Wigan 20 Leigh 0: Five things we learned

Liam Farrell in action against Leigh
Liam Farrell in action against Leigh

Five things we learned from Wigan’s 20-0 win against Leigh on Friday night...

1. Wigan’s defence was outstanding. Sean O’Loughlin whacked anyone who headed his way, Joel Tomkins was similarly impressive, and across the board there was a composure and resolve which stood up to anything Leigh threw their way. It was their first ‘nil’ of the season. And on top of that...

2. They had the attacking polish to score some points. Given the weather, heavy-pitch and disruptions with injuries during the game, it was never going to be the most attractive game. But George Williams proved the game breaker, laying on two Anthony Gelling tries with kicks - his second showing great vision to float an angled ball over to the right wing – and scoring a solo try himself.

3. Leigh played their part in an enjoyable, tough, if error-littered encounter. It is a measure of their expectations that coach Neil Jukes was disappointed they didn’t throw more at Wigan, but they certainly had a dig and on this evidence, they will surely trouble other teams this season. With a strong 3,000-plus following, their was a terrific atmosphere - it was great to welcome back another Wigan-Leigh derby. The reverse fixture at the Sports Village is on June 8.

4. Wigan have wing issues to resolve, with both Joe Burgess and Lewis Tierney leaving the action with knee injuries. With Dom Manfredi already out and the absence of full-back Sam Tomkins preventing the excellent Morgan Escare from providing wing cover, it means Liam Marshall – who made a solid debut against Leigh – is likely to keep his place for Thursday’s Grand Final rematch at Warrington. Shaun Wane is waiting for scan results to reveal the seriousness of the injuries, but was unconcerned and confident they had the cover to cope.

5. Ian Lenagan wasn’t happy with some of the reporting of their controversial late venue switch to Widnes – and used his programme notes to label it “false news”. To recap, on Thursday night Wigan postponed their Friday match to protect the DW pitch for Latics’ home game the following day. Then, on Friday lunchtime, it was announced the fixture would go ahead but at Widnes’ ground. “The events of last week have been widely publicised - generally inaccurately,” he wrote in the match programme. “I would ask that Wigan fans have faith in the management at the club rather than be distracted by the ‘false news’ circulated.”