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1st May 2002: Wakefield 16 Wigan 30
Posted by Bilko on January 28 2016 - 23:37

Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match

Wakefield Wildcats v Wigan Warriors - Tetley's Super League VII Round 8.
Wednesday 1st May 2002. Kick Off 8:00pm at Belle Vue.

CherryandWhite.co.uk Match Report by Rebecca Smith

Wigan Warriors moved up to third in Tetley's Rugby Super League with a 30-14 win at Wakefield on Wednesday night, but needed three tries in the final 15 minutes to overcome a plucky Wildcats side.

The Warriors, playing four days after their Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Challenge Cup win, were without four of their Final team, and they led only 6-2 at the break after Julian O'Neill's try and penalties for Andrew Farrell and Ian Knott.

Adrian Lam's 47th minute score extended the lead to 12-2 but, rather than buckle, the Wildcats hit back with two Gareth Ellis tries in the space of eight minutes to put them two points ahead on the hour.

But Brian Carney put Wigan back ahead on 65 minutes, and O'Neill's second try sealed the win before David Hodgson's score sent them enough points in front to enable them to jump up four places in the table with the win.

Wigan's Cup Final celebrations obviously played a factor in their below-par performance, but the influence of props Terry O'Connor and Craig Smith was crucial to their cause.

With Ricky Bibey being ruled out following a car crash, the duo were afforded only short breaks, with both of Wakefield's scores coming with O'Connor off the pitch.

And the brace of tries for Aussie stand off Julian O'Neill confirmed that he is beginning to hit his straps.

In fact it was the former North Queensland Cowboys player who opened the scoring after 15 minutes of the game, bursting through Kris Tassell's attempted tackle after Lam's pass to race 20 yards to the corner.

In the wet conditions - the pre-match entertainment and much of the first half was dominated by a heavy downpour - free-flowing handling was difficult to come by, and the Wildcats cut the gap to 4-2 with a Knott penalty following a Wigan steal.

On the half hour, former Huddersfield and Penrith winger Andrew Frew, making his Wildcats debut, was called upon to produce a fine try saving tackle on Jamie Ainscough following Lam's break and clever reverse pass.

The Warriors, though, did manage to stretch the lead a little before the break, when captain Andrew Farrell slotted over a penalty following interference on Craig Smith.

Wigan came straight out of the blocks in the second half determined to rid themselves of any hangover and become the first team since St Helens in 1996 to double up with a win following a Challenge Cup Final victory.

A minute after the restart, O'Neill sent stand-in centre David Hodgson through a gap, although the former Halifax man was unable to find the support with his pass after drawing Martyn Holland.

However, on 47 minutes, O'Neill went through a gap himself, found Stephen Wild in support before the young back rower sent Lam diving under the posts, Farrell converting for 12-2.

Five minutes later, substitute Martin Moana's grubber was spilled by Brett Dallas over his own line, and young centre Gareth Ellis pounced to score for the Wildcats, Knott converting to lift the Belle Vue crowd.

Wood missed with a drop goal attempt as he looked to cut the gap to three points, but that was irrelevant on the hour when Moana sent Ellis away on the right before the youngster cut infield from fully 40 yards.

He showed a clean pair of heels to Warriors full back Gary Connolly before gleefully diving under the posts - a fine way to celebrate his 21st birthday this coming Friday.

Knott converted and, at 14-12, a shock suddenly seemed on the cards, but swift hands from Sean O'Loughlin and Hodgson created the space for Brian Carney on the right with a quarter of an hour remaining.

The Irish winger then drew Holland before chipping over, collecting the ball and racing behind the posts.

Lam's long kick then saw both Carney and Wildcats winger George Truelove miss the ball before Hodgson picked up and sent O'Neill in at the corner for his second try.

With Farrell's excellent conversion, the Wildcats had gone from 14-12 up to 24-14 behind within the space of four minutes.

They searched for the try which would have brought them back into the game, but the only remaining score was to come from Wigan, when Carney tapped on another Lam kick and Hodgson touched down.

That gave the scoreline the winning margin which Wigan needed to move up to third, but probably did not deserve following a great effort from the Wildcats.

