Lam: I’m very proud

  • Adrian Lam reacts to Wigan’s win over Catalans on Friday evening.
  • Lam: “We‘ve got to make sure we keep our feet grounded, aim to rise again and get better again on Thursday.”
  • FT | Wigan Warriors 12-8 Catalans Dragons.

Adrian Lam praised his side’s resilience after Wigan Warriors took a great win against Catalans Dragons at the DW Stadium on Friday night, meaning his side finish the regular season with back-to-back wins.

Wigan beat Catalans 12-8 at the DW Stadium following tries from Willie Isa in the first half and a second half effort from James McDonnell, scoring his first for the Club.

The Warriors made it consecutive wins to end the regular season on a high, as they head into the Play-Offs next Thursday night against Leeds Rhinos.

Talking to the media after the win, Lam said: “I’m very proud, I can’t quite put it into words. There were a lot of changes to the team this week, at the start of the week it was a tough one to work out what to do in regards to the line-up. We’ve played 25 games in Super League this year, more than anyone else, so we decided to run with giving the squad the opportunity to freshen up some of the players who have played a lot.

“The kicking game was great, and I thought our defence was awesome, again – It’s been the cornerstone of us over the past four weeks. It’s good timing, we need to be like this leading into these big games. It gets harder every week leading into the back end of the season now, so I’m proud that we’ve got that cornerstone down and I still think we can get better at that.”

Youngster McDonnell came off the bench to feature, having been recalled from his loan spell with York City Knights, the second rower scored the Warriors’ second try of the evening with a fantastic individual dart, which pleased his coach: “A couple of minutes beforehand he was absolute rattled and the message was coming up ‘he can’t stay on the field much longer he’s absolutely exhausted’ and I just said ‘tell him to rise and find something’, he did that.

“The boys love him, he’s a great young man, he’s got a big future here at the Club. He’s been playing his trade on loan at York City Knights in the Championship, so he’s been playing a lot of games and we know what he’s capable of, he was certainly good tonight.”

Despite a great win over the League Leaders, Lam stressed that there is still more to do: “We’ve still got a lot of hard work to do, there is going to be a lot of confidence we’ll get out of this game tonight and over the last three weeks. We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, we play Leeds here on Thursday on a six day turnaround so it’ll be here before we know it, we‘ve got to make sure we keep our feet grounded, aim to rise again and get better again on Thursday.”

The head coach summarised by thanking the fans: “It was the last home game for us before the Play-Offs, we thought we needed to play well in regards to making sure we left the season well. We had our key workers there tonight as well as part of the initiative from the Club, we invited them to be in here tonight and they certainly gave us a lot of spirit.

“If we can get as many of our fans here on Thursday in Cherry and White I think it’ll give us a really big boost. It is a special time for us, we’ve got some great players that are leaving at the end of the year and this’ll be our last home game to say goodbye, my last game here as head coach, so there’s plenty of reasons to come. We want to win as well, so with the fan presence there it’ll certainly help in motivating us as much as they did tonight, we know we can play better and hopefully we can.”

Wigan Warriors face Leeds Rhinos on Thursday 23rd September (7:45pm K.O.) in the first Betfred Super League Play-Off Eliminator Game. Tickets are on sale for the game, with the winner progressing to the Play-Off Semi Finals. Click HERE to buy your tickets NOW!