Peet: Desire shone through

  • Matt Peet was pleased with Wigan’s ‘desire and commitment’ as they progressed in the Challenge Cup.
  • Peet: “We can accept that we won’t win every game but we can’t accept giving in. I was pleased with the lads today.”
  • FT | Leeds Rhinos 14-18 Wigan Warriors.

Matt Peet praised the desire and commitment of his Warriors side as they came from 14-points down to win 18-14 at Headingley Stadium to knock Leeds Rhinos out of the Challenge Cup.

“I was proud of the team today, of the group – players and staff,” Peet said. “It’s been a long week. At the start of the game I didn’t think we were good enough but in the end our desire and the lads commitment to one another shone through, I thought.”

He added: “I always thought it would be a game with ebb and flow, all our games with Leeds in the past and every game you watch with Leeds, they never go away. When it sticks for them, they have so many talented players and good athletes – Harry Newman, Nene MacDonald – when you combine that with the threat they have through the spine, I think you know you’re not going to get it all your own way.

“We spoke all week about the psychology of the game and dealing with their good spells. I suppose you could say we did that okay.”

The Warriors came into the game off the back of two league losses, but Peet was pleased with the desire until the end: “We just can’t give in, that is what got us the cup in the first place. We can accept that we won’t win every game but we can’t accept giving in. I was pleased with the lads today.”

Bevan French scored a try either side of half time to help Wigan on their way to victory, but a try-saving tackle in the dying stages were also a stand out for the Warriors boss: “I’ve said before with Bevan, he has his highlights reel and he comes up with unbelievable plays and that is talent but what I admire about him the most is his courage, his willingness to compete, be brave and make big plays when the game is in the balance in attack and defence. When your most talented players are so committed, I think everyone else follows suit.”

Junior Nsemba also took plaudits as he came off the interchange bench to score his first in Cherry & White: “I’m made up for him, I made a mistake a few weeks ago where I had him on the bench and didn’t get him on early enough and since then the plan has been that when he plays, get him on earlier, get him into the game and give him an opportunity to showcase what he is capable of. Obviously he got the try but I thought his carrying, as soon as he came into the game he stood out.

“It worked out great for him, it worked out great for us and it’s a great lesson for the young players who are sat watching on the sidelines. Sometimes he’s 18th or 19th man and doesn’t get a game, some weeks he plays Reserves, played quite a bit on loan and dual reg but he’s got to be ready and I look forward to playing him again, put it that way.”

Finally, Peet reflected on Ryan Hampshire who made his second debut for the Club and his first appearance since resigning with Wigan: “He’s been champing at the bit. I thought he had some telling contributions and is going to be an important player for us going forward. You could see his desire and dedication, he’s worked really hard behind scenes.

“We signed him and he was still carrying that injury so it was a great way to get him back into it and I thought he had some really important moments. He set a try or two up and it’s what he deserves.”

Wigan will face Hull KR at Sewell Group Craven Park as they return to Betfred Super League action this Thursday night (8pm K.O.) Get your tickets and travel HERE.

Saturday 20 May 2023