Wigan Warriors fans give their verdict on the season so far
The season so far I’d say is a B- but they can achieve an A if they put their minds to it.
We are getting by, but we look a bit different this season, especially in attack.
Don’t get me wrong it’s been tough with key players being out but I think gradually, and especially lately, we seem to be adapting in attack and not relying too much on French.
The injuries have tested the squad depth which has been good quality.
I think the team looks a little lost at the minute, I’d like them to start showing higher morale and more togetherness.
In the Cup game against Leeds we weren’t matching their intensity in the first half so it was good to have Peet reading them the riot act to get more intensity out of the team.
We started the second half like a house on fire and that’s what won us the game.
It was good to see the team start offloading more, that second phase play will tire the defence out and create more opportunities in attack.
As we approach the halfway point of the regular season, the Wigan team find themselves in a familiar position, just as most would have predicted.
Despite facing consecutive losses in the Super League, the Warriors currently hold the second spot and remain competitive.
Their recent triumph over the Leeds Rhinos in the Challenge Cup has provided them with an additional boost.
While there is room for improvement, the situation could certainly be worse.
It's worth noting that Wigan are yet to find their rhythm, particularly in terms of their offensive game.
This can be attributed, to some extent, to the absence of several key players at different stages of the season, such as Jai Field, Cade Cust, and Liam Marshall.
On a positive note, Bevan French has played a pivotal role as a fullback, while Abbas Miski and Iain Thornley have contributed with significant yards gained and tries, showcasing their value to the team.
Joe Shorrocks also stood out as a makeshift half, impressing against Leigh, Saints, and Warrington, although his performances have declined in subsequent matches.
Defensively, Wigan has fared reasonably well, despite being short-handed due to the prolonged absence of players like Singleton, Cooper, and going forward Isa, Havard, and Pearce-Paul.
Another concern for the Warriors is the inconsistency of Harry Smith's goal kicking, despite his impressive in-game kicking.
This has resulted in uncomfortably close matches, even against opponents they should have dominated, like the cup game against Leeds.
Conversions may become the deciding factor in closely contested games if this issue persists.
Matt Peet, with pride, emphasises the importance of the Wigan pathway, which will be crucial for the team moving forward.
Wigan's upcoming four league fixtures will pit them against teams currently placed 3rd, 4th, 6th, and 7th in the standings.
With only a four-point gap separating 2nd and 8th place, it is crucial for Wigan to secure positive results on the road, otherwise, they run the risk of slipping out of the play-off positions.
Adding to the pressure is the Challenge Cup quarter-final match against table-toppers Warrington, further intensifying the significance of the next critical month of the season.
Well into the season now and we have already seen a few ups and downs.
I am often reminded that the cups are not handed out in May or June and although our brief stint at the top of the table was nice, there seems at times a psychological barrier stopping us remaining there with some consistency.
This is of course most unfair of me to say as along with our desire to reach the top, everyone else perhaps, with the exception of Castleford or Wakefield, wants to do the same.
The game is just getting more and more brutal as these young athletes compete to be the best and the fearless approach often shows scant regard for their self-preservation.
This often leads to injuries and we do have our fair share at the moment.
Our forwards in particular have been dropping like flies with Isa and Harvard added to the list this week.
When you watch lads like Harvey Hill and Junior Nsemba step up to the mark and plant their flag firmly in the first team squad it just shows how much quality in depth we have at the club.
Matty Peet has a difficult task ahead though. Not in choosing the best of the bunch but managing these young lads and being careful not to over expose their bodies to the rigours of Super League rugby.
That said, Nsemba certainly did not look out of place at Headingly with a wonderful display capped with a great try for the lad.
He made some errors mainly in positioning himself but that I think was due to the pace of the game and his inexperience at that level, but strong in defence and determined in attack both on and off the ball, he has a great future ahead of him.
After the previous week's loss, it was important to bounce back and we did that in so many aspects of the game, determination being the biggest added ingredient.
For our efforts, we get to play another of this year's big hitters in Warrington.
I think we can be pleased with the season so far.
The obvious highlights were the three wins on the bounce against Leigh, Saints and Wire, but we are sitting second as we speak and in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals.
However there are a number of tricky encounters to overcome in the next month, with a lengthening injury list, particularly in the forwards.
Losing Havard in particular is a big blow, and things could change at any time, as the race is very tight for second spot at the moment.
The league is very competitive and has seen teams such as Hull KR and Leigh emerging as real threats.
It was a great comeback win against Leeds on Saturday, in what was an enthralling game, which ebbed and flowed and the result in doubt till the very end.
It was nice to see us create more chances with ball in hand, and looking like we could post points on most attacks.
I thought Wardle and Smithies stood out particularly, but it was a good team effort.
It’s been a bit of a mixed view on the season so far.
Highlights being the three consecutive victories over Leigh, Saints and Wire0 which I thought was a fantastic effort but this excellent run of victories has been offset by two poor displays in Humberside, outmuscled by Catalans at at the DW Stadium, and then the thrashing by Leeds in the last home game.
I don’t expect to win every game but I did expect better efforts in our losses particularly the ones at home.
In mitigation I think that our squad is quite thin in terms of experience and we are particularly short of cover in the back row which was driven by the late departure of Bateman and the loss of Nicholson to Wire and McDonnell to Leeds.
As injuries have inevitably kicked in then the lack of cover, particularly experienced cover, in the pack has become very apparent.
The latest glut of injuries to Isa, Havard and Kai Pearce-Paul added to the already extensive injury list of Cooper, Singleton and Field will make the next few weeks very testing indeed.
Matty Peet and his coaching team will need to work the oracle to keep us competitive over the next six weeks or so.
I have been impressed with our two new centres, particularly Wardle.
As the dry grounds become more frequent then I think he will continue to impress.
Ellis has developed quite nicely and I hope that he will be able to complete extended minutes in the pack
Despite the odd lapse I think that the overall attitude of the club is very good and this was epitomised with our win last week over Leeds in the Challenge Cup.
Despite going behind 14-0, after the thrashing the previous week by Leeds it was a fantastic effort to turn it around at Headingley.
I thought that Wardle had his best game for the club so far and it was great to see Nsemba take his try so well.
Second place and still in the Challenge Cup is a nice place to be at the end of May and when we finally get back to a near full strength team we will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.