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Wigan 6-12 Wakefield

Wigan v Wakefield
Wigan were outmuscled by Wakefield

Wigan (0) 6
Tries: Tomkins Goals: Richards
Wakefield (10) 12
Tries: Halley 2 Goals: Martin 2

Debutant Dave Halley scored two tries as injury-hit Wakefield scored a surprise win at Wigan in their opening Super League game.

The 100-1 outsiders for the title were without eight regulars but were 10-0 ahead at the break thanks to Halley.

Joel Tomkins replied for Wigan, sent over by Sean O'Loughlin's pass and Tony Martin added a penalty.

But they were reduced to 12 men when Richard Mathers was sin-binned for a trip on Halley and Wakefield held on.

Halley's first try came after just 56 seconds when he finished off a break from skipper Jason Demetriou and Sam Obst's grubber kick was the supply line for the 22-year-old's second.


Wildcats should have added more tries but Demetriou lost his grip on the ball over the tryline while stand-off Scott Grix also had a try disallowed for a double movement.

Wigan were poor in the first half, although their spirits would have received a boost had second rower Gareth Hock not dropped the ball over the line.

The home side, who were booed off by some of the 14,377 fans at the JJB Stadium, did improve after the interval but Mathers' sin-bin on 65 minutes hampered their hopes of a fightback.

Wakefield boss John Kear rated his side's 12-6 win over Wigan as of the highlights of his coaching career:
"It ranks very high indeed because everybody could see we were behind the black ball from the start with only 17 fit men.

"But it's not who's fit, it's how you play as a collective unit and, as a collective unit, we were magnificent.

"Wigan are a very good team and I've no doubt there won't be many teams who come here and go away with the points."

Wigan coach Brian Noble:
"We didn't help ourselves - we wouldn't have beaten Dewsbury Celtic with a 40% completion rate.

"We dropped far too much ball in wintry conditions. We got caught cold at the start other than that we defended OK.

"We gave ourselves a chance at the start of the second half but we couldn't hang onto the ball."

Wigan: Mathers, Roberts, Phelps, Carmont, Richards, Smith, Leuluai, Fielden, Riddell, Paleaaesina, Hock, Bailey, O'Loughlin.
Replacements: J. Tomkins, Coley, Hansen, O'Carroll.

Wakefield: Blaymire, Blanch, Gleeson, Martin, Halley, Grix, Obst, Wilkes, Drew, Stosic, Snitch, Ferguson, Demetriou.
Replacements: Bibey, Henderson, Bibb, Pitts.

Referee: I Smith (Oldham)

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see also
Pryce grabs double on Wigan debut
28 Dec 08 |  Rugby League
Kear still looking to strengthen
22 Jan 09 |  Wakefield
Injury boost for Wildcats' Atkins
29 Jan 09 |  Wakefield
Surgery sidelines key man Brough
18 Jan 09 |  Wakefield

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