Matt Peet full of pride for ‘special group’ following record-equalling World Club Challenge triumph

Wigan Warriors head coach Matt Peet shared his tremendous amount of pride for his group of players and coaching staff following the World Club Challenge win over Penrith Panthers.
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The reigning Super League champions claimed their fifth title to equal Sydney Roosters’ record in the World Club Challenge following a dramatic 16-12 win in a memorable night for the club, with a sell-out crowd of 24,091 at the DW Stadium.

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“Pure pride, I feel like I’ve got a special group of players to coach, a really tight group of players and staff,” boss Peet said.

Wigan Warriors won the World Club Challenge for a record-equalling fifth timeWigan Warriors won the World Club Challenge for a record-equalling fifth time
Wigan Warriors won the World Club Challenge for a record-equalling fifth time
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“I think the vibe through the club is excellent and I feel like that’s the positivity around the ground, the sell-out, the event that the club put on.

“It showcases the club, it showcases the competition and to win makes it a perfect night.”

Three chances was enough for three tries for the Cherry & Whites, scoring through Abbas Miski, Kruise Leeming and the match-winner from Jake Wardle, the only try of the second half

But it was Wigan’s defence that received the plaudits following the bruising victory, with only Nathan Cleary and Dylan Edwards crossing for the three-peat Australian champions in the first 40.

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“It was pure want, desire and commitment,” Peet continued, having now won the Challenge Cup, League Leaders’ Shield, Super League and the World Club Challenge as Wigan boss.

“It’s really caring about a game of rugby that symbolises a group of people, a town and a club.

“You don’t get that sort of commitment unless you care about one another, which is where my pride comes from.

“There’s a lot of good stuff going on in that game technically as well and systematically, the players work hard on that stuff.

“We were always confident that we could defend.

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“There were probably things we could have done with the ball that would have made the game a bit more comfortable, but that’s the challenge of playing an outstanding team.

“They take it out of you.

“Defensively, they’re very powerful athletes.

“But we were always confident that when we did get a look at Penrith, that we’ve got the ability there.

“Our good ball attack certainly looked clinical when we got a look.”

Superstar full-back Jai Field denied Taylan May of a match-winning score on the full-time hooter, his third try-saving of the brutal encounter.

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The effort was sent upstairs to the video referee as a no try, with the on-field decision supported after the 80 minutes had gone.

“Jai has been saving tries for seasons, I can remember a handful of him doing the same thing,” Peet said.

“I think he’s becoming one of those players when people get against him one-on-one, you sort of expect him to make it.

“He works very hard on that, he probably saved two or three tries tonight, if not more.

“It’s a credit to his desire and athleticism.”

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Meanwhile, the club will monitor try-scorer Leeming after the interchange hooker lasted just 12 minutes before going down the tunnel with an ankle injury.

Prop forward Liam Byrne also left the field in the latter stages for a head injury assessment with an update to follow.

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