Mark Calderwood's try five minutes from time yesterday decided a superb game that should have got rid of the bad taste left in Wigan's mouth after Good Friday's humiliation by St Helens.
They seemed certain to look for a drop goal in the deadlocked closing stages. Instead, Trent Barrett opened up play with a long pass to the right flank and Darrell Goulding showed his handling skills by moving it on for Calderwood to score the winner. It was rough justice for Rovers as Thomas Leuluai appeared to have lost the ball in a previous tackle and their second-half fightback deserved some reward.
Wigan started in an enterprising mood and it took a fine tackle by Shaun Briscoe to keep Calderwood out before they took the lead after five minutes when Barrett picked out Liam Colbon for the winger to go over.
Colbon's second try, nine minutes into the second half, was notable as an example of extreme sportsmanship. Chev Walker and George Carmont had been exchanging angry words after a tackle but, when Carmont's pass sent his winger over, Walker was the first to shake his hand. Walker had his own moment of celebration when he finished off a Ben Galea break to bring Rovers back into the game. Two minutes later they went ahead when James Webster dashed away from dummy half. There were four in support, Webster selected Clint Newton for a try which Paul Cooke converted.
Wigan drew level when Richards, who had missed a couple of earlier shots at goal, put over a penalty when Stanley Gene went high on Leuluai. They had no thoughts of settling for a draw, or one point from a drop goal. "You have to applaud their energy and resolve to go down there and score again," said Brian Noble of Wigan's winning try. His opposite number, Justin Morgan, magnanimously conceded that Wigan deserved the win.
He also had the coach's statutory moan about playing two games over Easter. The quality of this game was not the worst advert for that double workload.
Wigan: Richards, Calderwood, Goulding, Carmont, Colbon, Barrett, Leuluai, Fielden, McIlorum, Coley, Bailey, Hansen, O'Loughlin. Substitutes used: Higham, Paleaaesina, Tomkins, O'Carroll.
Hull KR: Briscoe, Steel, Walker, Jake Webster, Fitzhenry, Galea, James Webster, Vella, Cockayne, Mills, Gene, Newton, Murrell. Substitutes used: Aizue, Lovegrove, Cooke, Fisher.
Referee: B Thaler (Wakefield).Reuse content