SHAUN Wane was stunned by Wigan’s opening day jitters – and promised a “brutal” review after Wigan went down to under-strength Huddersfield.
Two tries by prop Larne Patrick helped the Giants, missing seven regulars, to a 20-16 victory at the DW Stadium yesterday.
It was not the performance or result Wane wanted in his first competitive match as head coach, and he admitted he was caught by surprise by his players’ errors.
“I never saw that coming,” said Wane.
“We’ve trained really well and I’m very disappointed.
“I knew Huddersfield were going to be strong, they have some great players, and I drummed it into my players that they could play.
“We needed to be on the ball, and we just weren’t.
“The players are as distraught as me, which I’m glad about.”
Sam Tomkins’ first-half try saw Wigan trail 8-6 at the break following Lee Gilmour’s opener.
Liam Farrell and Sean O’Loughlin went over in the second-half but it wasn’t enough.
Wane was particularly disappointed with the way his pack was out-muscled by the Giants, their poor kicking and their finishing.
“We did bother them but our last pass options – and that’s an individual thing, not structural – were poor,” he said. “There were several times when we could have scored, and didn’t.”
Lee Mossop left the action with a head-knock, but Wane said he will be fine.
He has not promised anyone a position for Saturday’s visit of champions Leeds, however, insisting: “The front-row was an area they dominated, and that’s quite disappointing.
“I’ve got players outside the team who can play better than that.
“There were five or six individuals who weren’t up to scratch, and they know it.
“I’ll have a good look at the DVD and if some (other) players need to start, they will do.
“While I’m disappointed, it’s a long season, and everything can be fixed. And we 100 per cent will do.”
Giants coach Nathan Brown saluted his players’ display.
“It was a committed effort,” he said. “It was the best we’ve defended for a long time, they have some good players in O’Loughlin, Leuluai, Tomkins so the players deserve a pat on the back.”