HARDLY the start we wanted, or expected.
Wigan committed too many errors, too many times, kicked poorly and looked lethargic at times.
To their credit, they could have moaned about the referee, or asked for time for Shaun Wane to find his feet, or pointed out that they matched Huddersfield try-for-try.
Wane set high standards and they didn’t reach them.
Everyone can have an off-day and let’s hope we can put Wigan’s limp display against Huddersfield down to that.
We’ll find out this Saturday.
And if ever there was a fixture to ignite a great performance, Leeds is it.
I struggle to remember a boring game between these two teams, and there is plenty of friction there.
Ryan Bailey, in particular, has been a frequent pest with his niggly tactics and gloating.
The prop is set to make his 250th appearance for Leeds on Saturday. Let’s hope it’s not a memorable milestone.
IT took Phil Clarke to unknowingly convince me that Latics are not doomed yet.
If you didn’t see the return of Super League last Friday night, you missed a treat. Not only were there more Sky pundits than there were substitutes, but we also saw the introduction of a new gimmick – the Margin Meter.
A computer tries to predictsthe outcome of the game while it’s still being played. And so on Friday, it forecast – in order – Widnes to win by 12, Widnes to win by three, Widnes to win by 15 and Widnes to win by four.
In the end, Wakefield won by 18.
Bookmakers were hardly fearing for their livelihoods! The trouble is, the computer assumes trends will continue into the future. But this is sport, and we all know the real value of sport is that it’s unscripted, it’s unpredictable.
Which brings me to Latics. They’re bottom of the ladder and make no mistake, if they carry on as they have been doing, they will be relegated. For sure. No point glossing over the issue.
Roberto Martinez may have “enjoyed” their performance against Everton, but it’s results that matter now. There are 42 points up for grabs. They’ll need at least 20 of those to stay up.
The Margin Meter would tell you there’s no chance they can get that many, because they’ve been poor so far.
But just like sides can tumble from this point on (Blackpool last year, most memorably), so they can rise, too. Sunderland were in the mire a few weeks ago; now they’re closer to European places than the drop. It will take something special and have Latics got it in them?
I’m not so sure. Neither, though, were the Wakefield fans at Widnes last Friday.
FINALLY, my colleague Paul Kendrick does an excellent job finding quirky stats for the ‘Did You Know?’ section on this page, so much so that quirky facts often get squeezed out.
Take, for example, this week, when we discovered Chris Ashton’s PR consultant is none other than Andi Peters, whose first client, you may remember, was Edd the Duck!