Lam: Winning was the priority

  • Adrian Lam reflects on Wigan’s 22-23 win over Wakefield Trinity on Sunday.
  • Warriors move to the top of the Betfred Super League after victory in the restart opener.
  • Lam: “After so long off, the priority is to win and to get the two points.” 

Adrian Lam says the effort of his side pleased him the most as Wigan Warriors began the Betfred Super League restart campaign with a win over Wakefield Trinity on Sunday.

It was a 77th-minute drop-goal from youngster Harry Smith that was the difference between the two teams as the Warriors edged an entertaining contest 23 points to 22.

Four tries from Zak Hardaker, Bevan French, Liam Marshall and Jake Bibby helped Wigan on their way to victory at Emerald Headingley Stadium. 

And Lam says the two points gained is the ‘priority’. 

He said: “The happy part for me was the effort that everyone was putting in. After so long off, the priority is to win and to get the two points. 

“It got a bit tense at the end but for the majority of the game I felt pretty safe. I thought our effort was great in a lot of areas and there’s a lot of positive signs for us as a club. 

“I thought, as a team, we could have finished our sets a lot better – that’s where we let ourselves down. That will come with time though.

“I felt we could have scored a few more tries, but it’s only game one of the restart and it’s about being patient with that – it’s an area we can fix.”

Zak Hardaker going in to score Wigan’s first try on Sunday.

Lam was keen to point praise at two individuals within his team – 20-year-old scrum-half Smith, who became the match winner with his drop-goal, and Zak Hardaker, who made his 200th Super League appearance.

On Smith, he said: “I thought he was pretty good. He’s got a big future. Harry’s going to get better and he knows that – we’ll closely with him to make sure he does. 

“He is more mature now and can handle these games.”

On Hardaker, Lam stated: “Zak’s voice was unbelievable. He was so passionate in defence – that’s who is he and that’s what he brings to the team. He brings a different level with his voice. He was outstanding.”

Lam explained what happened to half-back Tommy Leuluai, as he left the field early in the first half and did not play on for the remainder of the game.

“Tommy rolled his ankle – we could have played on with him but with it being the first game back we didn’t want to risk it.

“It was difficult. We lost him in the Semi-Final last year and capitulated. We had Harry Smith – who is more mature now and can handle these games. 

“Bevan (French) went down early in the game too with a knock to his back and we ended up playing him on the wing just to make sure we didn’t use up a sub.”

Bevan French in action against Wakefield.

The boss also commented on skipper Sean O’Loughlin, who was ruled out of the matchday squad due to an injury picked up in training this week.

“He strained his hamstring on Thursday. It wasn’t a bad one, but he pulled out of captain’s run on Friday.”

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