Bibby aims to cement regular spot in Wigan team

Jake Bibby is reaping the rewards of being versatile... but admits he would like to cement a regular spot at Wigan.

Saturday, 22nd May 2021, 8:30 am
Jake Bibby scores against Leigh Centurions.

The utility-back’s two tries against Leigh on Monday night saw him go top of the Super League tryscoring charts, with eight.

And he is hoping to continue his strong start to the campaign when he faces former club Salford today.

Bibby doesn’t lack for support but he admits: “I don’t think any of my family and friends have any money on me to become Super League’s top try scorer.

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“I don’t think they expected it. I think they’re probably kicking themselves!

“It’s a good position to be in. Putting my name out there and it’s doing wonders for me, so I’m just relishing it really and hopefully it can continue.”

Bibby, who joined his hometown club from Salford ahead of last season, is content on the wing or at centre, and is happy to play on the left or right.

But he reckons his form would improve another level if he could nail down a regular spot and work on combinations with those around him.

The 24-year-old, who played left centre against Leigh, explains: “I like to say I don’t have a preference because then it works in my favour really.

“I played mainly left centre at Salford and when I came here I mainly played there but I can play on the right too.

“Attacking-wise, I’m a right-hand carry so that helps being on the right hand side but I can play on both sides. Defensively, it doesn’t bother me.

“It had been near enough a year since I last played at centre so in that game against Leigh, you’ve got to gather it all back again. It helped having Jacko there and the two tries I scored proved it.

“But I’ve not had the catch-and-pass I used to have and I’m a slow burner when it comes to things like that, like I’ve showed in my Wigan career.

“I’m the top league try scorer, I can’t really complain – but I’d like to settle down in one position eventually.”

Like his coach, Bibby has been surprised to see the Red Devils struggling this season following some heavy recruitment.

“If they just get a couple of wins together, they’ll be all right,” he reckoned. “There won’t be any troubles because their key players are of international standard.”

Wigan have had no such troubles in the league, marching to a perfect six from six while the 30-16 victory at Leigh shook off the hangover of their Challenge Cup exit.

And while it is a cliche to say cup disappointment is fuelling their Super League ambitions, in Bibby’s case it is certainly true, having been the only try-scorer for the losing side in successive Grand Finals.

“The Grand Final is one of the things I want to win bad, like proper bad,” he said. “It was taken from our hands.

“Now we’re out the Challenge Cup, the tunnel vision is towards Super League and I feel like if we cut those errors and penalties out, we’ll be good.

“We’re our own worst enemies. Look at the first half of games, it’s our own doing that puts us on our own try line, it’s not the other teams. If we cut all those errors out, we’ll be a hard team to beat, even though we’re unbeaten.

“The lads have had a good chat and we’ve said, ‘We don’t feel threatened defending our own try line.’ I’ve not felt one bit of pressure. The only time we feel threatened is when things get a bit quick and because of our own doing.

“We could face any team and they can chuck everything at us. We can hang in with anyone until the last second. Even in the Grand Final I didn’t think we were going to break.

“We might not be playing the best but I feel we’re slowly stringing things together and they’ll come towards the back end of the year.”