Wigan Warriors fans reflect on the Catalans Dragons defeat and preview this week's trip to Huddersfield

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The 18th man contributors reflect on Wigan Warriors’ defeat to Catalans Dragons and look ahead to this week’s game away to Huddersfield Giants.

Robert Kenyon

The Catalans game showed we didn’t have a plan B.

We kept trying to do the same thing and they were stopping us dead with their quick defence, much like how Saints and Leeds sussed us out last season.

Wigan Warriors were defeated by Catalans Dragons last time outWigan Warriors were defeated by Catalans Dragons last time out
Wigan Warriors were defeated by Catalans Dragons last time out

We need a plan B.

That plan B May be to be quicker out of dummy half with a scooting threat, whether that be Brad O’Neill or Tom Forber on the bench for that option.

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Also, we don’t seem to be offloading, that’s an area I’d like to see us promote a bit more for the Huddersfield game.

Huddersfield and Ian Watson will be well up for this game but we need to be more up for it.

A slightly different looking bench for me would be welcome, I think adding Junior Nsemba for a wide running back rower off the bench and Forber for the zip out of acting half will provide a decent plan B.

Ben Reid

One step forward and two steps back, it seems to be the Wigan way.

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While it wasn’t 10/10 against Castleford, I felt confident going into the Catalan game.

Take away the fact they hadn’t beaten us at home since the dawn of time, I felt we’d played the better rugby and looked the more settled side.

Conditions weren’t great, but both sides had to play them, and Catalans adapted so much better.

I thought they played a real rough and horrible game, and it worked a treat for them.

We had no reply to their defence, it was solid all game.

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You only have to see our very questionable choice to go for two when we were 14-10 behind. 10 yards out. Weird.

We never looked that threatening and while I imagine the players fingers were like icicles, the amount of errors mixed with poor discipline cost us dearly last Thursday night.

Second half was a little better and I thought for a moment, we were getting back in the mix, but the chip over the top caught us cold (pun intended) and it was game over.

Looking at this week, it continues a tough run of games. A run that, if we don’t start them better, we can easily go and lose more than we win.

Giants away is always tough.

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They’ve also had a slow start, but looked more themselves last week against Castleford. If we play like we did last week, it’ll be another long evening for Peet’s men.

What’s worried me in every game this season, even those we’ve won, is that the start to each game has been really slow and poor.

We got lucky that both Wakey and Tigers are really low on confidence and form and we were able to grow into the game quite easily.

and Dragons didn’t allow that, and I feel Huddersfield will be the same.

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It’s much too early in the season to let one result panic you, but the Catalan one was a kick in the teeth and we looked bang average with no real gameplay.

It was a mid-table team performance, not one who will be fighting for silverware come season end.

Win here, and we can kick on. Lose another, and I think fans will start asking questions.

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Glynn Bradshaw

What a massive disappointment last was.

It was a game we must have thought we could win, at home, full strength, playing a team missing eight players, but we never looked like winning.

For me it was more than two points lost.

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It was a big confidence blow to the supporters who turned out in good numbers again despite the elements.

I know we are only four games in, but already we have had two very disappointing performances, where the other team looked like they wanted it more.

We were so lethargic especially in the first half and although we improved marginally in the second half, it was still nowhere near good enough.

There were too many unforced errors and a tendency to try and barge our way over.

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Our lack of recruitment in the forwards in conditions such as that really hurts us I think.

I don’t think it will be too long before Tom Forber gets his chance, without singling out individuals we really need to improve our ruck speed to gain more field position and build pressure.

Having said that, we had ample possession to win the game, and Catalans were guilty of a lot of laying on in the tackle.

I thought the sin bin could have been used more by the referee.

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Looking ahead to this Friday, we have got to be looking for a reaction from the players again in what will be a difficult fixture, they have recruited well in the off season and are well coached.

We cannot do much of a change up but I think that Liam Byrne may come into the 17 at the expense of Willie Isa or Kai Pearce-Paul.

Darren Wrudd

For anyone yearning for a return to winter rugby, last week's game must have really tugged at your heart strings.

Snow, wind and freezing temperatures saw us under several layers of clothing looking more like we were preparing for an assault on the north pole than a lovely evening's rugby.

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Then we see our squad, shorts and tee shirt and seemingly not bothered at all by it, oh to be young again.

An obvious disappointment for us fans, Catalans came with a game plan and executed it brilliantly.

Aided by a referee who perhaps needs to re-read the rule book about laying on in the ruck, I cannot remember a game in Super League which was allowed to be slowed so much by one side whilst penalising the other if they tried to emulate their counterparts.

Our work rate cannot be questioned, the obvious dedication to the team is there for all to see but we need to be able to see when things are slipping away and react accordingly which could go against natural instinct.

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Rather than try to push every play and catch up, sit back into the game plan and work the opposition to find territory and the chances will come. It just felt a little desperate at times.

However, the French side made fewer errors with the ball and on a night like that we needed to pay far more attention to being methodical when in critical phases of the sets and even more so with handling.

A few times our numbers were completely wrong too and a better Catalans side would have made us pay even more so on the edges.

I can guarantee that Ian Watson will have seen that and will plan a similar strategy to catch us out tonight at Huddersfield.

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They have the squad to do it too, a very good mix has been assembled by Watson with an emphasis on selecting players who maintain high standards, giving few errors and almost boringly consistent, but then add a couple of sparkling backs into the mix and it puts them on a good footing to be a top three side this year.

Twice this year we have faced opposition whose main aim is to slow us down and disrupt our rhythm to such an extent that we seem to have no direction and twice we have come up short.

I can’t believe that Matty Peet would allow that to continue without a plan to reverse the flow.

So if Huddersfield do have such intent I am going to be very interested to see how our lads react.

It should be a great game and I am looking forward to it immensely.