Half-backs are making their mark

Wigan Warriors' Blake Green
Wigan Warriors' Blake Green

SHAUN Wane believes half-back pairing Blake Green and Matty Smith have put down a strong marker for the rest of the campaign.

Questions were asked in the off-season about whether the new-boys could take over from the departed Thomas Leuluai and Brett Finch.

The early signs have been extremely encouraging, with Salford put to the sword on the opening weekend and title-favourites Warrington being pushed all the way in a 17-17 thriller last Friday.

“The halves at Wigan always get talked about but it doesn’t mean anything to me,” Wane acknowledged.

“They don’t feel any pressure from me.

“I just want them to improve every week and when they stop doing that is when I get involved.”

Green was instrumental in creating numerous chances for Wigan against the Wolves with clever passing and a sharp kicking game – something Warriors fans have been craving for some time.

Smith was also sharp despite copping a cut to his face, forcing him to change his bloodied shirt twice and which required seven stitches after the game.

“He looked a bit of a mess in the dressing room but he was posing after,” Wane joked.

“He’s a tough kid but that’s why I signed him – I like him.

“He goes at the line and plays nice and direct.

“He gets belted when he has passed which happened a few times on Friday night, but that’s the sort of half I want.”

Not that Wane was totally pleased with everything he’d witnessed.

“I thought we were a little bit dumb in our attack against Warrington,” he added.

“I’m fairly pleased with a point against a team we’ve struggled against in the past few years, but I think we could’ve been a bit more clinical.

“As a team we are way off the finished article, but there are good signs.”