Monday, 12 March 2007

Wigan edge out Quins at the JJB

Friday night saw Quins RL handed their second loss of the Super League season in a tight away encounter at the JJB stadium.

Wigan claimed the first points of the game with a Pat Richards penalty, but the early lead was to be short lived when prop Daniel Heckenberg took a delayed pass from Henry Paul to go in under the sticks. Paul Sykes added the conversion to make the score 2 – 6 to the visitors.

The home side hit back almost immediately when fullback Mark McLinden failed to deal with a Trent Barrett bomb on his own line, offering up an easy walk in try for opposite number Michael Withers. Richard tacked on the extra two points and was back for two more on the half hour mark to push Wigan’s lead out to 10 – 6. This marked a period of dominance for the Warriors with winger Mark Calderwood almost adding another try from former Quins halfback Thomas Leuluai’s grubber.

However, Wigan’s purple patch ended two minutes from the break when Scott Hill was able to break some weak tackling to add Quins second try. The goal added by Henry Paul sending them into half-time 10 – 12 up.

The second half was to prove a tight affair, former Wigan player Chris Melling denying star signing Trent Barrett with a last ditch tackle on the hour. But five minutes later Melling went from hero to villain when he dropped a last tackle kick from Barrett handing possession back to the home side. It was from this that Leuluai was able to open up a gap for David Vaealiki to score the only try of the half. The conversion from Richards pushed the scores to 16 – 12 where they were to stay despite a frantic period of late pressure from the visitors.

A second consecutive defeat will be a concern for Brian McDermott who has been frustrated lately by his sides inability to carry strong first half form into the second period of play, but he will be encouraged by the overall competitiveness of his side whose widest losing margin this season is just 7 points.

Wigan: (10) 16
Tries: Withers, Vaealiki
Goals: Richards 3

Harlequins RL: (12) 12
Tries: Heckenberg, Hill
Goals: Sykes, Paul

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