Wigan Warriors fans reflect on the victory over Huddersfield Giants and look ahead to this week's game against Salford Red Devils

The 18th man contributors reflect on the victory over Huddersfield Giants and look ahead to this week’s game against Salford Red Devils.
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Stephen Ford

I couldn’t go to Huddersfield as I had other commitments (Cheltenham Festival) but prior to the game I thought that we would, more than likely, lose.

I haven’t watched all of the match-and from the 15 minute highlights, it’s unlikely that I will watch the full 80 minutes when it is available on Wigan TV.

Wigan Warriors welcome Salford Red Devils to the DW StadiumWigan Warriors welcome Salford Red Devils to the DW Stadium
Wigan Warriors welcome Salford Red Devils to the DW Stadium
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Having said that, I was really pleased that we were able to grind out a result despite not playing particularly well.

Only conceding one try in the game against a team tipped to be potential Grand Finalists, again was also very pleasing.

I believe that our attack was once again quite clunky albeit that there was some improvement made in making metres particularly from our own half.

For me there are two primary reasons why we are having a stuttering start to the season, a slow play the ball and the inability of our pack to dominate the opposition pack.

Wigan Warriors overcame Huddersfield Giants last weekWigan Warriors overcame Huddersfield Giants last week
Wigan Warriors overcame Huddersfield Giants last week
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The slow play the ball can be addressed by playing Cust at nine but that would mean other positional changes particularly moving Field to six, which just doesn’t work for me.

I suspect that going forward we will see Cust playing at nine for part of the game which for me won’t totally resolve the situation.

The biggest issue for me is our pack if we are to compete meaningfully in all competitions.

Frankly, it just isn’t good enough and we have very few alternatives available to make improvements.

Jake Wardle is settling into his time with the WarriorsJake Wardle is settling into his time with the Warriors
Jake Wardle is settling into his time with the Warriors
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We really do need at least one new addition (experienced second-rower) and ideally if the cap allows an experienced prop who can make good yards on a regular basis.

I haven’t got a clue who we could sign or even who is available, but with the overseas quota full any new signings are going to be exceedingly difficult to deliver.

A lack of experience in the back-row will become our Achilles’ heel unless Lenagan/Radlinski can pull a rabbit out of the hat.

I am looking forward to the Salford game. I think that currently they play the most exciting type of rugby in the competition and will give us a hard game come Friday.

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They appear to be well coached and have try scoring threats all over the field.

Hopefully we will have our defensive qualities on show and that we can win with 10 or so points to spare.

The weather appears to be improving which should help us in our expansive plays and I’m hoping that Field has a good game as he has had a very slow start to the season.

The next four games could really define our season.

With home games against Salford and Saints plus away games against Wire and Leyth the season does crank up quite considerably after a comparatively soft start to the season.

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Ben Reid

As the old saying goes, a win is all that matters.

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It wasn’t pretty and the game won’t go down as a classic, but we got the vital two points needed after last week's horror show against Catalans.

Games at John Smith’s Stadium are notoriously tough ones to win.

So, no matter the form going in, it’s always a big ask, but, luckily for us, while we weren’t at our best, neither were the Giants and we got over the line.

I didn’t watch the game, but have seen the highlights, so I can’t comment on our performance in much detail, but from reports and radio listening, it seems we let ourselves down again with lack of discipline and errors.

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French was back on the scoresheet after his last try came against Wakefield last month.

As expected, Toby King continues to improve game by game and with Jack Wardle, we look to have two really solid centres in our squad.

After that needed win, we welcome Salford to the DW this week.

Again, always a tough game, but maybe a great time to play them.

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They are really down on numbers, and missing some key personnel for a few games.

They looked a tired team against Wakefield last week, and a team I think we can pick apart and get another two points on the board.

There is no such thing as an ‘easy game’ but we can’t make this into one with a fast start and blowing them off the pitch early doors.

With the speed we have out wide, we can stretch them, make them work, turn them around with clever kicks and win the battle in the first 20 minutes.

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If we give them a sniff of hope, they’ll take it, so we need to capitalise when we can, and it should be back-to-back wins.

Darren Wrudd

Huddersfield was always going to be a tough trip as Ian Watson has them playing a strong brand of rugby this year and I fully expect them to be a top three or four side in 2023.

But add to that the niggling doubt of another under par performance and although the Wigan camp would not say so, it had heaped a little pressure on the squad.

Not a win at all costs game by any means, but one in which we needed to perform better, a bit more clinical and perhaps dare I say more mature.

Job done I think.

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We have shown patience and determination in that trip and to fight hard for a win like that showed what we can be capable of with our current squad.

To say I was pleased with that on so many levels is possibly a great understatement as I was delighted for the club and Matty Peet too, whose guidance is just what we seem to need when under a little pressure.

Well done all and kick on.

This week of course we welcome a Salford side who are a strange one for me these days.

They can play more like a championship side at times and that could well be the influence of the coach but like an irritating gnat they just won’t go away.

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They have talent too with some great halves and an impressive back line.

This has to be a text book game for us, dominate midfield, grind out field position and strike. I am not looking for a blow out score but I feel we should have the mark of this game and be comfortable.

Glynn Bradshaw

It was a poor game against Huddersfield, and we were the better of two below par sides on Friday, however sometimes you have to win ugly and it was another good win on the road.

We just need to be a bit more fluent with the ball, improve our discipline and reduce the number of errors we are making, as some much bigger tests are looming large.

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Looking ahead to Salford, they are a side that play good rugby, similar to our style last year, particularly like Croft, and Brierley at full back.

Although their backs are good, losing Lafai in addition to Partington will hit them hard.

This will hopefully tip the balance in our favour especially at home.