Wane praises players for '˜ruthless' finish
Shaun Wane heaped praise on his players as they grew in strength to win their first home game in nearly six months.
They battled back from 16-0 down to beat Widnes by 32-16.
The Warriors dominated the second-half but it wasn’t until Sam Tomkins crossed with five minutes to go - and opened up a two-score lead - that they could relax.
Wane said: “Fair play to Widnes, they started off fast and the next thing, we’re 16-0 down. So for the players to get out of that hole and turn it around was really impressive.
“They were simple fixes for us to make.
“We were a bit more ruthless towards the end, we had more composure in the final third and we were a bit more patient. I was happy with what we did in the second-half.”
Wigan had their chances in the first-half but far too often, their attacks crumbled.
“This was an awkward game, with the last few weeks, not getting on the field during the week, the weather.. it’s been a difficult week, for us and for all the sides,” said Wane.
“I thought Widnes were good for their 16-0 lead, they threw the ball about. They’re down on numbers, they have players to come back, but we showed some fighting spirit and I was really impressed with them. We did some good stuff in the back end.”
He had particular praise for Thomas Leuluai, who played longer than expected because Morgan Escare rolled his ankle in the second-half.
“Tommy has been really ill all week, he’s not trained, and I thought he was outstanding,” said Wane. “He really toughed it out - he was touch and go whether he was going to play.”
Wane felt Joel Tomkins had one of his best games, praised his back-row and both wingers, including recalled Joe Burgess.
Widnes coach Denis Betts said: “We gave Wigan too many chances and we ran out of steam, we ran out of punch. Some players let themselves down with basic, fundamental stuff and it’s unacceptable.
“We got bullied in the second-half, we got battered by a very physical, good side. They taught us a lesson in the second-half.”
Meanwhile, Wigan owner and chairman Ian Lenagan admitted he was “disappointed” with the 18,000-plus attendance which watched their friendly against South Sydney last month.
Writing in his programme notes, he said the trip was profitable but the lower-than-expected crowd at ANZ Stadium “impacted on our financial return.”
In other news, Wigan’s reserve game against Leigh tomorrow has been postponed because of the weather. The Under-19s play at Widnes.