 4 - Points: - 22
4th Place:l St Helens - Played - 15 - Won - 8 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 7 - Points: - 16
5th Place:l Bradford - Played - 15 - Won - 8 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 7 - Points: - 16
6th Place:l London - Played - 15 - Won - 7 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 8 - Points: - 14
7th Place:l Sheffield - Played - 15 - Won - 6 - Drawn - 1 ` Lost - 8 - Points: - 13


Top 5 Qualified for Play Offs

Super League 3 - Round 15 Results
Fri 31 July - Halifax Blue Sox 14 Wigan Warriors 20 - 6,522
Sun 2 Aug - Bradford Bulls 18 Sheffield Eagles 38 - 11,493
Sun 2 Aug - Castleford Tigers 22 Leeds Rhinos 16 - 8,406
Sun 2 Aug - Hull Sharks 32 Salford Reds 0 - 4,593
Sun 2 Aug - St Helens 68 Huddersfield Giants 18 - 4,227
Sun 2 Aug - Warrington Wolves 14 London Broncos 23 - 3,476

Match Report

Super League leaders Wigan held off a brave challenge from surprise package Halifax to open up a four-point gap at the top.

The Blue Sox, with eight wins from their previous nine matches, matched the Warriors stride for stride in a pulsating encounter in front of a near-capacity 6,521 crowd at the Shay. Halifax rocked John Monie's men with a blistering start and were level at 14-14 until Robbie McCormack pounced for the match-winning try 15 minutes from the end. Wigan have the best defence in the League but the Yorkshiremen made it look very ordinary when they breached it twice inside the first five minutes. They struck after just two minutes when lively half-backs Gavin Clinch and Chris Chester made inroads into the visitors' defence and skilful New Zealand loose forward Martin Moana took Paul Rowley's pass to dummy his way over. A knock-on by Wigan's Great Britain forward Simon Haughton - the first of a series of uncharacteristic handling errors - enabled the Blue Sox to maintain the early pressure and it paid off when Chester cut through for a second try after prop Richard Marshall had been held short.

Unfortunately for Halifax, Jamie Bloem was wide with both conversions andthe misses began to look costly as Wigan predictably fought back. The Warriors, beaten only at Sheffield and Leeds in 1998, scored from their first serious attack, winger Mark Bell slipping the ball from a two-man tackle for full-back Kris Radlinski to scorch over from 30 metres. And they went in front on 24 minutes when stand-off Henry Paul, a constant danger, created a try from nothing, taking possession straight from a scrum and bamboozling the home defence with a series of twists and turns to cross near the posts. Skipper Andy Farrell, whose kicking game was spoiled by some close attention from the Halifax defenders, was spot on with his place kicking, landing both conversions to put his side 12-8 ahead.

Halifax lost full-back Damian Gibson with badly-bruised ribs but had in deputy Martin Pearson an accurate marksman and he pulled his side level by the break with a couple of penalties. Blue Sox also had two tries from centre David Bouveng ruled out by the video referee as they proved, in the first 40 minutes at least, that they can mix it with the best. Wigan were forced to hold on with 12 men when Mick Cassidy was sent to the sin bin for a professional foul and the second rower was within inches of scoring a try when he resumed. When the ball went loose Moana found himself in an offside position and Farrell kicked the easy penalty to make it 14-12 but Halifax were back on level terms within a minute when Farrell put the re-start straight into touch and Pearson kicked a mighty goal from halfway.

Halifax, too, were reduced temporarily to 12 men on 55 minutes when Pearson was sin-binned for 'flopping' on Bell after Denis Betts broke out of his own half. Rowley tried to break the deadlock with a drop goal that sailed narrowly wide and Farrell, who was kept unusually quiet, finally broke the shackles by creating the space for McCormack to cross for the crucial score. Halifax thought they had grabbed an equaliser when Clinch went over from acting half-back but the try was disallowed because of an earlier infringement spotted by the fourth official.

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