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11th April 1999: Wigan 24 Warrington 10
Posted by Bilko on January 05 2016 - 15:30

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Sunday 11th April 1999
Wigan Warriors 24 Warrington Wolves 10
Central Park, Wigan
JJB Sports Super League 4 - Round 5 of 30

Kick Off 3:00pm

Wigan Team


Wes Davies



Paul Johnson



Gary Connolly



Lee Gilmour



Danny Moore  T   


Andy Farrell  T   G4 


Jason Robinson    


Neil Cowie    


Mark Reber  T   


Tony Mestrov    


Mick Cassidy    


Simon Haughton    


Denis Betts    




Terry O'Connor    


Rob Ball    


Brett Goldspink    


Mark Smith    


1. Lee Penny, 2. Jason Roach, 4. Toa Kohe-Love, 17. Alan Hunte, 5. Mark Forster, 19. John Duffy, 7. Lee Briers, 8. Mark Hilton, 9. Danny Farrar, 10. Danny Nutley, 11. Simon Gillies, 23. Ian Knott, 23. Mike Wainwright.
Interchange: 12. Steve McCurrie, 15. Dean Hangar, 16. Gary Chambers, 18. Dean Busby.

Tries: Alan Hunte, Jason Roach
Goals: Lee Briers 1


This game was looking on paper to be a hard contest for and under powered Wigan side missing key players and forcing other key players to be played out of their usual positions. Warrington have fared well so far in Super League and were at virtually full strength and raring to take two points from Wigan. The visiting fans were in fine voice, again putting the singing Wigan fans to share for pure volume. The game did start well for both sides and the Wigan's forwards, Mestrov and Cowie, got the upper hand in the first 20 minutes and set-up the space for the back to run. Reber looked much more comfortable at hooker and I'g pleased to say Simon Haughton made a great job of loose forward. Haughton made some great strong runs and fared well on defence also.

The breaking point came after only six minutes though as Mark Reber to a great slipped pass from stand-off Farrell to scoot over for his try neat the posts. Farrell converted and Wigan started to get the upper hand now. But Warrington dug deep and kept up a strong defence until twenty-five minutes into the game when the unusually quiet Gary Connolly popped up from nowhere to score his try for the afternoon. Farrell was again accurate with the boot and the Warrington team began to get aggressive now. Referee Steve Presley gave his usual mediocre display, ignoring high tackles forward passes and flops by Warrington. In fact the Wigan crowd though the referee had chosen to ignore forward passes all afternoon until five minutes from the end.

Still it mattered not as Wigan got stuck into Warrington and despite gallant defending Andy Farrell was next to score a try just four minutes from half time right near the left hand cornet flag. He showed the Wolves defence the ball twice before pinning back his ears to outpace the defenders and dive for the line. From the left hand touch line Farrell converted and it was 18-0 to Wigan at the half time mark, but not before Farrell got a talking too from the referee for a blatant swinging arm in a tackle. It must be said though that Warrington were no push over and made some good breaks via Briers, Farrar and Koe Love. Briers creative play was excellent and he spotted a few times the provisional full back for Wigan, Wes Davis was out of position, and Briers took advantage of this. I include these comments so as not to be accused of a biased match report. But then again if you want a unbiased, average, boring and meaningless match report you can always read the papers on Monday morning.

After half time Wigan did take their foot off the gas again and Wigan fans feared a Warrington comeback as the Wolves stepped up a gear. Centre Hunte caught a great cross-field kick from Lee Briers to score a try on the left hand side. Briers failed to land the resulting conversion and Warrington were lifted by the though of coming back into the game now. Warrington's forwards were making hard yards into the Wigan defence now and it was very effective in making space for the backs to run the game. Jason Roach was the next to collect four points from a try and we had a bit of a game on our hands now as Briers converted to make to 18-10 on the 50-minute mark.

Then Wigan seemed to awaken after Farrell kicked a 35-meter penalty from in front of the posts, and we entered the last 20-minutes of the game. Wigan started to keep the ball alive and Danny Moore made the most of a gap on the outside to finish off a 50-meter break by Robinson up the left hand side. He passed to Betts who was felled with a few meters. But Warrington were on the back foot and after a set of frantic passes in the Warrington 10-metere area and some desperate tackling, Danny Moore found enough space on the Left hand wing to finish the attack. Farrell missed the goal but it mattered not, as with just 15-minutes remaining Wigan started to click again. Cowie and Mestrov replaced forwards Goldspink and O'Connor, and Wigan ploughed into the Warrington defence with more eagerness now.

