Wane looks at positives

Assistant coach Shaun Wane took the positives from yesterday's pre-season match as Wigan's young guns were edged out 16-14 at Leigh Centurions.

Michael Maguire decided to rest his big-guns for the friendly encounter, with winger Shaun Ainscough and forward Chris Tuson the only players boasting Super League experience.

The young Warriors certainly didn't disgrace themselves and after clawing back from 10-0 down to level 10-10, they were leading 14-10 until a late Nicky Stanton try, converted by Mick Nanyn, snatched victory from their grasp.

But Wane was encouraged by the way the players handled themselves against Leigh's first-choice line-up, and says the players will benefit from the work-out.

The former Central Park prop said: "We knew Leigh were a big physical team and we are still learning a lot of new stuff that Michael has brought in.

"It did the job, I thought it was a much improved second half, the first half was a little bit disappointing but we spoke at half-time and corrected that."

A quickfire pair of tries from Stefan March and Ainscough drew the score level at half-time and after a spell defending their line in the second-half,

Tuson grabbed Wigan's third touchdown.

Maguire attended the game and sat alongside Wane in the stand, but allowed his No.2 – who won a reserves Grand Final last season – to take the hot-seat.

"Regardless of the score at half-time a few things happened I wasn't pleased about but we sorted that out at half time," said Wane.

"In the second half I thought we showed a bit of character, our plays were better executed.

"Leigh have some good players, they were a big, physical team, I thought we coped with it quite well. I thought all the front row in the second half did okay.

"I was grateful of the opportunity to take charge, Michael said a few words but it was a bit of a blast from the past for me after being in charge of the reserves last season. I enjoyed it."

Wigan's third and final trial match is at Warrington on Wednesday and Maguire plans to field his strongest line-up against the Challenge Cup


The game will serve as a testimonial for Wolves' Wigan-born Paul Wood.

Sean O'Loughlin was today expected to represent Wigan at a Super League media launch in London.

O'Loughlin, skipper for the past four seasons, is one of five players in Wigan's 'leadership team' though Maguire has yet to name the other four.

Wigan are urging fans to snap up their tickets for the first fans' forum of the year.

The event takes place a week on Wednesday (February 3) in the Marquee at the DW Stadium and all previous fans' forums have sold out.

Maguire will also be attending next week's event, which starts at 7pm.

Tickets cost 2 from the stadium's ticket office, Warriors World in the Grand Arcade or by calling 0871 66 33 552.