WIGAN Warriors coach Shaun Wane was left with ‘mixed emotions’ after his side earned their first victory of Super League XX with a scrappy 24-16 win over Huddersfield Giants.
The rustiness his side showed in their opening-night draw with Widnes was evident again at times last night as handling errors and missed opportunities threatened to prove crucial.
But late tries from Mike McIlorum and Ryan Sutton eventually saw them see off a determined Huddersfield defence.
“I’m happy with the two points, but disappointed with the performance,” Wane said.
“We still expect a better performance than what we got today.
“We need to be better. I am sick of saying that.
“We need to start executing. I think we played some good shapes in the first half and if we had played that sort of consistent rugby throughout we would have romped Huddersfield.
“It was not good enough for me.”
Warriors welcome Brisbane Broncos to the DW Stadium for the World Club Series next Saturday, and after last night’s showing, Wane admitted his side will need to up their game against the NRL heavyweights.
He said: “The players that they have brought over have some real quality there.
“They are coming here to win, and judging by the performance today we need to improve a lot.
“I did see flashes today, and I did in the first half at Widnes.
“We know how to play – we have just not found that consistency yet.”
The Wigan boss praised 21-year-old forward John Bateman after an impressive performance rounded off with an excellent first-half try.
“One thing about John he’s a winner. He wants to win,” Wane said.
“He is the type of player that can come up with that.
“He is a smart player and he’s a winner. He fits in with me perfectly.
“He is not 100 per cent yet. He is still only young, but he plays with the aggression of a 28-year-old. I am aware of his age.
“He is a born winner. I am happy with him. He’s going to be a special player.”
While the overall performance could have been better, Wane also felt key players played well when it counted, and looks forward to having Dan Sarginson and Taulima Tautai back from injury.
He said: “Mickey Mac and Joel and Faz were good.
“You need that when you work with adversity with your selections.
“You need your big players to stand up, and I thought they did.
“Getting back Sarg and Taulima will be good, so I’m looking forward to getting them back.
Huddersfield coach Paul Anderson was left to rue missed chances as his side failed to capitalise on an extended bout of pressure at the beginning of the second half.
“When our chances came we could have put them out of sight,” he said.
“When you play against a dogged team like Wigan you have to take opportunities when they arise.”