Matt Peet ‘pleased’ to see ex-Wigan Warriors youngster impress with recent opportunities at Leigh Leopards

Warriors head coach Matt Peet admits he’s pleased to see ex-Wigan youngster Umyla Hanley grab his recent opportunities with Leigh Leopards.
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The 22-year-old, son of legend Ellery, has had to wait for his first-team chances since making the move from the DW Stadium ahead of 2023 but has enjoyed a bright start to the new season.

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He has scored six tries in four Super League appearances in place of the injured Tom Briscoe, as well as a hat-trick in the 26-14 Challenge Cup sixth round triumph over Featherstone Rovers.

Wigan boss Matt Peet says it's pleasing to see Umyla Hanley take his recent chances at Leigh LeopardsWigan boss Matt Peet says it's pleasing to see Umyla Hanley take his recent chances at Leigh Leopards
Wigan boss Matt Peet says it's pleasing to see Umyla Hanley take his recent chances at Leigh Leopards
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“I worked a lot with Umyla and I’m pleased to see him showing off what he’s capable of,” Peet said.

“He’s a very talented lad and a good kid.

“I’m not surprised to see him doing well now he’s got an extended run, I always knew he had that ability.

“It’s always good to see a player delivering on their potential. He’s grabbed his opportunity with both hands and I wish him well.”

Wigan and Leigh go head-to-head for the first Battle of the Borough of the season in Round 7, with Adrian Lam’s outfit having only picked up one win from five so far this Super League season with defeats to Huddersfield Giants, St Helens, Leeds Rhinos and Salford Red Devils.

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But Peet has backed Thursday’s opposition to bounce back from their tough start, with the likes of Edwin Ipape, Tom Amone and captain John Asiata currently all sidelined through injury.

“They’ve still performed well in all of those games and I think everyone is expecting it [results] to turn quickly,” Peet said.

“Where they’ve been smart in their recruitment this year, they’ve identified a lot of young, hungry British players from other clubs; the likes of Lewis Baxter, Jack Darbyshire and Kavan Rothwell.

“They’ve probably got a squad now that can stand up to these periods a bit better.

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“It’s all a part of Leigh’s development as a Super League club. They won’t be losing for long, I don’t think.”

Wigan last faced Leigh in the ultimate round of the regular 2023 season, claiming a close 10-6 victory to lift the League Leaders’ Shield at the Leigh Sports Village thanks to tries from Jai Field and Jake Wardle.

Last season also saw the cherry & white outfit claim 34-6 and 44-18 wins over their local rivals, while Leigh’s last win over Wigan dates back to 2017 with a 50-34 result.

Previewing the upcoming Round 7 clash, Peet continued: “It is an exciting fixture in its own right.

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“It has been for a few years now, not just because of the local rivalry, but because Leigh have performed so well since their promotion and they play good rugby league.

“I think they’ll be highly motivated, full of energy and stinging from the weekend.

“After they got the sin-bin out of their system, I thought they played some good stuff.

“I don’t think it’s going to take long for them to turn the tide and we’ll have to do our best to make sure we perform this week.”

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