Sunday, 24 February 2013

Wigan v London

A dominant second half display was the highlight of a mixed game this afternoon as Wigan hosted the London Broncos.

The return of Sam Tomkins to the team gave Wigan confidence and Luke Dorn's failure to make the seventeen meant Dan Sarginson deputised at full back for London and surely left the field sore after a 80 minute shout fest at his fellow Broncos.

Wigan got off to the best possible start as a London knock-on from the kick-off gave them a scrum in a great place from which the ball went across the field to Richards, who skilfully offloaded to Thornley to gave him an easy run to the line and with Richard's conversion Wigan led 6-0.

Wigan could have had a quick second after a nice passage of play between Tomkins, Hughes and Charnley gave Green the chance to create a try with a pass for Richards but the winger was knocked into touch as he went over the line.

The second score did come in the ninth minute from a penalty,Tomkins passed across to Hughes who spotted Charnley in space and put him in for the try in the corner but the missed conversion left the score at 10-0.

In recent weeks discipline has let Wigan down and in the 16th minute a cheeky grubber kick by Colbon saw a drop out called in favour of London,Tomkins disputed with the official and received a sin-binning for ten minutes.

The extra man allowed London to get on the score board in the 19th minute as an injury to Mossop in back play allowed London to have an advantage in attack and a run by Channing created space and his pass found Colborn for a nice try in the corner, Witt converted to make it 10-6.

London went in again as Gower broke away and gave Dixon an easy run to the line to level the score, Witt's conversion gave them a 12-10 lead. Wigan regained the lead within a minute of Tomkins returning to the field as a nice run by Smith saw McIlorum collect from the play the ball and dive over for the try with a successful conversion, Wigan led 16-12.

London fought back and a mis-kick from Green handed the ball to Randall who ran unchallenged for the line and with the conversion they led 18-16 with minutes until the interval. Wigan broke back in the 38th minute as a pass from Green found O'Loughlin who dived over for his milestone 300th point for Wigan and a nice conversion from Richards saw Wigan lead 22-18 at the hooter.

Barely minutes into the second half and Wigan were in after a solo effort from Tomkins saw him go in for an easy score, 26-18. The momentum quickly led to another try as Thornley offloaded to Richards who went over in the corner and his successful conversion from the touchline put Wigan clear at 32-18.

London's discipline let them down in the 56th minute as after receiving a team warning for persistent fouls, Cook was sent to the sin-bin and Wigan after a nice passage of play were in again only to have the effort chalked off. Their next attack did count as a line break by the Tomkins brothers saw them run clear with Green and Sam's pass to the half-back saw him thunder towards the line and go over for a nicely worked try, Richards converted and Wigan were firmly in control at 38-18.

London's effort to get back into the game saw them make a mistake and as Dixon collected the ball in the 64th minute, a drop allowed Jack Hughes to break through the line and despite juggling the ball he managed to offload to Charnley who shimmied past the defence to seal his brace and put Wigan over the 40 point mark, Richards converted and Wigan led 44-18.

The scoring finished in the 68th minute with a deserved second try for Thornley after a nice pass from Sam Tomkins but a missed conversion denied the chance to hit 50 points as they led 48-18.

Wigan could have reached 50 if Smith and Tuson's combination enabled Sam to score as the ball went over the line but to no avail and at the hooter, Wigan celebrated a well deserved win but with the bad news that Mossop may be out for 12 weeks after dislocating a shoulder in the 20th minute injury.


As for my prediction, at 16-18 down I wondered whether I had called it right but a crushing second period of 26 unanswered points saw me fall two points short of the right gap with my score of 40-12 very close to being correct.