Here are three talking points from Wigan’s 16-10 victory over Warrington in the Super League opener.
Chris Hill’s red card
Warrington were dealt a huge blow midway through the first half when co-captain Chris Hill was sent off for a high shot on Wigan’s Sam Powell, who scored as he was clamped by Hill.
Powell left the field and didn’t return to action but he was conscious shortly after he left the pitch. It was a huge moment of the game because the Wolves always faced an uphill battle for the following hour.
Wigan didn’t really make the most of having the extra man but it certainly made Steve Price’s side fatigued at a quicker rate. The extra man was ultimately the difference.
Adrian Lam’s healthy selection headache
Wigan have got a dilemma on their hands – but a good one. Bevan French, who won the man of the match award, started the game at full-back but enjoyed an impressive spell in the halves when Powell went off.
Zak Hardaker then moved to full-back and impressed there and at centre. Lam won’t be complaining about having to choose where French and Hardaker play as he’ll just count his blessings of having two world-class players at his disposal.
French is 10/1 with Betfred to win the Steve Prescott Man of Steel award this year, and it could be a lovely bet to have. He’s incredible to watch when he’s got the ball in his hands.
Send it upstairs, not on report
Wigan back-rower Morgan Smithies was placed on report in the game for an alleged eye gouge on Blake Austin.
But with the game being televised and a video referee available, why isn’t the referee allowed to send a challenge upstairs instead of putting it on report? That way, they could find out what exactly happened and go from there so it makes the match balanced.
I know we are sick of constant changes to the structure but it just makes sense to send an incident to the video referee there and then, instead of us potentially affecting a game at the time – this goes for any televised match.