Wigan 6-12 Wakefield

Wigan fell to a surprise 12-6 defeat to Wakefield in the only game that survived the weather on the opening Sunday of the season.nnMore fans were at the JJB today for Wigan and Wakefield than came to watch the Premiership game against Fulham yesterday as the fans came to open the Super League season. The air of anticipation was hard to bear as Wigan looked to bring in the new season in style in front of the JJB faithful.nnWigan kicked off attacking the away end occupied by the Wildcat fans.nnIt took less than two minutes for the first try, a burst from Jason Demetriou through the middle on the third tackle and his pass found Scott Grix whose offload worked its way left and Martin found Dave Halley, on loan from Bradford, who somehow managed to evade the Warriors defence to make it a dream start. Tony Martin converted the kick to make it 6-0. nnThe underdogs were the better side, Halley jinking round the Wigan defence again before he slipped on the turf. Wakefield were dominating possession and looked far more composed than their much fancied counterparts.nnWigan’s first moments of pressure nearly saw a try with Fielden kicking towards the far right and debutant Amos Roberts got to the ball first but couldn’t bring it under for what would have been a certain try.nnAs Wigan began to impose themselves quick Wakefield passing exposed the same hole in the defence and as the ball was poked down the left by Obst it was Halley again who collected well to go over for another easy but well worked try.nnMartin missed the resulting kick but the travelling fans were in dreamland and the 10-0 scoreline far from flattered the start they had made.nnA penalty to Wigan sparked the crowd into life as the Warriors finally had a chance to ease the pressure and some fluent rugby saw Hock go down over the line but the referee, rightly, called no try.nnWakefield were breaking through every time they entered the Wigan half and this time it was Snitch who went over only for a last gasp intervention from the Wigan defence.nnNext, a hopeful punt through saw the Wigan defence in disarray again and as the move progressed Scott Grix went over but the ref spotted a double movement.nnWigan were still in a lacklustre mood and as Bailey failed to catch a simple pass the fans were beginning to get disgruntled and frustrated as their expectations were nowhere near being met. nnA brilliant 40-20 kick by O’Carroll saw Wigan have a chance just as the interval approached but it was Hansen this time guilty of mishandling the ball.nnGrix kicked off the second half with Wakefield looking to carry on from their first half performance.nnMishandling by both sides saw the Warriors camped on the Wildcats tryline but as Coley tried to go in for the score he dropped the ball under the scrutiny of three Wakefield defenders.nnIt took just six minutes of the second half for Wigan to get on the scoresheet and it was a powerful run by Leuluai that started it. His burst was stopped but the ball was quickly moved on and a simple interchange from O’Loughlin and Tomkins saw the latter go over for a try with Richards converting. 10-6.nnNext it was the Cats who scored. Mishandling after a hard tackle from Coley resulted in a penalty easily converted by Martin.nnMore disarray in the Wigan defence saw Demetriou kick through and Drew went over only for the referee to call a knock-on much to the mystery of everyone in the stadium.nnThe poor Richard Mathers finally caught a hopeful kick which resulted in ironic cheers from the home faithful. Dangerous moments for the Wakefield defence and a show and go from Smith opened room but his choice and execution of kicking from 15 yards left a lot to be desired.nnA dysmal day for Mathers was complete when he was caught down the left side and as Halley kicked long Mathers took him out and got a yellow card for his troubles, leaving Wigan trailing and with only 12 on the field.nnWakefield split the Warriors open almost immediately after but a poke through by Jay Pitts was overhit as he tried to find Halley. Two drops in quick succession by Leuluai summed up Wigan’s handling as they struggled to even force their way into the Wakefield half.nnA spear tackle from Fielden in the middle of the park resulted in a penalty kick to Wakefield and as the away fans cheered the ball home it hit the post and came back out, to keep the Warriors with one score..nnMathers came back to an echo of boos and the Warriors had three minutes to salvage something.nnThey found their way into the Wakefield half and O’Loughlin was held up at the line before the ball was unsurprisingly dropped as Tomkins made his way to the line.nnWigan went off to resounding boos from the 14,377 crowd in the snow at the JJB Stadium.nnWigan coach, Brian Noble, said: “It was a slow game which we didn’t want it to be. We couldn’t keep hold of the ball, gave ourselves a chance in the second half but it wasn’t good enough. There were a few candidates for non man of the match. We have a tough match at Hull on Friday and we will need to play a lot better than today if we are going to get anything.”nnWakefield coach John Kear, said: “The performance was defensively magnificent. Demetriou’s was a big presence today and David (Halley) made a great debut.nn”We enjoyed the tags of underdogs and it is two bonus points in our season.”nnWigan – 6nnT: Tomkins (45)nG: Richards (46)nnWakefield – 12nnT: Halley (2, 13)nG: Martin (3, 54)nnHT: 0-10nnRef: I SmithnnAtt: 14,377

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