Wigan Warriors motivated by Leigh Leopards “better than them” comments, hints Matt Peet

Aaron Bower
Matt Peet

Wigan Warriors head coach Matt Peet

Wigan Warriors coach Matt Peet suggested that the reigning Super League champions were given added motivation for their victory over local rivals Leigh Leopards on Friday following comments made by former Wigan player Umyla Hanley.

Hanley, now at Leigh, insisted to the Mirror in the build-up to Friday night’s game at the Brick Community Stadium that the Leopards felt they were the more capable side of the two.

He said: “We know Wigan are a really successful team. They always have been. But it’s just 13 v 13. And everyone in our team believes, in our hearts, that we’re better than they are. It comes down to doing it on the night.”

But the Warriors were stronger on the night on Friday, emerging 24-6 winners thanks to two tries from Bevan French and a brilliant solo effort from winger Liam Marshall.

And Peet, speaking post-match with the media, said that he believes if Hanley had the opportunity to say something similar again, he would likely take a different approach.

He also insinuated that Hanley effectively did Wigan’s team talk for them with his comments.

“I guess it’s inexperience isn’t it,” said Peet. “I’m guessing his coach and team-mates might have had a word with him because it’s doing my job for me really. Umyla will learn, he’s a good player and a good person. I’d imagine if had his time again he wouldn’t say that.”

The Warriors moved four points clear at the Super League summit with a game in hand, after St Helens slipped up at home to Castleford on Friday evening.

Leigh, meanwhile, could now finish the weekend nine points adrift of the play-offs if results go a certain way this weekend – and their hopes of a top six finish look to be drifting.

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