Wigan Warriors coach Shaun Wane '˜satisfied' with performance
Shaun Wane was 'satisfied' with Wigan's display as they edged past Leigh in a physical pre-season friendly.
The score was locked 10-10 at half-time before Gabriel Hamlin crossed - in his first game for the club - and Jake Shorrocks sealed a 22-14 win.
Persistent rain and freezing temperatures made conditions difficult for both sides, but the aggressive exchanges and tight scoreline lifted the spectacle above the standard of some friendlies.
And Wane said: “That’s the most satisfied I’ve been from all the years we’ve been playing in these games.
“We did some good things and some bad things - but enough good things for me to go home happy.
“It was hard because of the conditions to put on the attacking sequences we’ve practiced.
“But we ground out a win, and it was a good hit-out.
“Leigh are a good team - they’re going to kill that (Championship) this year.”
Hamlin’s try crowned a solid first appearance for Wigan. Ben Flower, Morgan Escare and Shorrocks also made successful returns from season-ending injuries last year.
“I was chuffed when Jake got that try at the end, and all the players were,” said Wane.
“With Gabe, there are a few things he needs to improve on but overall he did well.”
The physicality of the match was illustrated by the number of injuries, with George Williams breaking his nose, Dan Sarginson copping a facial injury, Joe Burgess leaving the action early from a “whack” on his hip and forward Jack Wells rolling his ankles.
“You’d expect that from a tough game - none of them are serious,” said Wane, who will take a second-string side to Swinton next Sunday, just five days before the start of the season.
Leigh’s ex-Warriors hooker Mickey Higham was invited into the visitors’ dressing room after the match - his last before he retires to take up an off-field role at the Centurions.
“He’s a fantastic fella, we’ve just presented him with a bottle (of whisky) and he wished us all the best for the season,” added Wane.