- Game report as Wigan Warriors Wheelchair lose to Halifax Panthers.
- England trio Declan Roberts, Adam Rigby and Martin Norris were the scorers on Sunday afternoon.
- FT | Halifax Panthers 38-22 Wigan Warriors.
A stalemate at half-time was the result of a fierce duel between the two teams, but it was the Panthers who won the arm wrestling and clinched the two points on Sunday afternoon.
A trip to Bradford’s Sedbergh Sports Center was the destination for the penultimate league game of the season as the Halifax Panthers hosted the Wigan Warriors, with both teams vying for a top-two spot that would guarantee them a home game in the playoffs.
It was the Warriors who opened the scoring, with Declan Roberts overcoming an early penalty before following up with a try near the post. Another successful kick from the tee gave Wigan an 8-0 lead.
The Panthers brought in Jeremy Bourson and Seb Bachera from the Catalan Dragons to bolster their roster and it was Bourson who was on hand to hit back for the home side. With an all-round play, Bourson was able to leave the last Wigan defender and land in the left corner. Rob Hawkins added the extras and narrowed the gap to just 2 points.
The game was as tense as could be, the defense was solid and both teams struggled to assert themselves. A few foul tries were as close as Wigan came in the middle part of the first half.
On the way to the break, Wayne Boardman got away down the left flank and scored. Despite some debate about the grounding, the referee admitted the attempt. Hawkins then missed the conversion to leave Halifax by 2 points.
Back in attack, Wigan earned a penalty off the post with just minutes left, an opportunity too good to turn down for Declan Roberts, who went 10-10 at the break with the successful shot.
Early in the half, Tom Martin was at the bottom of a passing game from Fax that gave them an overlap and another try, quickly followed by a Seb Bachera try under the sticks. Hawkins converted both attempts to put his side ahead 22-10.
Wigan came back with two attempts of his own. First Matt Wooloff was able to put Adam Rigby in the right corner before Martin Norris was there to score Wigan’s third try on the hour. Consistent as ever, Roberts was able to hit the bull’s eye with both conversions and level the score at 22 apiece.
Between Wigan’s two tries, Halifax player Wayne Boardman was put 10 minutes in the mercenary trap for withdrawing the chair from Martin Norris. Despite the extra man, the Warriors struggled to convert the advantage, some mistimed passes and poor communication resulted in a change of possession. With Fax solidifying their position until they had full compliments again, it was clear to everyone where the game was going.
Halifax made the first move and regained the lead, Rob Hawkins scoring a converted try in the left corner. Tom Martin backed that up and was able to cross in the opposite corner for his second afternoon.
The final say went to Halifax and Hawkins, with the England international also completing his brace with a sprint down the left flank. Despite a missed conversion, it was now 38:22 for the Panthers.
Halifax Panther: Wayne Boardman, Seb Bachera, Tom Green, Rob Hawkins, Thomas Martin
Exchange: Julio Acevedo, Nathan Mulhall, Jeremy Bourson, Nathan Holmes, Coral Batey
Try: Bourson, Boardman, Martin (2), Bachera, Hawkins (2)
Goals: Hawkins 5/7
penalty box: Wayne Boardman.
Wigan Warriors: Chris Greenhalgh, Jack Heggie, Declan Roberts, Adam Rigby, Phil Roberts.
Exchange: Reece Duddle, Martin Norris, Nathan Roberts, Mark Williams, Matt Wooloff.
Try: D.Roberts, Rigby, Norris.
Goals: D. Roberts 5/5
Wigan Warriors host Leeds Rhinos at Robin Park Sports Center on Saturday 3 September. This will be the last league game of the season, we will then go into the playoffs on September 17th with the Grand Finals scheduled for October 1st.