Wigan Warriors: Five things we learned from the defeat against Leeds Rhinos (A)
Amos Wynn reflects on the key talking points from Wigan Warriors’ 42-12 defeat to Leeds Rhinos at Headingley Stadium.
1. A disappointing night
The 42-12 defeat to the Rhinos was probably Wigan’s poorest display, not just of the season, but for quite a while.
What they produced was so out of character, and it was frustrating to watch.
The first half in particular was a tough one to take, with things clearly not right from the start.
Following the restart, they looked a little bit brighter, but the same basic errors began to occur again.
There have been previous losses this season where they’ve just been outplayed by a better side on the day, but Thursday evening was the first time they’ve failed to turn up at all.
2. Frustrating defensive errors
Defence was simply not good enough.
While they are usually solid as a unit; they were leaking cheap tries at Headingley.
Too many gaps appeared in their line, and it was far too easy for Leeds to go over.
Far too often, the Rhinos scored from dummy half, either from the first pass or directly in the case of Harry Newman’s try.
The centre just dove through the legs of the Wigan defence, in a moment that truly summed up the evening for Wigan.
3. Reaction is key
Wigan be eager to put things right in their next outing against Hull KR at the DW Stadium.
As previously stated, the performance was very unlike what we’ve seen since Matty Peet took over, and they’ll need to get back on track.
They will need a positive reaction in the next game and beyond, so then Thursday night can be put down as a blip.
4. Let’s not get carried away
While the defeat on Thursday night was hugely disappointing, everyone should remain calm.
It was one sour note in what’s been an otherwise impressive season.
Any team can have an off day, and that’s probably all it was.
If nothing else, the defeat will be a reminder of the hard work the team still need to do this year.
Peet has made it clear all season, no matter what the result is, the way they respond will be consistent each week.
They need to address the quite obvious issues from Thursdays, but they don’t need to panic or overreact.
5. A positive for women’s rugby
To finish on a high, it was fantastic to see women’s rugby get its big moment.
Of course, it was a game to forget for the Warriors due the result, but it was still an occasion they can cherish.
First of all, double-headers should become a more regular occurrence.
It’s important to give the sport that platform ahead of a men’s game.
A lot of fans watched on as they waited for second game of the evening, which can only be seen as a huge positive.
Of course, the fact the match was shown live on Sky Sports is a huge step forward, with hopefully more to come as the game develops.