WE’RE often told that things even themselves out in football.
And Wigan Athletic at last found themselves on the right end of the footballing fortunes last weekend.
They left it late, but the 2-1 victory over Newcastle gave them a massive boost in their fight against the drop.
There was more than a suspicion of handball by Maynor Figueroa in the lead-up to Arouna Kone’s last-gasp winning goal, leaving the Geordies choking on the Newcastle Brown ale all the way home.
Figueroa, though, was the Wigan player harshly sent off in the opening exchanges of the corresponding fixture at St James’ Park. The Toon went on to 3-0.
Two wrongs, of course, don’t make a right.
But after a season of finding themselves on the wrong end of the decisions, there was something poetic about fate finally smiling on Wigan – when they needed it most.
CALLUM McManaman’s tackle warranted a red card.
He got it wrong, he injured a player, he’ll probably hold his hand up and apologise.
By this morning, the FA still hadn’t decided whether to take action. If it wants to reduce dangerous tackles, football needs the deterrent of automatic retrospective action by a match review panel.
LIAM Farrell’s stunning performances this season have hushed fears Wigan would regret letting Gareth Hock go.
Hock is banned from playing for Widnes this Saturday, under the terms of his loan arrangement.
A smart move or not?
Had Hock been allowed to play, perhaps this game wouldn’t face being over-shadowed by the visit of St Helens six days later. Perhaps his return would bump the crowd up a few hundred.
But results are far more important, and if Hock was allowed to play he has the talent to burn Wigan’s fingers.
BEING asked to choose between a team coached by Andy Farrell and one coached by Shaun Edwards is a bit like being asked who is your favourite child.
The fact Faz was in an England set-up boasting two other Wiganers, his son Owen and ex-Warrior Chris Ashton, swayed it last Saturday.
But Edwards’ presence as a key member of the Wales team ensured their Six
Nations victory could rightly feel a small sense of satisfaction. And mentioning Giz, nice to see his dad’s achievements at Warrington have been honoured, with former captain Jackie, a proud Wiganer, inducted into their Hall of Fame.
IN the pre-Six Nations hype of Owen Farrell’s talents – I shouldn’t have been shocked the Daily Mail dug up his birth certificate – there was an interesting quote from Kris Radlinski, Warriors’ rugby manager.
He said: “We still have our fingers crossed at Wigan that he will play for us one day,” he said. “For him to do everything he wants to in his career it is a box he needs to tick.”
Let’s hope he’s right.