Match Report: Wigan 22 Wakefield 18
Posted by Bilko on July 09 2016 - 17:18
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Wigan Warriors v Wakefield Wildcats - First Utility Super League 21 - Round 21
Friday 8th July 2016. Kick Off 8:00pm at DW Stadium.

Match Report

I refer to my tweet made at 9:46pm on Friday Night which read "How the f*ck have we won this?"

A remarkable victory given we played an hour with twelve men and had to chuck two debutants (Macualey Davies and Kyle Shelford) and another youngster (Jake Shorrocks) off the bench into a situation where we are chasing the game with a man less.

This Wigan side may not be hammering sides in attack this season but they are consistently winning tight matches and that is not a bad trait to have in your locker.

I felt Wigan were off the game mentally though early on and it perhaps fortunate that Wakefield had only found one try, scored by Max Jowitt, which had put them 6-0 within five minutes.

A lot has been made about the referees performance obviously given three cards were handed out to Wigan players. Personally I didn't really have that much of a problem with either of them but twice in amongst all that shuffling we saw Wigan players taken out twice on kicks and penalties proving sufficient. I found that particularly galling when Josh Charnley was carded no sooner had Dom Manfredi returned from his ten minute sit down.

Like last week at Catalan though, Wigan found tries with 12 men with first Oliver Gildart and then Sam Powell crossing to put Wigan into a 10-6 lead. Matty Smith had missed a poor conversion on the first try which would have proved very costly indeed had Wigan not won the match late.

Given Wigan's new penchant for playing better and scoring tries with 12 men, after Powell scored I suggested Live on Wish FM commentary that we perhaps should nominate a player to be sin binned next. Trouble was I only went and nominated Sean O'Loughlin and within three minutes the bugger got himself sent off for a poor high tackle. It was only last week that I was laughing at someone on twitter calling him "Super League's dirtiest player" despite the fact he hadn't been sent off or suspended in his entire career. Kiss of death or what?

Wigan got to half time but you sense that the fact they'd only used 1 interchange, which was an excellent contribution from Taulima Tautai, would be tough on us second half. Especially when Wakefield went back in front with a try from Reece Lyne three minutes after the restart for 12-10 after Finn converted.

Shaun Wane really had no choice but to bring on Shorrocks, for his home debut, along with the duo of Davies and Shelford for their first Wigan appearances.

This spell proved tough for Wigan and Wakefield went further ahead with a try from Ben Jones-Bishop, unconverted for 16-10, then a penalty goal put the visitors 18-10.

15 minutes still remained but you couldn't see Wigan coming back in all honesty. However, two penalties helped Wigan down field and they found a try from Lewis Tierney that brought the score back to 18-16 and lifted the whole stadium to rally with over ten minutes still to go.

Wigan were now hammering Wakefield's line inside the last five minutes but they managed to survive the onslaught and a minute left they looked like the match was sealed as Wigan knocked on the half way line.

With Wakefield getting the scrum on half way you expect at the very least Wigan would have no more than seconds to go 100 metres to get a try. The score at Hull at that point was still 15-14 to Hull and realistically I declared on the radio that "first place is probably gone now aand so with it a potential trip to Catalan".

You just couldn't script that over the next fifty or so seconds that Wakefield would knock on first tackle, give Wigan one last chance, which they took after a marvellous grubber from Williams that touched down by Tierney to win the match. Then almost simultaneously Leeds had scored a match winner themselves at Hull and two points behind with an almost impossible points difference deficit unlikely to be overcome had become a two point Wigan lead at the top. Absolutely unbelievable stuff. Conversion didn't matter but it was kicked anyway from Smith and with it his poor miss earlier in the game didn't cost us a point in the end.

In all honesty Wakefield probably lost this more than Wigan won it in. They should never have lost possession like they did in the final minute but the guts and desire from Wigan to fight for the two points was fantastic to watch. They found a way to win yet again and it's taken us to the top of the table.

Audio Highlights

Click Here to listen to the Wish FM Commentary Highlights on Audio Boom.

Team Sheets

- Wigan Position Wakefield 1
1 Sam Tomkins Full Back Max Jowitt 21
5 Dom Manfredi

Right Wing

Craig Hall 25
2 Josh Charnley Centre Reece Lyne 14
20 Oliver Gildart Centre Bill Tupou 3
22 Lewis Tierney Left Wing Ben Jones-Bishop 1
6 George Williams Stand Off Jacob Miller 6
7 Matty Smith Scrum Half Liam Finn 7
29 Joe Bretherton Prop David Fifita 35
29 Sam Powell Hooker Scott Moore 9

Ben Flower


Tinirau Arona

21 Ryan Sutton 2nd Row Jon Molloy 19
25 Willie Isa 2nd Row Matty Ashurst 17

Sean O'Loughlin


Michael Sio

19 Taulima Tautai Substitute Joe Arundel 18
28 Jake Shorrocks Substitute Chris Annakin 26
33 Kyle Shelford Substitute Anthony Walker 27
35 Macauley Davies Substitute Jason Walton 31
- Shaun Wane Coach Chris Chester -

Score Sheet

Wigan Warriors 22


Wakefield Wildcats 18

Tries (4):
Oliver Gildart
Sam Powell
Lewis Tierney 2


Tries (3):
Max Jowitt
Reece Lyne
Ben Jones-Bishop

Matty Smith 3/4
--- Goals:
Liam Finn 3/4

Scoring and Incident Pattern

5th Minute Wigan 00 Wakefield 04

Try: Max Jowitt

Wigan 00 Wakefield 06 Conversion: Liam Finn (1/1)
18th Minute Wigan Sin Bin

Dom Manfredi (Tripping)

25th Minute Wigan 04 Wakefield 06

Try: Oliver Gildart

Wigan 04 Wakefield 06 Missed Conv: Matty Smith (0/1)
29th Minute Wigan Sin Bin

Josh Charnley (Off Ball Tackle)

34th Minute Wigan 08 Wakefield 06

Try: Sam Powell

Wigan 10 Wakefield 06 Conversion: Matty Smith (1/2)
38th Minute Wigan Red Card

Sean O'Loughlin (High Tackle)

Half Time Wigan Warriors 10 Wakefield Wildcats 06
43rd Minute Wigan 10 Wakefield 10

Try: Reece Lyne

Wigan 10 Wakefield 12 Conversion: Liam Finn (2/2)
58th Minute Wigan 10 Wakefield 16

Try: Ben Jones-Bishop

Wigan 10 Wakefield 16 Missed Conv: Liam Finn (2/3)
64th Minute Wigan 10 Wakefield 18

Penalty Goal: Liam Finn (3/4)

67th Minute Wigan 14 Wakefield 18

Try: Lewis Tierney

Wigan 16 Wakefield 18 Conversion: Matty Smith (2/3)
80th Minute Wigan 20 Wakefield 18

Try: Lewis Tierney (2)

Wigan 22 Wakefield 18 Conversion: Matty Smith (3/4)
Full Time Wigan Warriors 22 Wakefield Wildcats 18


James Child

Penalties Conceded

Wigan 7 Wakefield 9

Match Attendance



Dry Night.