Everything Matt Peet said after Wigan’s pre-season win over Salford

Drew Darbyshire
Matt Peet Wigan Warriors SWpix

Wigan coach Matt Peet was impressed with two of his new signings in their 32-4 win over Salford in Sam Powell’s testimonial on Sunday.

Speaking to the press after the game, here’s what Matt Peet had to say…

Thoughts on the game

I think it was a good day for us. I think we ticked boxes in terms of getting minutes into certain players and opportunities for others. We managed to get everyone the game time we planned and we came through relatively healthy. I thought at the start of the game there were some good signs but we understand its a pre-season game. In the grand scheme of things it doesn’t count for a great deal but in terms of our goals today, we met them.

You understand during these games some things won’t go to plan but you need to make sure your effort is good and your energy levels in defence are good. On the whole, I thought we were there to play. I was very confident that we would turn up today because Sam Powell is such a popular member of the club. I hardly spoke to the players, they’ve done all the talking and they delivered.

Sam Powell testimonial

I thought the club did a good job at Robin Park. The fans turned out in decent numbers and I thought Salford played their part as well with the way they applauded them after the game. It was a contest for large parts.

Sam wouldn’t court this sort of publicity but within the club he gets a lot of credit so its nice for him and his family to be able to celebrate what has been a great career. The big one for Sam was that he gets to have all his family here today and the club will welcome them and he played well too.

New signings impress Matt Peet

Jake Wardle Wigan Warriors SWpix

Photo: Paul Currie/SWpix

I was made up with Jake (Wardle) and Toby (King). There’s a lot of eyes on new players and they were the two today and I thought they were both excellent. If we can get that from them when the season starts, then they are certainly going to add something to the team. In attack and defence, they both acquitted themselves really well.

I’m pleased because they’ve both worked tremendously hard and had outstanding pre-seasons. Jake particularly, his physique has developed somewhat and he is a bigger, stronger version of himself and hopefully that can translate to performances like we saw today.

What we’ve seen in Jake is from him being 14 or 15 years old. Hopefully we can bring the best out of him and if continues to turn up like he did today, then we’ll be happy. It’s not always about those X-factor moments here, I think his effort areas and his contact quality today was excellent as well.

Expansive style of rugby

I think you could see that we want to play. We want to express ourselves with the ball. We overplayed at times but I’d rather us be that way and back it up with solid defence rather than be within ourselves so we’ve got a lot of different threats throughout the team. If we can work together all year then we’ll be difficult to contain with the ball but its very early days.

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Liam Byrne absence

He just had a slight issue with his knee but he’ll be right for Round One.

Patrick Mago knock

He seems alright. He struggled with his back but I think he’ll be fine.

Youngsters take their chance

There were some nice pieces of play. The intensity of our defence didn’t drop against a good attacking team. I don’t think you could tell it was a young team that was out. I think maybe we lost a bit of shape with the ball but defensively, our effort was still really good when they came on so credit to them. They’ve worked so hard during pre-season, I thought we looked fit and strong today.

Do you know your team for Round One?

I knew there were spots up for grabs but today has probably given me a bit of clarity there. I will watch it back a few times as will the rest of the coaching staff. Players are going for the same position, particularly on the bench, so we’ll get some clarity there.


I think the areas would just be playing well for longer and getting that balance right with the ball and not forcing too many passes when you’ve not earned the right. We do want to play that expansive style so our players know that if they back it up with their defence, then they’ve got a licence to express themselves. There was a spell towards the end of the first half where we didn’t get that balance right so that’s a constant. It’s a week to week process trying to get that perfect game but on the whole, there wasn’t a particular area that stood out. There was the odd spell where we wasn’t quite where we need to be, but with the changes you are making and a bit of rustiness, then that’s what you’d expect today.

Wigan get their Super League season underway at Hull KR on February 18.

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