There were a couple of exchanges of blows and some scrappy play in the last 15-minutes. Paul Johnson limped off after coming off second best in a tackle. Johnson lost the ball and was actually flat out on the ground, motionless for a full minute and three plat-the-balls by Warrington later referee Presley stopped play to allow Johnson to be put into the recovery position and for Wigan's physio to attend to him properly. Presley was very slow and completely wrong to let play go on for so long, endangering a player in so doing, much to the disgust of the Wigan fans on the popular side of the ground who were screaming for play to be stopped so Johnson could be attended to. Eventually a few agonising minutes Johnson limped off with some help and Simon Haughton was reintroduced. Haughton's return was to be short lived as he went into a defensive tackle on a Warrington player's break away, and damaged his left arm in the process. He too limped off and had to be replaced. It was an agonising last ten minutes as Warrington weren't going to steal this game from Wigan, but they gave their all. Both sets of players were out on their feet at the end. Wigan had used all the their substitutions and had to play out the game with only 12 men after Haughton went off injured. But Wigan were strong enough to hold out and Warringotn lacked any real guts towards the end.

Players of note in the game for Wigan were Mark Reber, who scored a try and looked for better at hooker than Scrum-half. Paul Johnson made some great runs and forward Mestrov and Cowie were the pick of the pack. Second row man Mick Cassidy made the best defensive effort of the day, and made good yards up the middle for Wigan with his strong straight runs.

Players who were noticeably quiet for Wigan were Gary Connolly, despite his try he was very quiet and made very few breaks. Wes Davies was not up to scratch at full back, being out of position a few times and allowing Briers to kick a couple of 40-20 balls into tough. But on the plus side Davis made some twisting runs down the middle and was solid in defence, if not always in the right place for a full back. Jason Robinson looked out if sorts at scrum-half, as did Farrell at stand-off, with neither making massive inroads into the Warrington defensive line as often as they would in their normal positions at wing and loose forward respectively.

Denis Betts also made a quiet return to Central Park not really showing what he should be capable of in midfield. But to his credit he played the whole 80-minutes and was noticeably the only player who dragged most of the other players from just walking off the pitch at the end of the game. Betts beckoned the players to come over an join Danny Moore at the popular side to applaud the loyal, but quiet fans. This is something, which has been lacking recently, both home and away and was very welcome by the fans. Let's just hope Betts' return to full match fitness will help him regain the aggressive had running style he used to show us at Wigan.

Wigan can be please that a makeshift side managed to stop Warrington's 100% league record, and take the two points to lift them to second in the league. But on the minus side Paul Johnson and Simon Haughton have picked up injuries and the visit to Halifax on Friday will be interesting to say the least. If this Wigan side was make shift them Friday's first team may well turn out to be the alliance team in comparison.

Half Time: 

Wigan 18 Warrington 0




Steve Presley (Castleford)

Super League 4 - Round 5 Results
Fri 9 Apr - London Broncos 18 St Helens 34 - 3,567
Sat 10 Apr - Gateshead Thunder 22 Halifax Blue Sox 14 - 2,340
Sun 11 Apr - Bradford Bulls 26 Wakefield Wildcats 16 - 11,802
Sun 11 Apr - Huddersfield Giants 26 Hull Sharks 12 - 3,187
Sun 11 Apr - Salford City Reds 17 Castleford Tigers 29 - 3,663
Sun 11 Apr - Sheffield Eagles 22 Leeds Rhinos 16 - 5,101
Sun 11 Apr - Wigan Warriors 24 Warrington Wolves 10 - 9,845

Top of the JJB Sports Super League 4 - After This Round
1st Place:l St Helens - Played - 5 - Won - 5 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 0 - Points: - 10
2nd Place:l Wigan - Played - 5 - Won - 4 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 1 - Points: - 8
3rd Place:l Castleford - Played - 5 - Won - 4 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 1 - Points: - 8
4th Place:l Warrington - Played - 5 - Won - 4 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 1 - Points: - 8
5th Place:l Bradford - Played - 5 - Won - 4 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 1 - Points: - 8
6th Place:l Sheffield - Played - 5 - Won - 3 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 2 - Points: - 6
7th Place:l London - Played - 5 - Won - 3 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 2 - Points: - 6


Top 5 Qualified for Play Offs

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