Wigan. Blah Blah.

Well that was fucking shite.

By the time we get round to publishing this guff, the anger and annoyance might have subsided and what we state on here might seem a bit harsh in the cold light of day.

Or maybe not.

Either way, we have some fucking serious problems at this club right now.

A few years ago, we could have laughed it off and said ‘ah well, as long as we make the playoffs, we’re good enough on our day to beat anybody’.

Which we still are, by the way.

But since the introduction of the Super Eights concept, finishing in the top four is the aim, not just the top eight.

And after what happened the other year, we know better than anybody else that the reward for consistency is greater now than it has ever been in the Super League era and, as such, you simply can’t afford to be caught adrift after a bad start to the season.

Thankfully, Widnes and Huddersfield are getting tonked every week so there isn’t too much ground to catch up for those bags of shite around the bottom of the table, but it’s the likes of Hull and Leeds we really want to be catching up, let alone teams like Leigh and Salford already four points clear of us.

After last Saturday’s abomination, you’d have been hard-pressed to find a confident Wire fan going into the Wigan game, but when the teams were announced, you just got the sense that an embarrassment on national television was definitely on the way, didn’t you?

The joke went up around 7 o’clock to put a fiver on whoever was playing left wing for Wigan to score a hat-trick.

It was a kid called Liam Marshall, and it wasn’t fucking funny. Even less funny when you didn’t actually follow through with it – at odds of 50/1, mind.

That’s fifty to one. For a fully functioning human being to be able to score three times in 80 minutes past an edge defence of Matty’s Blythe and Russell.

We’d have probably put a quid on David Blunkett to score a hat-trick.

Two if his dog was playing centre.

The game went absolutely according to plan and the young lad making his second super league appearance for the crust munchers could play until his 45th birthday and probably not have an easier night than this.

There is no doubting we are suffering from injuries and do have three of the best players in the league – genuine match winners, difference makers and leaders in the team – missing, but there is no excuse for a lack of bottle and bollocks that the team are showing at the minute.

Especially not against this fucking mob.

They were loving it.

Leuluai, O’Loughlin and Williams were running the show for Wigan, while in reply, Brown was largely anonymous (his try assist at the end, notwithstanding) and Gidley looked utterly lost, resorting to running sideways across the field hoping a forward would hit a line for him.

Jack Hughes did against Salford last week and scored off it, but either nobody could be arsed this week, or they just lack the fucking intelligence to do so.

The only player who has come out of this opening month of the season with any credit is Joe Westerman.

After his ridiculous offload last week, the loose forward banged in a 40/20 this week, collecting the ball on the last more through desperation than design, making him the most creative player we have available at the moment.

He regularly tops the tackle count and never shirks the hard yards when we’re clearing our own line and on the top of that, he gets involved with the ball handling later in the sets.

So much so, that in all serious, he should be looked at as an option for Six for the visit to Leigh.

With Ratchford still out, those three pivots we keep banging on about just are not clicking, whatever combinations we use.

On top of that, our sheer stubborn determination to force the ball in the tackle, push the offloads and attempt expansive rugby just isn’t working.

We have seen players running into the same gaps at the halfbacks, balls not finding the right man and a general lack of direction and organisation in attack for four weeks now.

Something needs to change.

Everyone’s an arm chair coach, of course, but you’d have to be tempted to put an extra prop at 13 and play Westerman at 6, keeping it tight, five drives and a kick, grind out a win, etc etc etc.

Of course, that has never really been Tony Smith’s way.

His commitment to expansive, attractive, free-flowing rugby has been his trademark throughout his career, but as admirable as that is, at the moment, there just isn’t the quality or options to throw it around like that.

Whoever plays where next Thursday, the only thing that matters it that we leave Pennington Flash with the two points.

A defeat there would leave us six points behind the Leythers.

An unthinkable position in itself, but the gap between us and the top four needs to be cut before it’s too late. Otherwise it might be season over already.

 

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