Wigan Warriors boss Adrian Lam happy with progress after first outing

Adrian Lam felt Wigan's 28-18 win at Salford was a measured success as they dusted off the cobwebs ahead of the new season.

Sunday, 20th January 2019, 4:03 pm
Updated Sunday, 20th January 2019, 5:24 pm
George Williams threads a kick through during Wigan's win over Salford

He was pleased to see Zak Hardaker mark his first appearance in a Warriors shirt with a strong, 80-minute display and a personal haul of 12 points from a try and four goals.

And there were other performances which caught his eye, including prop Joe Bullock, who was one of nine players who backed-up from Friday's win at London Skolars.

New coach Lam, who is implementing a different style, says their performance was a work in progress as they build towards their Super League opener on January 31.

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"We weren't quite there, but I knew it would take some time," said Lam. "It's a different style, and they did it in parts, but there's some improvement to make.

"The result wasn't the priority, I wanted to have a look at some fringe players and make sure some new faces got the cobwebs out."

Hardaker was one of those new faces, and he played 80 minutes, including the last quarter at centre from where he scored a try.

"Zak's a big body, he's 6ft 4in and 105kg, and so he's just a machine so he could fill that centre role pretty good and I just wanted to see him play there and that gave Morgan (Escare) a chance at full-back," said Lam.

"I was happy with everyone, there wasn't anyone I was disappointed with."

Lam admitted there were still "two or three" spots available for his squad for the Super League opener at St Helens.

Sean O'Loughlin was rested and Thomas Leuluai was unavailable as he served a suspension from the Grand Final.

"It's a long season and we have a squad of 34, so I wanted to see how they fitted into the puzzle - there are two or three positions that are up for grabs and the staff will discuss that," added Lam, who reported no injury concerns.

Salford coach Ian Watson said: "It was exactly what we wanted, with the lift of intensity, playing a champion team like Wigan."

A Wigan side will travel to Barrow on Saturday for their third and final pre-season game.