Match report as Wigan lose out late on 18-8 to South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium
Club’s tour of New South Wales ends with narrow defeat
- Winger Tom Davies with a double for Wigan
The Warriors’ 2018 tour of New South Wales ended in late defeat as South Sydney Rabbitohs edged past the Warriors 18-8 at ANZ Stadium.
Following Hull’s 24-18 loss to St George Illawarra Dragons the Warriors were also unable to turn over their NRL opponents in Sydney.
Wigan began brightly and opened the scoring through Tom Davies following a Sean O’Loughlin kick. The Rabbitohs then took charge of the game with the consecutive tries through Tom Burgess, Campbell Graham and Richie Kennar. Davies grabbed his second towards the end of the half meaning a 12-8 deficit at the break.
The second half was a much tighter affair with only one try coming through South Sydney’s Adam Doueihi in the 76th minute as Wigan defended resolutely.
Shaun Wane was able to name a starting side of 1-13 with only one change from last week’s win against Hull as Joe Burgess came onto the wing as Liam Marshall dropped to an extended bench. The Warriors named 13 players on the bench with Wane hoping to have a closer look at some of the younger members of his squad.
Alex Johnston started at full back with former Australia and New South Wales hooker Robbie Farah lining up at half back in Anthony Seibold’s first game in charge of the Rabbitohs.
As the game began in the Sydney evening at ANZ Stadium both teams pressured the line and had early chances to break the deadlock.
It was the Warriors who struck first as Sean O’Loughlin’s cross-field kick bounced favourably for Tom Davies to pounce. Sam Tomkins unable to convert from the touchline but Wigan ahead 4-0.
Wigan almost had a second as Davies went over the line but he was unable to ground the ball this time around.
The Warriors were made to pay as Souths hit back through Tom Burgess, the England international drove towards the line and reached out to score. Adam Doueihi also failed with the boot, 4-4.
The Rabbitohs gained momentum from the try as Hymel Hunt burst through the line before escaping the tackle and assist the supporting Campbell Graham to score. Doueihi missed from the side-line, 8-4.
Both sides started to make changes, particularly the Warriors and Anthony Seibold’s side started to take advantage as Damien Cook and Johnston broke down the field. Wigan’s defence was in trouble and Liam Marshall was soon sin binned for a professional foul.
South Sydney were quick to capitalise on the extra man. The play was spread to Wigan’s depleted left side allowing Richie Kennar to get on the outside and score. Damien Cook took the conversion and narrowly missed, 12-4.
Wigan settled again and pulled themselves within touching distance as quick hands on the right edge saw Davies get over for his second after a video ref consultation. The score 12-8 at half-time.
HALF TIME: Wigan Warriors 8-12 South Sydney Rabbitohs
The second half was a much tenser affair as both teams went set for set for quite some time.
Wigan had a number of younger players on the field as the game wore on with young props Callum Field and Gabe Hamlin getting plenty of game time as well as utility back Craig Mullen.
Eventually, it was the Rabbitohs who began to turn the screw with four goal line drop outs in succession. However, Wigan were resolute to hold them off.
The Rabbitohs went close to sealing the game as Mawene Hiroti danced towards the line before he grounded on the line but only after a double movement.
Pressure on the Wigan line eventually told at the death as Doueihi latched on to a Mark Nichols offload close to the line. Doueihi then added the first and only conversion of the game, 16-8.
FULL TIME: Wigan Warriors 8-18 South Sydney Rabbitohs
Wigan Warriors – 8
Tries: Davies 2.
Goals: Tomkins 0/2.
South Sydney Rabbitohs – 18
Tries: T. Burgess, Graham, Kennar, Doueihi.
Goals: Doueihi 1/4, Cook 0/1.
Wigan Warriors: 1. Sam Tomkins, 2. Tom Davies, 3. Dan Sarginson, 4. Oliver Gildart, 5. Joe Burgess, 6. George Williams, 7. Sam Powell, 8. Tony Clubb, 9. Tommy Leuluai, 10. Ben Flower, 11. Joel Tomkins, 12. Liam Farrell, 13. Sean O’Loughlin.
Interchange: 14. John Bateman, 15. Ryan Sutton, 17. Taulima Tautai, 19. Willie Isa, 20. Morgan Escaré, 22. Liam Marshall, 23. Josh Ganson, 24. Jake Shorrocks, 25. Romain Navarette, 27. Callum Field, 30. Gabriel Hamlin, 38. Craig Mullen, 39. Liam Paisley
South Sydney Rabbitohs: 1. Alex Johnston, 2. Richie Kennar, 3. Hymel Hunt, 4. Robert Jennings, 5. Campbell Graham, 6. Adam Doueihi, 7. Robbie Farah, 8. Tom Burgess, 9. Damien Cook, 10. Mark Nicholls, 11. Tyrell Fuimaono, 12. Dean Britt, 13. Jason Clark
Interchange: 14. Connor Tracey, 15. Lucky Taavale, 16. George Burgess, 17. Tevita Tatola, 18. Mawene Hiroti, 19. Jacob Gagan, 20. Siosifa Talakai
Referees: Henry Perenara and Alan Shortall (Assistant)