Lenagan: More ‘home’ games in London

Ben Flower is mobbed after his try at The Den
Ben Flower is mobbed after his try at The Den

IAN Lenagan has reiterated his intention to stage more Wigan ‘home’ games in London.

The Warriors chairman was “entirely satisfied” with their capital adventure on Saturday.

But this was the first game, we’ve got to where we are and it’s been a success

Ian Lenagan

On the field, Wigan ran out convincing 42-16 winners against Catalans and – off it – more than 8,000 fans watched the game at Millwall’s The Den.

Lenagan had previously said he wanted to play at least one game in London each year.

And after hailing their opening match on the road a success, he has no plans to backtrack.

He said: “If it had been an utter disaster, with 2,000 people and we’d lost and it didn’t have an atmosphere, I may have reconsidered.

“But this was the first game, we’ve got to where we are and it’s been a success.

“We’ve played that game, we’ve won that game, we’ve had more than 8,000 fans here – which is very good with such short notice – and the way the stadium was dressed up, with Wigan branding, I think went down really well with the fans.”

Many of the fans had travelled to the match from Wigan, but there were also plenty of ‘neutrals’ inside the ground.

Lenagan has stressed the match was only part of a plan to increase the club’s presence in the capital. The Warriors have also strengthened their commercial links, as well as their ties to the grassroots game.

“You’ve got to play a game here, otherwise you are paying lip-service to the ‘Wigan in London’ (concept),” he said.

Matty Bowen’s two-try display added the polish to the victory – their sixth from seven games – which booked their place in the top-four play-offs with three rounds remaining.

Second-placed Wigan are two-points behind Leeds; the top-two are assured home advantage in the play-offs.

“I think it was more than a satisfactory result,” added Lenagan.

“The performance was great, Catalans are a tough side to beat and at 12-12 just after half-time, I thought it

was going to be a real arm-wrestle.

“But the quality of the performance in the second-half was great, and wasn’t Matty Bowen’s performance tremendous? He just gets better and better.”