Sunday 2nd September 2012, 15:00 - Round:26
Hull Kingston Rovers
|Craig Hall, Lincoln Withers 2, Ben Galea, Jake Webster, David Hodgson,||T||Brett Finch, Darrell Goulding, Gareth Hock, Pat Richards 2, George Carmont, Liam Farrell, Josh Charnley,|
Michael Dobson 6,
Pat Richards 5,
Attendance: 8,845 Official: T Alibert Venue: MS3 Craven Park
Shaun Wane clinched his first piece of silverware as Wigan Warriors coach with a comeback victory over Hull KR, who made them fight all the way for the points.
Late tries from Pat Richards and Josh Charnley broke the hearts of the home side as the Warriors secured the League Leaders Shield with the triumph.
Defensively Rovers were superb in the first half with tackles being completed to keep Wigan at bay, and the hosts pressurised the Warriors into a series of mistakes.
Brett Finch's pass confused Gareth Hock but not Craig Hall, who ran the ball home from 80 metres and Michael Dobson added the extras for a 6-0 lead.
Rovers thought they had extended their advantage three minutes later but referee Thierry Alibert ruled Con Mika knocked on in the act of scoring. The call looked harsh but it showed Rovers were keen to finish their home games in style.
Dobson's penalty in the 11th minute made it 8-0 and Wigan were punished further when Scott Taylor's powerful run to the posts and offload presented Dobson with the opportunity to send Lincoln Withers over for their second try. Dobson's conversion made it 14-0 after 14 minutes.
Nothing was going right for Wigan and a forward pass denied Richards a try in the 22nd minute.
The same could not be said for the hosts. Skipper Ben Galea marked his final game at MS3 Craven Park with a trademark try, as Hall and Dobson combined to send the captain over after taking the ball at speed and the right angle.
Castleford Tigers-bound centre Jake Webster was also making his final home appearance and it was fitting he marked his departure with a try four minutes before half-time. Hall's presence in the air forced Sam Tomkins into an error which Webster seized on to score under the posts.
Dobson's trusty left boot made it 26-0 to the Robins to evoke memories of their first Stobart Super League meeting in 2007. Rovers held on for a 26-16 win that day and the fans who were there that night knew there would be a fight back in this game.
Three minutes before the break, Wigan scored twice as first Finch stretched over near the right-hand corner before Charnley kicked forward for Darrell Goulding to score. Richards converted both and suddenly things were looking a bit better for Wigan as they went in at the interval trailing 26-12.
Rovers extended their lead to 20 points as Dobson's kick through was grounded by Withers under the posts, with the former adding the conversion.
Wigan needed to score four times to get back in front. Hock's close-range try in the 55th minute was converted by Richards to make their task a little easier. In their very next set, Tomkins exposed a gap on the right edge of Rovers' defence to send Richards over. However, he missed the conversion to leave his side trailing by 10 at 32-22.
Dobson missed a 62nd-minute penalty that would have made it a 12-point game, but the hosts made it 36-22 when Jeff Lima knocked on playing the ball and from the scrum, Louis Sheriff sent Dave Hodgson over in the left hand corner.
George Carmont's unconverted try with 12 minutes to go set up a tense finale and Tomkins burst through on the last tackle to send Liam Farrell over under the posts, with Richards' conversion closing the gap to four points at 36-32.
Richards completed a remarkable comeback with a try down the left wing. His conversion edged the Warriors into a 38-36 lead, and Charnley's try on his return to Craven Park in the final minute ensured the Shield was bound for Wigan.
TA: Try assists
MT: Marker tackles
MI: Missed tackles
TB: Tackle busts
AT: Attacking kicks
AG: Av gain
CB: Clean break
DR: Run from dummy half
FT: Forty twenty
MG: Missed goals
Clean Breaks: 4