Wigan made it 5 league wins in a row on Thursday night, after defeating the Widnes Vikings 7-0 at the Select Security Stadium.
In what was a struggle of a game for the fans to watch. The effort of both sets of players was sensational. It was a game that consisted of poor attack, great defence, too many handling errors and lack of discipline from both sides. It was a tough encounter, with two sets of battling forwards.
Widnes where the better side in the opening half, fluffing 4 great chances to score some points. Dennis Betts’ men would’ve been unhappy not to be leading at halftime. However, Wigan defended their goal line with immense effort to keep the Vikings out.
The only try of the game came in the 48 minute of the game, as a well worked move found Josh Charnley who cut inside to score the try. It was soon followed up by a drop goal after some quick thinking from Matty Smith, to give his side a 2 score lead.
JUST WASN’T TO BE FOR WIDNES
Widnes will look back on this game and think, ‘How did we not score’? It was unbelievable, the amount of clear cut chances they blew in this game. In the opening half, Ah Van, who had a nightmare of a game, only had to catch the ball and it was a walk in. However, he knocked on and the chance went begging.
Rhys Hanbury looked certain to score as he broke the Wigan line only to be stopped with a superb defensive effort from Ben Flower, in which he forced a knock on. In the second half, Chris Dean, broke the Wigan line and was destined to score. However, as he goes to place the ball down, he knocked on.
It just seemed to be one of those nights for Widnes, as every huge chance went begging. While Wigan defended really well on the night, you have to feel that Widnes had enough chances to get some points on the board.
SUPERB DEFENSIVE EFFORTS
This game was a brilliant display of defensive efforts, in both sides. You only have to look at the final score to see how well both defences where. Even though the quality was lacking, with just too many errors for a professional, top level game. You can’t deny the efforts of every player on the pitch, it was a real grind.
The forwards of Wigan where sensational. The likes of Mossop, Isa (who moved to centre after Gelling’s injury), Tautai, Sutton and others, who went through a lot of work to not only keep Widens out of the game, but win the battle down the middle and drive their team down field.
It’ll be an interesting view of the tackling stats of both sides. Sutton in particular seemed to be everywhere in the opening half, and made 22 tackles in the opening 30 minutes alone. The loss of personnel only seemed to spur Wigan on as they dug even deeper to keep Widnes scoreless.
VIEW OF THE MANAGERS
Widnes coach, Dennis Betts thought his side where unlucky not to win, but had praise for a battling Wigan. Betts said:
“If we had taken the chances we created we would have won.
“We defended tough but Matty Smith pulled them round the field. It’s hard not to have admiration for Wigan who came here with a beaten up side.
“It’s hard to take because we were just about to put the ball down over the line several times and didn’t manage it.”
Wigan coach, Shaun Wane had only praise for his lads, after winning it tough. Wane said:
“We were brave, though, showed lots of desire and I’ve just said all those things to the players.
“We’re finding ways to win, we’ve got a never say die attitude to the way we defend and we never think we’re beaten.
“I thought with the adversity we’ve been through today with the injuries I thought is was one of the best efforts we’ve made all year.” He added, “For us to nil them I thought was a great effort as they did throw a lot at us.”
IN THE SHEDS
There was a very poor shoulder charge by Wigan’s Dom Crosby on Kevin Brown in the 12th minute of the game. The incident wasn’t put on report, however, I feel the RFL will look back at it and charge the Wigan prop.
There was a similar incident, as Widnes’ Macgraff Leuluai caught Jake Shorrocks late. However, it didn’t seem as serious as the earlier incident, therefore I down expect anything to come from this one, but its one to look out for.
Wigan’s Ben Flower was penalised for a poor tackle on Heremaia, in which he seemed to go over the horizontal mark and nearly drops the player on his head. It could be looked back on by the RFL.
Wigan players where dropping like flies in this game. The first one came before the game started, as George Williams withdrew from the side with a tight calf. Dom Crosby dislocated his elbow in the first half, however he returned all taped up to complete the game. Next to drop was Nick Gregson, when he went off with a leg injury, later reported as knee ligaments. Finally, Anthony Gelling had to leave the field as he injured his pectoral muscle.
Widnes: (0) 0
Wigan: (0) 7
Widnes Vikings: Hanbury; Thompson, Runciman, Bridge, Ah Van; Mellor, Brown; Cahill, White, Buchanan, Whitley, Dean, Leuluai.
Replacements: Dudson, Manuokafoa, Chapelhow, Heremaia.
Wigan Warriors: Tierney; Charnley, Gelling, Gildart, Manfredi; Shorrocks, Smith; Crosby, Powell, Flower, Sutton, Isa, Mossop.
Replacements: Tautai, Burke, Gregson, Bretherton.
Referee: Chris Kendall
Venue: Select Security Stadium, Widnes
Date/Time: Thursday 16th June 2016 – 20:00pm GMT