Wigan Warriors: Three things we learned from Sam Powell's testimonial game against Salford Red Devils

Wigan Warriors overcame Salford Red Devils 32-4 in their final pre-season outing.
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The fixture, which was also Sam Powell’s testimonial game, was the first outing of 2023 for the majority of the senior players in Matty Peet’s squad.

It was certainly a test they’ll be pleased to have under their belts ahead of the start of their Super League campaign away to Hull KR on February 18.

Here are some of the key talking points from the match:

Wigan Warriors overcame Salford Red Devils in pre-seasonWigan Warriors overcame Salford Red Devils in pre-season
Wigan Warriors overcame Salford Red Devils in pre-season

1. A great occasion for Powell

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Ahead of the game, Sam Powell and the rest of the team received a good reception from the home fans as they walked through the Robin Park Arena fan zone before heading out for their warm-up.

Like in the Super League game against Catalans Dragons last season, the idea proved to be a great visual spectacle on the running track.

It also offered a chance for the supporters to show their support to Powell, as did the hooker having the opportunity to lead the team out for the game itself.

The 30-year-old can often be an unsung hero for the Warriors, so it is good to see the spotlight on him while he receives the appreciation he deserves.

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There are a number of other events taking place throughout the year that will no doubt also get strong support.

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Wigan Warriors beat Salford Red Devils in Sam Powell's testimonial game at the D...

2. The final pre-season test

Wigan’s last pre-season outing ahead of the new Super League campaign saw the majority of the senior squad get their first minutes of the year.

A little bit of rustiness is always expected, but on the whole Peet’s side looked pretty fresh and enjoyed a positive outing.

They worked hard in defence to limit Salford to just one try, and showed plenty of the usual excitement in attack.

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They also seemed to adapt well to the different changes that occurred throughout the game.

The Red Devils were good opponents for the Warriors to come up against, with visitors having a couple of tries ruled out.

3. A number of bright sparks

In what was a common occurrence last season, Jai Field and Bevan French combined for Wigan’s opening try.

When they get going it’s a pretty frightening prospect for any opposition.

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With the pair enjoying a pre-season of preparation together, the partnership could reach new heights in 2023.

Cade Cust, who made the initial break for the first try of the afternoon, also looked bright throughout.

The stand off had a number of impressive moments, including an assist for Kai Pearce-Paul, and a cheeky chip to set up one for Field.

If this is a sign of more things to come, then it could certainly be a year to remember for Cust, as he prepares for his second season in cherry and white.

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Jake Wardle also looked like a good addition on his first outing for the club.

He carried the ball well going forward, and looked really strong.

He also appeared to link well with Liam Marshall, with the early signs looking good.