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  1. I don't really get the criticism of Child from the coaches. After that debacle any coach who isn't focusing on the actions of their own players is burying their heads in the sand. Refs will make mistakes during games but they don't all end up in mass brawls. I thought the unfortunate thing was that Child had to end the game by the book and couldn't just allow the clock to run down during the first incident. It was nailed on that it was going to kick off again but he was hamstrung by the laws and there was not much he could have done at the end. He basically had to give the penalty - restart the time and let them come together and then do the same thing again immediately after. Brawls do happen in RL and to be honest I don't think it's a huge issue. There was a brawl in baseball game last week and all that happened was the sport got even more exposure in places it doesn't usually get. What happened in the stands IS a big issue though. To some extent it shouldn't be that surprising. Football has trouble with fans fighting and RL has fans from the same demographics - perhaps it's just the fact that RL attracts smaller crowds that means there isn't as much trouble. I'd like to think that's not the case and that on the whole RL fans can behave themselves but stuff like this looks terrible for the game. Clubs and the governing body need to take a tough stance on things like this. It can happen at any club. There will always be idiots in society who want to act like thugs and it's not necessarily a reflection on a club if half a dozen morons cause trouble - but they have to make sure those half a dozen morons are no longer allowed at the club otherwise there's no deterrent.
  2. It was a good time to play Hull given the short turnaround (which probably shouldn't have happened) but then it really should be a good time for clubs to be playing Wigan given we're relying so heavily on youngsters like Smithies, Partington and Byrne. Their efforts in the last few months have been phenomenal. With the injury to O'Loughlin it's likely we'll have to keep them in the side for the rest of the season but at present they are earning their places. The game itself was far from a classic. I was a bit disappointed with the way Wigan played, particularly in the first half where we didn't really make use of any good field position we had. It's good to get the win though and it's an important one in the fight for 3rd place. Hopefully Ben Flower can return at some point but he's the only one likely to come back who could make a difference. There was talk of Greenwood being in contention but in all honesty with the concussions he's had this year I'd be worried about the club playing him again this season.
  3. The frustrating thing is that it seems to happen on a regular basis with certain Wigan fans at away games and yet as far as I'm aware the club hasn't made any comment on it at all. The small moronic minority of our fans are probably the worst for stuff like this and it's presumably because the club just does absolutely nothing about it, therefore they clearly tolerate it. I was stood down wind of the smoke bomb and because it's a roofed stand all the smoke just built up and traveled into the corner of the stands. Anyone with asthma or other respiratory issues would have been at risk and there's the obvious risk of someone getting burned too. Juvenile behaviour but unless clubs take it seriously they aren't going to stop.
  4. But it wasn't going to happen and Saints would have been confident of that, and even more so once we'd failed to score. They needed to take the points when they could get them.
  5. Good summary. With regards to Wigan kicking the penalty to make it 6-4 I actually thought it was the right decision. It wasn't at a time when we were putting pressure on the Saints line, it came just a couple of minutes after going 6-2 down, when Leuluai was off the field for a concussion assessment and it was pretty much a gift of 2 points we hadn't earned. It was either a guaranteed 2 to put us within a penalty of drawing level or going for 4 which was never going to happen. They chose to come away with 2 points rather than 0. Closing the gap was the right choice but unfortunately our defence buckled before half time. Amor really made the most of coming up against Bullock and Byrne, who aren't the best of defenders. I don't think I've seen Amor run as hard as he did last night for ages. Our bench of Shorrocks, Hankinson, Byrne and Bullock shows how weak we were in that department.
  6. As mentioned above, the packs were the difference. Saints have a better pack to begin with, but take some key players out of the Wigan side (and crucially, the most experienced ones) and it was always likely to be one sided. Saints had Thompson and Walmsley starting against Navarrete and Partington. On the bench Bullock is hit and miss and not quite Super League ready, Byrne is 19 and not quite good enough yet. When they are coming up against two props who are good enough to play on the world stage and backed up by players like McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Amor then the odds are never looking good. Add to that Bullock and Navarrete picking up injuries during the game and the team is down to the bare bones in the front row. Next week against Wakefield is going to be one hell of a tough game for us. Their big pack causes us problems most times we face them and with Lockers, Flower, Clubb, Greenwood, Bullock and Navarrete possibly missing and Tautai and Hamlin having gone we're a bit screwed right now.
