- We catch up with Jake Bibby as he discusses how his first season for Wigan is going so far.
- The centre talks tries, Wigan’s form, behind closed doors games and Catalans Dragons.
- Bibby: “I feel like I’ve settled in really well. The lads have been outstanding.”
Wiganer Jake Bibby says he is enjoying his first season with the Warriors and is pleased to have opened his account for the team.
After scoring his first try for his hometown club in the 22-23 victory over Wakefield Trinity two weeks ago, the centre then went over for Wigan’s 19,00th point in the Super League era – in the win against Leeds Rhinos last Sunday.
Before the current Betfred Super League campaign had started, the 24-year-old had dreamed about getting off the mark in Cherry and White, but wouldn’t have expected it to come in a behind closed doors game at Emerald Headingley Stadium.
He said: “It would’ve been better if the fans were there, and I would’ve appreciated it a lot more, but I still enjoyed the fact that I got the first for my hometown club.
“I didn’t really know what to do after because it was like a training scenario. I wanted to celebrate but I didn’t really feel the atmosphere, so I weren’t as ecstatic as I would’ve been at the DW.”
Whilst he was fully aware that he’d opened his account for Wigan with the try against Wakefield, it was not until after the 28-10 win over Leeds that he realised he’d gone for over for the Club’s 19,000th point in the Super League era.
“I didn’t know until I saw it on Twitter. It is certainly nice as a Wigan lad to have my name next to a good achievement for the Club.”
The centre is pleased to have found his try scoring form, going over twice in the two games since the season restart.
“I had a bit of a slow start at the beginning of the season, but with more competition with Gilly (Oliver Gildart) coming back, I have to put my best foot forward.
“I’ve always got into my best form as the season goes on, so I’m lucky to get my first tries. The first was hard work, but the second was probably the easiest one in my life.
“I feel like I’ve settled in really well. The lads have been outstanding. I don’t think the lockdown affected me getting friendly with them because they’ve all been really good and welcoming.
Despite five months away due to Covid-19, Bibby believes fitness has not been a problem since the Warriors have returned to action and says there are plenty of positives build on moving forward.
“We obviously missed the rugby side of things. The fitness side wasn’t the nicest, but we’d kept up to date with it, and some of the lads came back fitter.
“Coming back, it was about grinding out those first two wins. Lammy (Adrian Lam) has said ‘you’ve not seen the best of us yet’ and all the lads are on board with that. We still gained those wins performing really well – both our defence and attack have been really good.
“They have been tough games that have been down to the sword – there’s been moments when we have been on the back foot and defended really well, which shows you what kind of team we are. It’s not been easy but we’re playing better and better.”
The former South Stand season ticket holder says playing in front of an empty stadium is a unique experience but admits he is enjoying some aspects of it.
“It is strange and more intense, but I think everyone is now used to it and it does become the new norm. We are missing the fans, and although it is a bit weird, everyone is on board with it.
“I like the fact of how intimate it is because you can hear everything that goes on – the impact, the referee talking and what the other team are planning to do.
“It’s old school – almost as though you’ve just agreed to meet up and play, but at the same time we want the fans there.”
Heading into next Saturday’s Round 10 clash against Catalans Dragons at the Halliwell Jones Stadium (K.O. 4:15pm), Bibby knows his side will be in for another tough afternoon.
“Catalans are on fire at the minute and are playing really well. They are in good form and have some great players – Sam Tomkins is performing really well.
“It’s going to be a really big test for us but if we can notch them off it will put us in a really good place.”
Jake Bibby is proudly sponsored by Standish Veterinary Centre.
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