Rugby League: Wigan hasten Oldham's freefall

Oldham 26 Wigan 32
Click to follow
The Independent Online
Oldham slipped closer to relegation as their spirited fight could not make up for the latitude they allowed Wigan last night.

Thoroughly out of sorts of late and rocked by further upheavals this week, Wigan are still capable of accepting gifts. That is what Oldham gave them, and especially winger Danny Ellison, in the first half.

Ellison, whose career has been blighted by injury, struck three times in the first 32 minutes and Oldham's defence made all his tries simple efforts.

Jason Robinson was allowed off the floor to supply his first, Simon Haughton came charging out of his own half to set up the second and Scott Ramson was guilty of hesitating as he chased Andy Farrell's kick for the third.

Oldham were on their way out of Super League and, according to the more gloomy prognoses, out of Rugby League altogether, but they at least showed a reluctance to go meekly.

David Jones before half-time and Paul Davidson after it scored sterling tries and the home team were suddenly only two points down.

But then Paul Atcheson and Francis Maloney collided going for the same pass and Henry Paul picked up to send Kris Radlinski over. When Robinson exploded through from halfway it again seemed to be all over.

Oldham were still not finished, however, Luke Goodwin spotting a gap to give them just a glimmer of hope, but then Andy Johnson finally removed all doubts by going over.

Oldham showed their continuing defiance with a last-minute try from Chris McKinney and emerged with rather more credit than an insipid Wigan. But unless they can win their last two matches, that is likely to be of little value to them at the end of the season.

Oldham: Atcheson; Ranson, Hill, Topping, Jones; Maloney, Goodwin; Temu, Stephenson, Lord, Davidson, Faimalo, McKinney. Substitutes used: Leuila, Cowan, Nuttall.

Wigan: Robinson; A Johnson, Connolly, Radlinski, Ellison; Paul, Murdock; Cowie, Hall, Hansen, Haughton, Cassidy, Farrell. Substitute used: Holgate.

Referee: D Campbell (Widnes).