Super League star delivers verdict on Wigan Warriors’ Grand Final ambitions: ‘They’re a champion side’

Ben Olawumi
Ryan Brierley, Wigan Warriors

Ryan Brierley believes Wigan Warriors are a force to be reckoned with heading into the Super League play-offs, describing them as a ‘champion team’.

The Cherry and Whites haven’t tasted Grand Final glory since 2018, when they beat Warrington Wolves at Old Trafford. Every year since has belonged to rivals St Helens, who beat them in the showpiece event in 2020 behind closed doors at Hull’s MKM Stadium during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to Jack Welsby’s infamous try after the hooter.

Last weekend though, Matt Peet’s side won 34-0 away against league leaders Catalans Dragons, becoming just the third club in 2023 to do so in Super League. Now, Salford Red Devils ace Brierley believes people will stand up and take note of the threat that the Warriors possess.

Salford star Brierley discusses Wigan’s winning mentality

Reviewing that win in Perpignan as a guest pundit on the BBC’s Super League Show, he said: “It was more of a statement in terms of how physical they were.

“When you think about Wigan, you think about Bevan French and Jai Field, their magic and the silky flair of that team. I just think they’ve reverted back to type in the sense of what everyone knows they are, and that’s a very physical, dominant side.

“I noticed a distinct shift in mentality from Wigan, they played at like a play-off intensity, and didn’t allow Catalans to go with it. 

“From Magic Weekend, knowing Matty Peet, he’d have had a bit of a bee in his bonnet about that performance. A huge victory for Wigan, and it will put them in good stead going towards the play-offs.”

‘They’re a champion team’: Ryan Brierley on Wigan Warriors

Wigan have now won their last five in Super League, including a victory on home soil against Hull FC in golden point extra time having come from behind to take the contest beyond 80 minutes.


Brierley and Salford are next on the agenda for the Cherry and Whites, making the hop across the North West to the DW Stadium this Friday night live in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

Ahead of that clash, he had high praise for the team who beat his team 26-6 back in June. Wigan boss Matt Peet told the media the win in France was their ‘best performance of the year’, and Brierley didn’t disagree.

The full-back continued: “I think they’ve had some really good wins, so if it wasn’t clicking all year for us, and we’d played like that, [I’d take it]!

“They’re a champion side, and coming towards the play-offs starting, I think that’s what you want Matty Peet to say. You want people to be thinking that you’re in good form, so I think it’s smart that wording by Matty, and his team certainly backed that up.

“I liked the combination of Morgan Smithies and Patrick Mago who have found that level and intensity that good, physical side like Catalans couldn’t cope with.”

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