SHAUN Wane lamented a scrappy display as Wigan laboured to victory at Wakefield.
Warriors came from behind to snatch the two-points, scoring two tries in the final 10 minutes to claim a 36-23 triumph.
Yet despite seeing his side move five points clear at the top of the ladder – at least until Huddersfield’s match against St Helens this evening – Wane was far from impressed with their display.
Wigan were trailing 17-10 at half-time and only nosed in front in the 71st minute when Lee Mossop crashed over.
“It was really scrappy,” he said. “At half-time I told them what I thought, I got the response I wanted.
“You have to credit Wakefield, they had a good game plan and we weren’t consistent.”
Wigan started brightly when Josh Charnley pounced for two tries to put them 10-0 ahead. But they eased off the gas and, though Charnley registered his hat-trick try and Harrison Hansen later crossed, they found themselves behind going into the final 10 minutes.
“At the end we went six sets and scored two tries, and that’s everything you need to know – when we keep hold of the ball we can score,” said Wane. “The fact we waited until then was disappointing.
“You’re not going to get the perfect performance, we were a bit off. We had some disruption with Sean O’Loughlin and Blake Green not being there – Hame Lauaki pulled out this morning too – and we had some changes, which we didn’t handle too well.”
Sam Tomkins’ failure to score brought his prolific run to an end, and he remains locked with Martin Offiah and Steve Ella in the club’s record books for tries in 11 consecutive matches.
While praising their opponents for their spirited display, Wane hinted at annoyance with referee Thierry Alibert when he said: “The play-the-ball speed was unbelievably slow.
“You have to credit Wakefield, they slowed the play-the-ball down, they were allowed to do that, and it affected everything else.
“We rely on running hard and playing the ball correctly, and it just didn’t happen today.” Wakefield counterpart Richard Agar was proud of his players’ effort and admitted Wigan’s big-game class was ultimately telling.
“I thought our guys ripped in, and energy just got us in the end,” he said. “Wigan, to their credit, can turn the screw in the last 15 or 20 minutes and they did that.
“Effort can take you a long way, and it nearly took us to a famous victory today.” Wane reported no fresh injury concerns ahead of Friday’s televised match at Widnes.