Wigan coach reveals why Jai Field left the field at half-time

Jai Field Wigan Warriors

There is no reason for Wigan fans to panic on the fitness of in-form full-back Jai Field ahead of next week’s Challenge Cup semi-final against St Helens.

The Australian speedster left the field at half-time during Wigan’s 40-22 win over Warrington on Friday night and didn’t return.

But with young utility back Sam Halsall coming off the bench, Wigan coach Matt Peet said it was always the plan to give Field less minutes. The Warriors face rivals St Helens in the Challenge Cup semi-finals at Elland Road next week.

Peet said: “It was always the plan to look after Jai Field tonight.

“I probably thought (we’d bring him off in) the last 20 or so. But I just felt the way the game was going at half-time it presented a good opportunity.

“I also had the feeling Bevan (French) might pose a different kind of threat to tired bodies. He was champing at the bit so it was a good opportunity.”

Young duo Harry Smith and Brad O’Neill hailed

The Warriors ran in seven tries at Warrington in what was a very comfortable win. Iain Thornley and Liam Marshall bagged braces whilst Bevan French, Liam Farrell and Ethan Havard also got on the scoresheet.

Young half-back Harry Smith kicked seven goals. 19-year-old Brad O’Neill played 80 minutes at hooker in the absence of the suspended Sam Powell.

Peet said: “I thought Harry and Brad were fantastic tonight.

“I am probably most pleased with Brad O’Neill. For a 19-year-old to play in that position for 80 minutes is a special performance and one that he can take great confidence from. He’s only going to get better.

“I understand there are players who probably had better games such as Liam Farrell and Jai Field, but I was really pleased for Brad and Harry. I know how hard they work on their game, I know how much pressure they might have been feeling tonight but I loved their performances.

“Liam Byrne and Ethan Havard from the bench really stiffened us up. Morgan (Smithies) is turning into a familiar fixture at loose-forward and our two back-rowers were strong.”

Forwards Willie Isa, Ollie Partington and Joe Shorrocks are all in the mix to face St Helens next weekend.

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About Drew Darbyshire 7863 Articles
Love Rugby League Deputy Editor. Joined the site ahead of the 2017 World Cup and been a full-time reporter since 2018.

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