Jack Harbidge reviews the Round 8 Super League clash between Wakefield Trinity and Wigan Warriors at the COVID-restart held at Emerald Headingley Stadium….. Here’s how the game went.
|10th||Goal Tony Gigot (Wakefield)||Wakefield 2-0|
|13th||Try Zak Hardaker (Wigan)||Wigan 4-2|
|14th||Goal Zak Hardaker (Wigan)||Wigan 6-2|
|23rd||Try Bevan French (Wigan)||Wigan 10-2|
|32nd||Try Kyle Wood (Wakefield)||Wigan 10-6|
|36th||Try Liam Marshall (Wigan)||Wigan 14-6|
|37th||Goal Zak Hardaker (Wigan)||Wigan 16-6|
|50th||Try Jake Bibby (Wigan)||Wigan 20-6|
|50th||Goal Zak Hardaker (Wigan)||Wigan 22-6|
|65th||Try Tom Johnstone (Wakefield)||Wigan 22-10|
|65th||Goal Tony Gigot (Wakefield)||Wigan 22-12|
|70th||Try Liam Kay (Wakefield)||Wigan 22-16|
|76th||Drop Goal Harry Smith (Wigan)||Wigan 23-16|
|77th||Try Liam Kay (Wakefield)||Wigan 23-20|
|78th||Goal Max Jowitt (Wakefield)||Wigan 23-22|
Wakefield got off to a good start in the opening exchanges and capitalised with a penalty goal from Tony Gigot just 10 minutes in to the contest. Wakefield’s lead was short lived, however, with Zak Hardaker crossing three minutes later and converting his own try to put Wigan four points up, before helping put the Warriors further in the lead with a well weighted grubber for Bevan French to score in the corner. Wakefield managed to cut the deficit back to four points with a try from Kyle Wood just under 10 minutes before half-time but the Wigan soon reinstated their lead through Liam Marshall just a few minutes later to go into half-time 16-6 up.
Wigan carried on in the second half where they left off in the first half, with Jake Bibby beating the efforts of four Wakefield defenders and muscling over from short range. Wigan continued to apply the pressure to the Wakefield defensive line and looked in complete control until Tom Johnstone produced an impressive finish 15 minutes from time to get Wakefield back in the game and within two scores. Seemingly invigorated by their first points of the second half, Trinity continue to press on and scored in quick succession with Liam Kay crossing ten minutes from time to close the lead to six points.
Wigan weren’t completely overwhelmed, however, and Harry Smith managed to all but seal the game with a drop goal in good field position before Wakefield grabbed a late try with two minutes to go, consequently setting up a grandstand finish. In the final minute, Trinity managed to work the ball down within drop goal range but Jacob Miller couldn’t convert and their late come back was thwarted.
The game highlight came from Tom Johnstone, who produced an exquisite finish to spark the Wakefield comeback towards the back end of the game. Well known for his clinical finishing, Johnstone caught a well weighted cross-field kick above his head and managed to gt it down in the corner in the same movement despite the efforts of the defence. It was a different finish to his usual acrobatic diving efforts but it was all the same impressive.
Wakefield Trinity: Gigot, Kay, Lyne, Tupou, Johnstone, Miller, Jowitt, Kopczak, Wood, Navarrette, Pitts, Tanginoa, Arona, Wood, Tangata, Kirmond, Fifita.
Wigan Warriors: French, Manfredi, Hardaker, Bibby, Marshall, Leuluai, Hastings, Bullock, Powell, Byrne, Isa, Farrell, Havard, Burgess, Clark, Smith, Smithies.