RELIEVED Michael Maguire saw his team secure a Challenge Cup quarter-final spot yesterday – but they were given a huge scare at Bradford.
The Bulls were reduced to 12-men when Gareth Raynor was sent off in the 32nd minute for a high shot on Sam Tomkins as he crossed for the try, and made the Super League champions fight all the way for their 26-22 victory.
Maguire thought the red-card was the right decision. “He didn’t miss him, that’s for sure,” he said.
“Sam was out of it – thankfully he’s okay.”
Bulls coach Mick Potter disagreed with Maguire’s assessment and thought Raynor should have stayed on the pitch, saying his challenge was a badly-timed attempt to dislodge the ball.
He said: “I thought he was trying to stop the try, it was a turning point in the game and that was evident for everyone to see.”
Tomkins didn’t return to the game and his loss disrupted Wigan’s attack.
The Test full-back appeared groggy after the game, but should be fine for Wigan’s next match – at home to Hull KR a week today.
As well as Tomkins’ try, Australian Pat Richards crossed twice and kicked three goals, with Brett Finch and Liam Farrell grabbing the other touchdowns, but it was a far from slick display from the Warriors.
“In the Cup it’s the win that counts and we’ll take that, but we need to make sure we’re better than that,” added Maguire.
Wigan will discover this evening who they will face in the quarter-finals on the weekend of July 23-24.
The other seven sides in the hat are: Huddersfield, St Helens, Leeds, Hull FC, Hull KR, Castleford and Warrington.
The draw is at 6.45pm and being shown on BBC Look North (Sky channel 976).