Matt Peet hails ‘outstanding’ performer in Challenge Cup victory: ‘That’s what makes him a Wigan player’

Josh McAllister
Harry Smith, SWPix.

Picture by Alex Whitehead/

Wigan boss Matt Peet praised the performance of Harry Smith following the side’s 14-12 Challenge Cup quarter-final victory over Warrington at the DW Stadium.

Peet says he believed in standing by the 23-year-old, despite his recent dip in form.

Ahead of the clash, Wigan had won just two of their last six in all competitions, and fell to back-to-back Super League defeats to Catalans and rivals St Helens respectively.

But it was the England international’s boot that was the difference in the Challenge Cup, converting both tries and adding a penalty in the first half in the triumph.

On loan centre Toby King opened the scoring against his parent club, while Lebanon international Abbas Miski crossed in the second.

Joe Bullock scored against his former club for Warrington, posting their first points in the second half after an 8-0 score at the break.

And Josh Thewlis crossed again with just seven minutes remaining to set up a tense finish, live on the BBC.

The 21-year-old winger crossed again in the latter stages of the tie, only for Peter Mata’utia’s assist to be called forward.

Wigan played 73 minutes of the much-anticipated clash with just 12 men after Kaide Ellis was sent off for a headbutt on opposition captain Stefan Ratchford.

Wigan boss shows support for ‘outstanding’ Harry Smith

“I thought he was outstanding,” Peet said on Smith.

“The way he got us around the field, the way he built that game through the first half.

“His goals were massive.

“I just liked his toughness. He was turning up all over the field, whacking people, that’s what makes him a Wigan player and that’s why we stick with him, because we see those ingredients in him.

“We support him because he works hard and he’s committed and he’s got the ability to do it in the biggest games, which he showed today.

“The older he gets, the more and more of them days he’s going to have. But that’s what happens in your career, isn’t it?

“You have times where you dip. It’s like being a quarterback in an American football team, you’re 21 or 22, you’re going to have some tough periods in your career.

“I suppose that’s what we’re about as a club, supporting them. You can’t just promote youngsters and expect them to go year after year without having a dip in form.

“You have to support them and know they’re the right people.”

WATCH: Kaide Ellis ‘shocker’ leaves referee with no choice during Challenge Cup quarter-final clash

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