Gelling’s the star as Joel makes his return

Joel Tomkins came on in the second half last night
Joel Tomkins came on in the second half last night
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Last night may have been Joel Tomkins’ reintroduction of a different kind of mauling as Wigan hammered Salford Red Devils but a beaming Shaun Wane singled out Anthony Gelling for praise.

The laid-back Kiwi scored three tries as his rise to form in 2014 continued with another competent display as Wigan romped to a 45-4 victory.

But Wane insisted there is still plenty of improvement in the 23-year-old Kiwi and the rest of the team.

“I’ll never be happy, I always want to improve and get better and there will be something to improve on, we’ll find it,” he said.

“Gelling went well.

“He’s an unbelievable athlete. He’s confident of himself, there are just certain traits what he had in his game we needed to get rid of.

“It’s taken time but we could see something in him that was special.”

Gelling has strung impressive performances together throughout this season and Wane is happy to see his hard work starting to pay off.

“He’s not only playing well now, he’s being consistent,” the Warriors boss explained.

“Every one of his carries is quality – I’m really glad we’ve got him.”

The winger was missing from Wane’s squad for last week’s 16-8 defeat to Bradford Bulls and the Warriors coach admits Gelling could have made a difference had he not been rested.

“We missed him last week,” Wane admitted.

“I was always going to rest him but he could have been the difference last week. I was always going to rest him.”

The Warriors players have endured a week of soul-searching following the shock result a week ago, and their response last night was exactly what Wane was hoping for, and expecting.

“It’s been a really tough week, probably our toughest and most honest while I’ve been head coach,” he said.

“We all get on well and I think the players like seeing me in a good mood. A performance like that – that’s exactly what it does.

“We have a lot of young players in our team – a lot of local kids and we’re playing against a team that’s been hand-picked from all over the world.

“To put 40-odd points on them with regulars missing, we’re in good shape.”

Wane was also pleased Tomkins got a night to remember on his second debut for the club.

With the game already won by the time the ex-Saracens star took to the field, Tomkins brought a ton of enthusiasm onto the field with him as the DW Stadium crowd got to their feet to applaud him on.

“With the ball he looked a handful – he’s a big athlete,” said Wane.

“I asked the players to make it a welcome back performance for him and that’s what they did.”

Warriors under-19s match against Salford at Edge Hall Road Orrell, scheduled for tomorrow with a 2pm kick-off has been postponed due to an illness affecting the Salford team.