Whole different maul game

Dave Hadfield sees the push-over try tip the balance between the codes

It was not so much a case of lock up your daughters as lock up your railway stations when Wigan returned to Twickenham yesterday.

The cunning ploy of sending most of Wigan's supporters into the sidings at Richmond was partly responsible for keeping the crowd well below even its reduced 50,000 limit, however instructive that diversion could have been for Scott Quinnell. But in reality, there was never much chance that those wandering lost around south-west London would miss another propaganda coup for Rugby League.

Although Wigan were a very long way from being humiliated, this was a horses-for-courses occasion, with the sheer technical difficulty of getting the ball in their hands undermining all Wigan's good intentions until the game was long beyond them.

The most graphic illustration of the debilitating effects of not having the ball came when Henry Paul, such a torment for the opposition until injured in the Middlesex Sevens, squandered one of Wigan's few early scraps of possession with the clumsiest knock-on he will perpetrate between now and retirement.

The physical grind of chasing the ball and engaging in strange, unfamiliar procedures to try to win it also told on another of Wigan's great strengths.

They missed more tackles than they would in a dozen League games. If their opponents in Super League could subject them to 20 minutes of rucking and mauling at the start of every match, there would be hope for them all.

That was a point to ponder for the sprinkling of followers of other League clubs, who were present at the home of Rugby Union for the same reason that they traditionally go to Wigan's matches against the Australian tourists - because it is the best chance of seeing them beaten. Even they, I fancy, would have been relieved when Craig Murdock's try after Paul and Martin Offiah had made the running, removed the threat of Wigan being nilled.

The truly remarkable thing was that Wigan, for all the early pounding they had taken, found a second wind to finish as the stronger side. By the time that Va'aiga Tuigamala went over, it was Bath who looked the weary side. They certainly did when a move from behind Wigan's try line gave Murdock his second.

There is no answer in the Rugby League lexicon, however, to the push- over try and Bath were able to gain a measure of revenge at the end of what has been an intriguing experiment, even if it will never replace rugby.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Learning Support Assistant - Newport

£65 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Due to the continual growth and...

Operations Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: I am currently recruiting for an Operati...

Project Coordinator/Order Entry, Security Cleared

£100 - £110 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Ham...

Senior Digital Marketing Executive

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based i...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz