Ashton-under-Lyne 14 - 24 Wigan
By Daniel Morris
Wigan 'Proffitt' with away win
Wigan resumed their league campaign with a trip to mid table, Ashton-under-Lyne, under pressure to keep up the chase on league leaders, Manchester Medics.
Despite some less than favourable pre-game omens, the Wigan side started brightly and scored within 40 seconds. Jack Proffitt continued his good form with a 40-yard break down the right wing. Proffitt cut inside and drew the full back before setting Connor Matthews on his way for the opening score, which Sam Gee converted.
Ashton regrouped and used the territory and possession well. Wigan defended resiliently and soaked up the pressure until hitting the opposition on the counter after 25 minutes. Wigan worked their way downfield before being awarded a penalty just 5 minutes from the opposition line. The penalty was taken quickly and the ball made its way to Jack Proffitt who fought his way over to score Wigan’s second try of the day.
The game settled into a forward battle and as the weather continued to deteriorate the handling started to suffer. With the game in its final play of the half, Wigan failed to gather a high box kick, knocking on in the process. What followed were farcical scenes as Wigan gathered the loose ball and stopped play before giving it up, having expected the referee to blow up for half time. In lieu of the referees whistle, the Ashton player played on and ran up the field unopposed to touch down under the sticks. Meanwhile, a melee had started in midfield which included most of the players from both sides. With no one deemed responsible for the fracas, the referee blew for half time. Half time score 7-12.
As the second half resumed Wigan again put pressure on the Ashton line and were awarded a penalty. A series of crash balls resulted in a ruck which Tom Wilson picked and fought over the line for Wigan’s third try.
At this point the momentum seemed to swing back towards the home side. Wigan fell foul of the law and picked up a series of sin bins, playing for a short while with only 12 men against the opposition’s 15. Despite this, Wigan countered again through the devastating running of Tongan back row, Sione Afu. Afu made the initial break before finding Adam Dwyer in support. Dwyer took the ball on and drew the defence before passing to Afu to take it in from 30 yards and secure the bonus point. Sam Gee added the conversion.
Again Wigan fell foul of the law. A series of penalties allowed Ashton within striking distance of the Wigan line and despite both players being on their knees, Sam Gee’s tackle was deemed high and dangerous by the referee. A penalty try was awarded and Gee was the fourth Wigan player sin binned as the game ended 14-24.
Wigan welcome Burnley to Douglas Valley this Saturday the 8th December with kick off at 14.15.