Peet: Positive Steps Forward

  • Matt Peet spoke to the press following his side’s victory against Leigh Leopards.
  • Peet: “We knew Leigh would start full throttle, we pride ourselves on our ability of staying at that level and I thought we showed that tonight.”
  • FT | Leigh Leopards 6-34 Wigan Warriors

Matt Peet has praised the performance and energy levels of his side following their 34-6 win over Leigh Leopards.

On the the game, Peet said: “It was a pleasing performance. the result is always special but we took some positive steps forward. We knew what we were stepping into tonight, the event and the passion the opposition would bring as well as a lot.

“There’s nothing that shocked us about that game, and I mean that positively about Leigh in the way that they play. The event that was being arranged here, credit to Leigh for that, brought the best out of us and it was going to take the best to get the win tonight.

“We thought it was a game tonight where legs and lungs would benefit. Brad O’Neill, Joe Shorrocks and Kaide Ellis brought that energy, and it meant that our intensity levels were pretty consistent throughout the game. We knew Leigh would start full throttle, we pride ourselves on our ability of staying at that level and I thought we showed that tonight.”

Peet made three changes and several positional rotations to the side that beat Salford last week, and after another good display, praised the versatility of his players across the board, with Bevan French producing a standout performance from Fullback.

“I’d like to think in the last season and a bit we’ve been pretty adaptable and players have rotated.” he said

“I know that’s a strength of ours, we can adapt on what the opposition are doing. At our best, people pop up in different positions and I think we saw a glimpse of that tonight. At Fullback, he’s (French) more in the game and you see more of him, which is pleasing. We always know Bevan is capable of that when we interject him into that position and he certainly perform as we’ve come to expect from him. He should be really proud of that performance tonight.”

Harry Smith helped spearhead Wigan’s attacking play throughout the match, with Abbas Miski grabbing two tries on his first Super League start of the season. Peet said: “I thought Harry was outstanding. Watching these young players develop, some week they have tricky weeks and some weeks they nail it. That’s what being at this club is about. You stay with that player, you develop, you don’t always chop and change.

“The lads know we’ve got trust in them. We look to develop them in their journey and Harry is a testament to that. There’s plenty of improvement in him, but some big plays from him. I thought his defence was solid tonight. Ethan Havard was also worth a special mention tonight, I liked our front rowers in general.”

On Miski’s performance, Peet said: “I love what he brought tonight. His passion, his commitment, kick chase and energy. I thought it was a real positive performance from him.”

After being selected tonight, Willie Isa made his 300th career appearance, with Peet praising the experienced Second-Row’s influence. He said: “We were playing against one of the best attacking edges in the competition tonight, a lot of what was happening on that right edge was more complex than it appears and a lot of what was going on well there for us is testament to Willie and his energy during his game and the weeks. He’s so influential here.”

Wigan were without Liam Marshall and Cade Cust due to injury, with Jai Field having to come off with 10 minutes to go. On the injuries, Peet said: “Jai is going to need a scan. A pulled hamstring, we’ll be patient whatever it needs and make sure the time is right when he comes back into the team.

“Liam Marshall had a bad stud on his foot that was too swollen to stay shut. I think we’ll see him in the next few weeks. Cade Cust has an appointment tomorrow, so we’ll know more then. He’s had a bulging disc in his neck, so we decided this week to take him out before his scan.”