Five things we learned from Wigan Warriors' pre-season victory away to Newcastle Thunder

Amos Wynn reflects on five talking points from Wigan Warriors’ 12-42 victory against Newcastle Thunder at the weekend.

By Amos Wynn
Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 12:11 pm
Wigan Warriors beat Newcastle Thunder at the weekend
Wigan Warriors beat Newcastle Thunder at the weekend

Wigan Warriors kicked off pre-season with a win over Newcastle Thunder at Kingston Park.

The side named by Matty Peet performed well, as they produced a 12-42 victory.

Here are five talking points from the game:

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1. Young players stepping up!

Throughout the last few years, a number of young players have been handed their chance in the first team for Wigan Warriors.

This has happened for a number of reasons, with some being naturally ready to step, while other coming in because of injuries.

Nonetheless, this is something that is only going to benefit Wigan and Matty Peet this season.

Despite the young age of some members of the squad; the experience they already have under their belts means they can play a big part this year.

The likes of Morgan Smithies and Joe Shorrocks really stepped up against Newcastle and took responsibility.

While they are not too much older than the other youngsters on display, they led the team really well and will be important figures this year.

2. A pool of talent waiting to step up!

The friendly game certainly showed there is a great set of players ready to step up for Wigan in the next few years.

Having a strong youth set up has always been an important thing for the club, and the tradition of promoting from within won’t stop any time soon.

Junior Nsemba was one the players to put on a strong display, with his efforts seeing him picked as man of the match.

Zach Eckersley was another youngster who stood out, while exciting things are also expected from Logan Astley going forward.

Meanwhile, Matty Nicholson, who is on loan at Newcastle from Wigan, was on the scoresheet as well, in what was a great showcase for the academy.

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3. Could a big year await Sam Halsall?

Scoring a hat trick is always going to catch the eye of the fans.

After Sunday’s match Sam Halsall was keen to praise his teammates for assisting his three tries, but certainly should take credit of his own.

The 20-year-old featured on eight occasions for Wigan last year, scoring three times.

This season, more opportunities will certainly present themselves to the centre.

While a bit of patience may be needed, he will have a role to play, and based on Sunday’s display, he won’t have any problems.

4. Tries for the new boys.

Patrick Mago and Abbas Miski put in solid displays in their first outings for Wigan.

Both of them also went over the whitewash, which is something supporters always love to see.

At times for them last season they really struggled to find a spark and find a try.

If the new additions can help to bring an extra threat in their different areas, then that will be hugely beneficial.

5. Newcastle would be a welcome addition to Super League.

Wigan’s opponents on Sunday are clearly building for the future and have a great set-up.

They have recruited some good young players, including a few formally of the Warriors.

Kingston Park is also a great little stadium, with fantastic facilities.

Furthermore, it would be a great away day for Super League fans and would help to grow the game up there.

A good number of Wigan fans made the trip at the weekend, and even more would follow if it was a competitive match.

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