SHAUN Wane refused to use tiredness as an excuse as Wigan slipped to a shock 36-28 defeat at Wakefield yesterday.
They had taken an 18-6 lead and were in the contest until the death. Liam Farrell scored two tries to become Wigan’s leading tryscorer in Super League, with 12.
But Reece Lyne crossed late on to settle a frantic encounter in which the lead exchanged hands five times.
The defeat sent the champions tumbling from first to third in the ladder – though they could go back top if they beat St Helens on Friday.
Wane’s men were playing their third game in 10 days following emphatic wins against Castleford and Widnes, and were missing several players.
But the coach said: “We lacked a bit of energy and gave away too many penalties. You can’t come to places like this and be so ill-disciplined. We were a bit dumb.
“That team was good enough to do the job, I don’t accept performances like that. I don’t want my players to give in to being tired, I want us to be tougher than that.
“We could have sneaked it with a bit more composure, but the best team won, Wakefield wanted it more than us.”
Sean O’Loughlin and Joe Burgess were among those missing, but Wane insisted he didn’t rest any players - and said all the absentees were due to injuries. Both of those players, as well as Gil Dudson and Dom Crosby, should come back into contention for Friday. Wakefield coach James Webster – celebrating his second successive win since taking charge – admitted they caught Wigan at a good time.
“I’m under no illusions we got them at a good time,” he said. “We had a massive advantage, in the time we had to prepare, and I don’t think they showed us any disrespect with the team they had out – that same team has put 40 points on other teams.”
Wigan’s 2015 signing, Taulima Tautai, starred for the Wildcats who leapfrog Salford in the ladder.