Wigan response delights Wane

Congleton Guardian: Shaun Wane was pleased to see Wigan return to winning ways Shaun Wane was pleased to see Wigan return to winning ways

Wigan coach Shaun Wane was delighted with the way his side bounced back from their World Club Challenge defeat to open their account in the 2014 First Utility Super League with a 46-24 win over Wakefield.

Wane's re-shuffled side, containing just nine players from the team that went down in Sydney, ran in nine tries to four against the Wildcats, with skipper Sean O'Loughlin leading the way with a brace.

"It was always going to be a tricky one for us," said Wane. "We haven't spent much time on the field this week and I just wanted a win.

"We weren't at our best but we got the two points so I'm very happy, especially with all the disruption and the changes I made. It was a good day's work."

O'Loughlin was brought off three minutes into the second half as a precaution after picking up a shoulder injury but not before making his mark.

"Lockers was desperate to play and he was outstanding," Wane said. "I thought John Bateman was our best player by far, he's going to be good for us."

Bateman and winger Dom Manfredi both scored their first tries for Wigan while 19-year-old Joe Burgess, the only outside back to keep his place from Sydney, provided the highlight with a glorious long-range solo score.

"It's good for the club that all these kids coming through and getting some game time," Wane added.

Wigan's first win of the season would have been more emphatic had Matty Smith not missed four of his nine conversion attempts but Wane says he is not concerned over his new goalkicker's accuracy.

"He needs to practice more and we need to score closer to the sticks," Wane said. "He will improve. I'm not concerned."

Wakefield, who scored long-range tries through wingers Reece Lyne and Peter Fox, are still looking for their first win of the season but coach Richard Agar was not downhearted by the result

He was forced to play Lucas Walshaw, a one-time centre, in the front row in the absence of three specialist props through injury and gave debuts to teenagers Luke Briscoe and Jordan Crowther, who became the youngest forward to play in the club's history just 11 days after turning 17.

"It was great to give Jordy an opportunity," Agar said. "We've a lot of confidence in that kid, I think he will turn into a good player for us.

"It was a tough day for us. I thought Wigan were just too strong for us at times. At times it was men against boys and we need to learn to be a little bit tougher for a bit longer.

"I'm not going to dwell too much on today. We had an incredibly inexperienced middle. We knew we were doing it light and it showed unfortunately.

"I thought we had a number of individuals who tried their hardest. With a limited amount of football I thought we looked a threat. I can see enough signs to know we were going to get better."

Wakefield are expected to give new signing Nick Scruton his debut against Catalan Dragons next Sunday and could also have half-back Harry Siejka in the country by then.

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