Wane praises Warriors’ hunger in Giants killing

Wigan Warriors' Taulima Tautai is tackled
Wigan Warriors' Taulima Tautai is tackled

Shaun Wane heaped praise on his players after they roared back into play-offs contention.

Their 18-4 win against Huddersfield moved them to within two points of St Helens - and three off fourth-placed Wakefield - with five league games to go.

Wane had demanded a much more tigerish defensive outing after last week’s loss at Leeds and his players responded, limiting the Giant to a solitary try in a scrappy game.

He said: “I’m very happy, we showed up with a great attitude. We have to remember they’ve been flying, and they have some good attacking players in their team, so to defend that way we did was great.

“We were hungry. The players have had a shocking week, a horrible week and they didn’t like it.

“They turned up with an attitude to defend and we saw the benefit. Huddersfield put on plays but they didn’t look like breaking us.”

Jermaine McGillvary scored Huddersfield’s only try in the 10th minute, which was cancelled out by Anthony Gelling’s touchdown. Liam Farrell’s try, with two Sam Powell goals sandwiching half-time, put Wigan 12-4 ahead before Sam Tomkins sealed victory in the final seconds.

The drizzly conditions and greasy surface conspired to limit attacking chances for both sides, and Wane cut the players some leeway for the errors.

“We did some good things with our attack,” said Wane, who questioned why sprinklers were on the DW Stadium surface before the game.

“The score could easily have been 30 points if Budgie (Joe Burgess) could have put the ball down a couple of times.

“The condition were terrible. Why we’re watering the pitch... it was horrible, it was tough, there’s no way you can do anything with that.”

Wane reported no fresh injury concerns.

Giants coach Rick Stone said: “I think the opposition were a bit better, a bit hungrier.

“We threw plenty of bullets at them but they defended with a bit more intent. In the overall game.

“The effort was good, but against a quality side you need some quality last-play finishes. We weren’t terrible but we weren’t quite good enough.”