"I've got to give a rap to all those who played 80 minutes on Saturday and another 80 tonight but I've got to mention Terry O'Connor and Craig Smith, who were outstanding," said Wigan coach Stuart Raper.

"We were always going to be up against it. If you had seen the guys on Monday morning, you would have put a fiver on Wakefield.

"It shows that we can back up. These are the games you remember when you look back. They are what makes you a great side. We really toughed it out."

However, his Wakefield counterpart, Peter Roe, was disappointed that his side could not see off Wigan's challenge when they surged into the lead.

"I'm disappointed that the players didn't show the killer instinct," revealed Roe. "It was a winnable game and, if Wigan were ever there to be beaten, they were when it was 14-12.

"But we're making progress. The guys are starting to believe in themselves a bit more."

Team Sheets

Wakefield - Wigan
No.
Player
Pos No.
Player
1 Martyn Holland Full Back 4 Gary Connolly
29 George Truelove Wing 2 Brett Dallas
3 Kris Tassell Centre 3 Jamie Ainscough
17 Gareth Ellis Centre 14 David Hodgson
33 Andrew Frew Wing 5 Brian Carney
16 Graham Law Stand Off 6 Julian O'Neill
7 Nathan Wood Scrum Half 7 Adrian Lam
8
Paul Broadbent Prop
8
Terry O'Connor
9 David March Hooker 18 Mark Smith
10 Paul Jackson Prop 10 Craig Smith
11 Troy Slattery 2nd Row 25 Stuart Jones
12 Jamie Field 2nd Row 19 Stephen Wild
13 Ian Knott L.Forward 13 Andrew Farrell
6 Brad Davis Sub 9 Terry Newton
15 Damon Keating Sub 20 Martin Aspinwall
18 Chris Feather Sub 22 Sean O'Loughlin
28 Martin Moana Sub 23 Luke Robinson

Score Sheet

Wakefield Wildcats 14 --- Wigan Warriors 30
Tries:
Gareth Ellis 2
--- Tries:
Julian O'Neill 2
Adrian Lam
Brian Carney
Dave Hodgson
Goals:
Ian Knott 3
--- Goals:
Andy Farrell 5

Half Time

Wakefield 2 Wigan 6

Referee

Richard Silverwood (Dewsbury)

Match Attendance

3,842

CherryandWhite.co.uk Man of the Match

Julian O'Neill

Table after this Round

1st:l Bradford - Played - 8 - Won - 7 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 1 - Points: - 14
2nd:l Hull FC - Played - 8 - Won - 6 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 2 - Points: - 12
3rd:l

Wigan

- Played - 8 - Won - 5 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 3 - Points: - 10
4th:l Leeds - Played - 8 - Won - 5 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 3 - Points: - 10
5th:l Widnes - Played - 8 - Won - 5 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 3 - Points: - 10
6th:l St Helens - Played - 7 - Won - 5 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 2 - Points: - 10

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

7th:l London - Played - 8 - Won - 4 - Drawn - 1 ` Lost - 3 - Points: - 9
8th:l Castleford - Played - 7 - Won - 2 - Drawn - 1 ` Lost - 4 - Points: - 5
9th:l Halifax - Played - 8 - Won - 2 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 6 - Points: - 4
10th:l Wakefield - Played - 8 - Won - 2 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 6 - Points: - 4
11th:l Salford - Played - 8 - Won - 2 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 6 - Points: - 4
12th:l Warrington - Played - 8 - Won - 1 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 7 - Points: - 2

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Top 6 Qualified for Play Offs

Super League 7 - Round 8 Results

Mon 29th April - Bradford Bulls 44 Salford City Reds 18 - 9,652
Mon 29th April - Halifax Blue Sox 18 Hull FC 22 - 4,096
Mon 29th April - Leeds Rhinos 10 Widnes Vikings 14 - 11,361
Tue 30th April - Warrington Wolves 14 London Broncos 28 - 4,190
Wed 1st May - Wakefield Wildcats 14 Wigan Warriors 30 - 3,842
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