Positives from stalemate for Wane

Tony Clubb takes the ball up during Wigans 16-16 draw with Huddersfield
Tony Clubb takes the ball up during Wigans 16-16 draw with Huddersfield

Shaun Wane could take the positives from an afternoon which saw Wigan’s winning-run grind to a halt and his injury-list grow.

Morgan Escare’s penalty in the 73rd minute snatched a 16-16 draw against Huddersfield.

Despite only taking one-point, the Warriors moved clear at the top of the Super League ladder following Castleford’s 13-12 loss at Salford.

Wane said: “Credit to them, they came with a game-plan and it was played at the pace they wanted.

“It could have been worse - we could have lost and Cas not got beat!

“The atmosphere was poor, it was a flat game, and coupled with the loss of personnel I was happy with the draw.”

Forward Liam Farrell withdrew in the build-up with a pulled calf - suffered in training with England last week - and Wigan were hampered by the withdrawal of both captain Sean O’Loughlin and forward Jack Wells inside the opening eight minutes.

Wells rolled his ankle and O’Loughlin pulled his calf, and are both major doubts for Friday’s visit of Hull FC.

Of the 10 frontline players missing from this line-up, only centre Oliver Gildart has a chance of returning for the battle with the Challenge Cup winners.

Wane cut his players some slack for a sub-standard display.

“We had to reshuffle, we felt a bit sorry for ourselves, and there was a lack of intensity,” he said. “But we’ve been good this year so I won’t ride them too hard.

“There was no complacency, but it’s been a tough one - for staff included. This is not Cronulla in the World Club Challenge or Warrington away on Sky.”

Debutant Tom Davies scored a first-half try for Wigan, who trailed 14-10 at the break. The home side out-scored Huddersfield three-tries-to-two but didn’t lead at any stage in the game, thanks to Danny Brough’s superior kicking.

Both Brough and Sam Powell missed with late drop-goal attempts.

Giants coach Rick Stone said: “A point against the current champions is a pass-mark, and there was a good opportunity to take the full two points, because Wigan had injuries.”

Stone denied reports Brough is poised to leave the Giants after a bust-up.