Wane: We can still defend title

Darnell McIntosh is tackled by Wigan Warriors' Sam Tomkins  and John Bateman
Darnell McIntosh is tackled by Wigan Warriors' Sam Tomkins and John Bateman

Shaun Wane has “no question” Wigan can still defend their Super League title despite another league game without a win.

George Williams’ 68th-minute drop-goal was the final score of a fast, open match at Huddersfield which finished 19-19.

Remarkably, these two sides drew in their meeting at the DW Stadium earlier this year.

The Warriors have now gone eight league games without a win - their worst league sequence in more than a century - ahead of the Super-8s split after four more rounds.

This result kept Wigan seven-points adrift of a top-four spot, and moved them a point further away from danger ahead of the clash between Catalans and Warrington, who occupy 9th and 10th spots.

Asked whether he still believed the Warriors could defend their title, Wane said: “Absolutely. I’ve no question, at all, about this group.

“Their effort was good, we were just a bit dumb today.

“We just need to be smarter.”

Wigan’s slow start hurt them, as they trailed 13-0 before finding their form, John Bateman and Liam Marshall crossing for tries.

Marshall then went over for a another try early in the second-half - taking his tally to 22 tries in 19 matches during his breakthrough campaign.

And Williams maintained his accuracy with the boot to put them 18-13 ahead.

But Jermaine McGillvary’s try poked the Giants back in front, Williams locked the scores, and both sides had chances in a frantic finish which went down to the whistle.

The entertaining ending made for gripping viewing but it proved scant consolation for Wane.

“Not good enough, too many penalties, too many errors,” he said.

“Danny Brough was good, his kicking game was a big difference, and they’re a good team - they’re flying at the minute.

“We showed some character and we had some chances to win.

“But giving penalties away on play five, and dropping the ball on play one - we can’t keep doing that.

“I’m not happy.”

Giants coach Rick Stone, by contrast, admitted he was happy with the one-point to stretch their unbeaten run to four games.

The Australian said: “I’m happy enough in the end. We had a good first 20 minutes, but we gave up the lead too easily.”