Five things we learned from Wigan’s 13-6 win at Huddersfield...
1. And on they roll.
Wigan have now won their last seven matches, and victory against Huddersfield secured a second-placed finish - and with it a home semi-final, most likely against Castleford, in a fortnight.
If the Warriors beat Hull FC at home next Friday, they will become the first team to go through a top-tier Super-8s campaign victorious.
2. As a spectacle, this was an ugly game littered with errors.
Only when Huddersfield closed the score to 7-6 did the excitement levels ratchet up, and Oliver Gildart sealed victory late on after Danny Brough had been sinbinned.
There was mitigation for the flat occasion - as Shaun Wane put it, “The atmosphere was terrible and the weather was shocking.”
Did the Thursday night time slot have an impact on the size of the crowd (4,197)?
3. Morgan Escare started the match at full-back and made the most of his opportunity.
The Frenchman did well for his first-half try, added a drop-goal after the break and stopped a charging Matty English on the line.
Mid-season recruit Joe Greenwood, back after a one-game ban, also made his presence felt in the back-row to earn glowing praise from Wane.
“I like his manner off the field, he’s got into what we’re about, he digs in - I’m more impressed with him than I thought he’d be, if I’m honest,” said the Warriors boss.
4. Josh Woods finally got a recall to the 17-man squad... but didn’t get on.
The halfback, a drop-goal hero against Warrington in July, has not figured during the Super-8s but was drafted back in when Thomas Leuluai withdrew with a groin strain.
Woods, though, never got off the bench. “It was unfortunate for him, but I was comfortable with the team I had on,” explained Wane.
5. Huddersfield have some good players in their squad. Some fantastic names, too - such as Colton Roche and Kruise Leeming.
But when the Giants published the official team-sheet, the name of their second-rower took some beating - Dual Seal Glass!
Huddersfield quickly omitted the error, replacing ‘Dual Seal Glass’ with Oliver Roberts.
On a serious note, two of their young players - Innes Senior and Oliver Russell - may be in action against Wigan’s Under-19s in Saturday’s semi-final.