A Vital Win At The DW

Category: Heritage

A Vital Win At The DW

On this day ….. 18 May

Thirteen years ago today, on 17 May 2007, Rovers beat Wigan 12-10 at the DW Stadium. It was their second win on the ground that season, and another very precious two points towards Super League survival. Having opened with four wins in five games, the harsh reality of Super League life had kicked in, and Rovers then lost their next seven league games. The run had been arrested with a derby win at the Millenium Stadium in the previous game, so with a rest weekend between, Rovers travelled to Lancashire refreshed in body and spirit, and with the influential Michael Vella back in their ranks.

Rovers showed intent from the start, and after Paul Cooke’s bomb was spilled, the Wigan defence had to be at their best to stop Vella, whilst Calderwood was alert to deflect James Webster’s grubber kick away from the supporting Stanley Gene. When Wigan did get moving, Ian Hardman did well to force Richards into touch. The hosts then ran a penalty from in front of the posts, but Rovers kept them out without alarm. A Rovers penalty attempt them came to nothing as Cooke’s kick drifted wide, but Rovers did take the lead on the half hour mark. Luke Dyer slipped through Leuluai’s tackle to score, and although Cooke missed with the angled conversion, Rovers led 4-0. Wigan replied, but although Fielden got the ball down despite the attentions of three Rovers defenders, he was penalised for a double movement. It was Rovers who extended their lead five minutes from the break, and Dyer was involved again. He kicked past Richards, gathered and passed inside to Hardman who strolled over. Cooke’s conversion made it 10-0 to Rovers at half-time.

The Warriors came out stongly after the break, but Goulding lost the ball as he crossed the line, and Cockayne produced a brilliant tackle to stop the rampaging Hock a yard short. But seven minutes into the half, Barrett dummied to the outside and cut back to take Cockayne over the line with him. Richards converted, and it looked like Wigan’s comeback was on. But interval rain had made the ball slippery, and after Fielden had knocked on, Hock was penalised for a high tackle on Vella, and Cooke made it 12-6 to Rovers on the hour mark. Palea’aesina got Wigan moving again, but Calderwood failed to take Leuluai’s long ball when he should have scored. As full time approached, Netherton shoulder-charged Barrett off the ball, and Wigan took advantage from the resulting penalty. Richards went high to claim Leuluai’s bomb out of the air and touch down – but his conversion attempt hit the post and Rovers were able to see the game out and claim their sixth win of the season.

The Rovers team that night was – Ben Cockayne; Ian Hardman, Luke Dyer, Jon Goddard, Byron Ford; Paul Cooke, James Webster (capt); Michael Vella, Ben Fisher, Jim Gannon, Chris Chester, Mark O’Neill, Stanley Gene. Bench: David Ward, David Tangata-Toa, Jason Netherton, Mark Lennon.

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