  7. The Skolars dual reg has never really been a long term thing. The only player who played there as a dual reg player for any length of time was Craig Mullen, and he was very much on the naughty step at that point. James Barran is on a season long loan there from us but didn't play that week - so presumably we allowed Smith to go down and replace him in the halves for that game. Sam Grant is also on a season long loan from us (although hasn't played in a while) and Joe Brown was too before he re-signed with Bradford. Swinton is the main dual reg partner and it seems we'll let players go down to Skolars if they are in need of someone to cover.
  8. Sarginson leaving isn't a huge blow but I do think he's an underrated player. It seems like he's heading to Salford and they'll have a decent player on their hands but really he should be playing at fullback. He's never looked completely comfortable as a centre, whereas I don't think he's had a bad game at number 1. As a fullback he'll be a cracking signing for whichever team he goes to. We've had some good performances from Hankinson in recent weeks which is promising, and maybe Bibby will surprise a few and be a useful addition. I wouldn't say Sarge is the ideal centre for us but relying on Hankinson and Bibby could be considered risky. Still some work to do on the recruitment front I think.
  9. Being photographed in the shirt is odd. It's the kit of a team they'll be playing against and not a shirt they'll ever actually wear. I can understand that being an issue. Even at best it's just very tacky. Holding a bit of £10 tat from the club shop with the team name on it seems neither here nor there though.
  10. Out of interest, what on earth is wrong with a player being photographed holding a scarf with the name of the team they've just signed for? Seen such a big deal made of it, and it's just a scarf...
  11. I don't think you can question Wigan's approach to bringing through young players given how many get their opportunity. I think with Smith initially there would have been a risk in chucking him into a side with so many injuries than wasn't playing well. We had some key players missing but still had options in the halves. I think Lam was keen on giving Jake Shorrocks an opportunity, and Shorrocks himself was a very promising player whose development was hampered by injury problems. Shorrocks was probably ahead in the pecking order at that time and getting 1st team games while Smith was getting games at Swinton and Josh Woods playing regularly for Leigh. All our young halves were playing some 1st team rugby which is good. I'm not sure whether Smith was always going to be recalled from loan or if it's more a case of Swinton needing forwards more than they need halves. I think clubs can only play a maximum of 4 dual reg/loan players from one club and at present the Lions have Samy Kibula, Jack Wells, Liam Byrne and Craig Mullen playing regularly. If there's a limit on how many can play for one club then there may have to be some periods where certain players don't feature. If the younger players aren't playing for Swinton then London Skolars are our other dual reg partnership so they go down there. Dual reg with Skolars isn't ideal as they only turn up on game day but I guess it does challenge some of these players to play in situations outside their comfort zone. I'm sure Smith will get his chance but at present both Williams and Leuluai are playing very well and Sammut was also very impressive against Salford. You have to balance giving young players a chance with ensuring the 1st team is stable and playing consistently well. You can't just chuck young players in whenever you feel like it if you're chasing consistency.
  12. No it doesn't. Hastings doesn't seem likely to stick around in Super League for long so he's only a short term option. Leuluai is approaching his mid-30's and might not even play next season while Sammut is also in his 30's and next year is the last of his deal. Plenty of opportunity for Smith to force his way into the side. Wigan will need depth in the halves and hopefully we'll still have enough next year.
