Wigan Warriors: Three talking points from the victory over Leeds Rhinos at Headingley
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The win sees Matty Peet’s side reclaim top spot in the Super League table on points difference, after briefly losing their place in the latter following wins for Catalans Dragons and St Helens on Friday night.
Jai Field, Liam Marshall, Kai Pearce-Paul, Abbas Miski, Liam Farrell and Patrick Mago were also among the scorers for the Warriors on a good day at Headingley.
Here are some of the talking points from the game:
Jake Wardle has to be one of the signings of the season, with his hat-trick against Leeds only emphasising that.
The centre has impressed since his very first outing for the Warriors, and has provided Peet’s side with a whole new dynamic with his strength and size.
He’s yet to have a bad game for the club, with any praise fully deserved.
For the opener at Headingley, he rose high to collect the ball before completing the grounding; for his second, he powered his way through a gap in the Rhinos line; while a superb dummy created space for his third.
The 24-year-old was also on hand with some quick hands to assist Liam Marshall’s try.
The Warriors have certainly come good in the last few weeks.
Some of the rugby they have been playing has been exceptional, and the game at Headingley was no different.
They are well equipped to soak in any pressure, before making the most of their own attacking opportunities.
The more this spine plays together, the better it seems to get.
The partnership between Harry Smith and Bevan French is only improving, and is now getting the best out of everyone.
Despite having plenty of things to be positive about, an area of concern will be any injuries in key positions.
Liam Byrne was forced off with a hamstring problem during the first half, in what could be a huge blow.
With Ethan Havard and Mike Cooper already missing, the Warriors can’t afford to lose any more members of the pack at this current time.
It’s always great to see a double-header involving the women’s game.
It provides a fantastic opportunity to showcase the a wider audience than usual, and provides the players with a number of beneficial experiences.
Wigan have come up against Leeds a number of times in the past 12 months- with further improvement evident each time they play.
During a tight first half at Headingley, the Rhinos edged their way 4-0 in front through Amy Hardcastle in the 28th minute.
It was a similar story in the early stages after the break, with Kris Ratcliffe’s side proving to be more than a match for the home team.
The Warriors’ resistance was broken down again just after the hour mark, with Leeds extending their lead to 10-0 through a converted Zoe Hornby try.
From there, the floodgates opened, as the Rhinos took full control.
Caitlin Casey added her name to the scoresheet, while Hornby and Hardcastle both added their second of the afternoon.
Despite the game finishing 24-0 there were still plenty of the positives to take- with signs of improvement every time they’ve faced Leeds in the last 12 months.