Stars ready to return as Wane happy with job done

Wigan's Sean O'Loughlin touches down for his second try of the first half against Wakefield
Wigan's Sean O'Loughlin touches down for his second try of the first half against Wakefield

SHAUN Wane declared himself a happy man as Wigan swept past Wakefield 46-24 at the DW Stadium.

Sean O’Loughlin scored two of their nine tries as they overcame the disappointment and disruption of the World Club Challenge to register their first competitive win of the year.

Five of those tries were scored during a whirlwind 15 minute spell in the opening half. Teenage winger Joe Burgess’ long-range try was the highlight of a flat second-half.

Wane admitted it was a far from polished display, but given the circumstances he was satisfied with the afternoon’s work.

“I’m happy,” he said. “It was two points well earned, we did some good things in the first half, so I’m very happy considering everything we’ve been through in the last week.

“It was always going to be a tricky game, for lots of different reasons.

“We weren’t at our best, they scored two tries from an interception and a ball steal, so it was better than the scoreline probably looks.

“We’ve not spent much time on the field this week, we were all pretty sore from the flight, and it was always going to be a tricky one.

“It was a good day’s work.”

Wigan’s second-half display was hampered by the withdrawal of O’Loughlin, Mike McIlorum and Blake Green to minor injuries. By that point, they were well on their way to securing their first Super League points following an opening day loss to Huddersfield.

Wane said all three players should be available for next week’s trip to Castleford, as well as Eddy Pettybourne who was serving a suspension. He also rested centres Darrell Goulding, Iain Thornley and full-back Matty Bowen, while Josh Charnley was “dropped” after failing to impress Wane in the World Club Challenge.

O’Loughlin was outstanding during his 43 minutes on the pitch, though Wane picked out John Bateman for special praise after a try-scoring Super League debut for the ex-Bradford forward.

“I thought John Bateman was by far the best player for us - he had a great game on that left edge - he’s going to be good for us,” he added.