  13. It's not spurious to bring up Bateman though is it? Bringing Bateman up is an example of how previously the club gave out an 8 match ban, which could have seriously harmed the clubs on field performance, as a result of his off field misdemeanor. It's an example of the club taking a strong stance against an off field indiscretion. That's what the club should be doing. Him developing into a world class player isn't really relevant to his punishment is it? It shouldn't matter how good or bad someone is, they should be banned for poor off field behaviour, as Bateman was. Hardaker went to rehab but apparently didn't get fined and definitely didn't get a ban. Hamlin is back in Australia because he chose to go back to Australia. The club haven't really had much of an input at all when it comes to Hamlin because they won't have heard from WADA yet. Tautai facing deportation is a sad state of affairs and if you read my previous comment you'll see I do have sympathy for the situation he and his family may face. His life could be turned upside down for this mistake and punishment for an offence should only go so far. I believe he will need support and one of the good things about Wigan is that they will provide good support for him. What I do think is that Hardaker, Mullen and now Tautai should have received a suspension much more in line with what Bateman received. Even suspending them for 4 matches in line with Joel Tomkins' drunken outburst would have been a step in the right direction. Not suspending them at all though is not taking the offence anywhere near as seriously as they should. It's also worth bearing in mind that this isn't the first time Tautai has been caught drink driving. It happened while he was playing in Australia. His excuse back then was "I thought I'd be okay". His comments to the police on this occasion was "I just had a stella". To me that's not really coming across as someone who takes the potential consequences of his actions very seriously and I don't think the club should really be happy to employ someone with that sort of attitude to drink driving. Yes, maybe it's harsh to lay too much of this at Radlinski's door. I've been critical of him for other issues such as the salary cap debacle and the embarrassing Bateman press release and maybe that's led to a case of confirmation bias. However, he's been very vocal about Wigan having a great culture. That's really not something I'd be going on about when players repeatedly let themselves down off the field. The club can't stop players acting like idiots, but they can take a strong stance against it and actually punish them in a way that makes it seem like they don't condone it. Joel Tomkins was suspended for 4 games for verbally abusing a barmaid. Had he assaulted someone that night maybe he'd have gotten 8 games like Bateman did. If instead he had got behind the wheel of his car that night, endangered the lives of anyone unlucky enough to be out on the road at the same time and been stopped by the police, based on previous precedents, he wouldn't have been banned at all. That there would be the crux of my argument. The clubs response to drink driving offences is pretty pathetic compared to the good standards they've set previously. Maybe harsher punishments won't make a shred of difference, but at least the club would be taking the offences seriously.
  14. I'd say it's a drinking culture among rugby players more than a rotten culture in particular at Wigan. I just don't think you can say that the club are treating it as seriously as other drink related incidents. Joel Tomkins was suspended for 4 matches and fined for drunkenly abusing a barmaid. Bateman was suspended for 8 matches and fined for his alleged assault on a teammate. No criminal charges were brought in either of those incidents. Hardaker and Mullen were caught drink driving and neither received a ban from the club. There was no mention of any fine for Hardaker. I read that Mullen received a £1000 fine. I don't think there's a 4 match difference in severity between abusing someone while drunk and getting behind the wheel of a car while drunk and endangering the lives of people. In fact I think the latter is much more serious.
  15. I'm not sure why your response is quite so irate but I'll still respond. While Hardaker was convicted in Sept 2018 there was nothing stopping him from being handed a suspension to start at the beginning of the season. That way the precedent was set and when Craig Mullen was convicted of drink driving he'd also receive that suspension. I don't like drink drivers very much. I don't think clubs (and that goes beyond Wigan) take a tough enough stance regarding those who are convicted. Given it was one of many misdemeanors from Hardaker I feel like the club didn't really do the severity of the offence justice when handing out a punishment. With regards to him being 'parachuted' into the first team. There was competition for the fullback spot but Hardaker was immediately considered first choice before ever having played a game for the club and having committed a serious offence just a few weeks into his Wigan career. As Cheshire Setter said, I want the club to take a strong stance on drink driving. While I understand they can't watch over players 24/7 and they are ultimately responsible for their own actions I think the club should also make it very clear they don't want people who think it's okay to drink and drive playing for the club. I don't think that's an unreasonable position for the club to take. At times it feels like the club engages more and more frequently in damage limitation and attempts to brush things under the carpet.
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