Millward's home debut falls flat as London take the spoils

Wigan 18 London 22
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The Independent Online

The honeymoon period is already over for the new Wigan coach Ian Millward who, on his home debut, saw at first hand the challenge he faces.

The honeymoon period is already over for the new Wigan coach Ian Millward who, on his home debut, saw at first hand the challenge he faces.

Despite a surfeit of possession in a scoreless final quarter Millward's charges lacked the quality and composure to deny London their first Super League double over Wigan, as they moved into the play-off positions after their first victory on their travels this season.

"I was pleased with the attitude but our lack of patience with the ball and lack of understanding of how to build pressure cost us the chance to put them away," Millward said. "But long-term I am very confident, very positive."

The Broncos built a 20-10 lead before Wigan were handed a lifeline in controversial circumstances just before half-time. Play continued after the hooter had sounded, Kris Radlinski sending Brett Dallas over in the corner on the next play. Tony Rea, the London coach, remonstrated with referee Karl Kirkpatrick on the touchline but to no avail.

Wigan outscored the visitors by four tries to three, but Danny Tickle missed with three conversion attempts while in contrast Paul Sykes kicked five goals from five attempts for London.

Though Radlinski sliced over for an early score and Tickle marked his 100th Wigan appearance with a second, London, with Thomas Leuluai controlling midfield, took control. Kicks by Leuluai created tries for Nick Bradley-Qalilawa and Tyrone Smith after Luke Dorn scored the first.

Sykes extended London's lead with a penalty early after the resumption before Stephen Wild stretched over on the right on the hour-mark. But Wigan's last chance went when Harrison Hansen was unable to ground Dennis Moran's raking kick behind the line.

Wigan: Radlinski; Carney, Aspinwall, Melling, Dallas; Brown, Moran; Seu Seu, Newton, Hargreaves, Hansen, Wild, Tickle. Substitutes used: Godwin, Prescott, Guisset, Tomkins.

London: McLinden; Wells, Sykes, Smith, Bradley-Qalilawa; Dorn, Leuluai; Armour, Highton, Trindall, Purdham, Hopkins, O'Halloran. Substitutes used: Williams, Lolohea, Haumono, Mateo.

Referee: K Kirkpatrick (Warrington).

*Wigan have signed the Wests Tigers winger Pat Richards on a two-year contract and have released Wayne McDonald, who was on loan from Leeds and has now joined Huddersfield on an 18-month deal.

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