Wigan 16 Huddersfield 16: Five talking points
Five talking points from Wigan's 16-16 draw with Huddersfield...
1. It’s not uncommon for winning streaks to end against unlikely opposition. Wigan were flying in 2010 under Michael Maguire and lost for the first time at a poor Bradford side. Go back to 1998, the last time they had won their opening five in a row, the first defeat of the year was against Sheffield in that Wembley final. The fact Wigan still took a point from this game - and went top, courtesy of Castleford’s first loss of the year against Salford, ensured it wasn’t a bad afternoon.
2. Consider this Wigan starting side: Lewis Tierney at full-back, Dom Manfredi and Joe Burgess on the wings, Oliver Gildart and John Bateman at centre, Sam Tomkins back in the halves alongside Jake Shorrocks. Up front, Ryan Sutton is alongside make-shift prop Connor Farrell, with Micky McIlorum in the middle, and a backrow of Liam Farrell, Jack Wells and Sean O’Loughlin. Strong line-up, right? Now consider those were the players who - from the 8th minute - weren’t available to Shaun Wane, due to injury. Wigan weren’t good, but were they as good as they could be expected to be?
3. Games against Huddersfield are rarely great spectacles. For whatever reason, they seem slow, scrappy, flat. The scoreline ensured the finish was tense and exciting, and Danny Brough and Sam Powell both sliced drop-goal attempts, but in truth, neither side deserved to win. Credit to Wigan for giving participants from the Wigan run festival tickets to the match, and for arranging family activities before the game.
4. Tom Davies became the third academy-product to debut for Wigan this season - all wingers - and he had a promising debut. Shaun Wane said he did “okay”, which is measured praise from the coach. Davies even marked the occasion with a try - referee Chris Kendall was satisfied he touched the ball down before going in touch - though had the game been televised, it would certainly have been one for the video referee!
5. Danny Brough was linked with a move away from Huddersfield by The Sun newspaper... and the club weren’t happy about it. Coach Rick Stone said in the post-match press conference they were “as good as gold” amid talk of a bust-up, and the Giants later issued a statement in which managing director Richard Thewlis said they were taking legal advice.