Ellis: No better place to play

  • Kaide Ellis reflected on a hard fought victory at home to Leigh Leopards on Friday night, while looking ahead to next week’s clash with St Helens.
  • Ellis: “When you get a good turnout and they get behind you like tonight, there’s no better place to play.”
  • FT | Wigan Warriors 24-6 Leigh Leopards.

Kaide Ellis spoke after Wigan Warriors came out victors at The Brick Community Stadium against Leigh Leopards.

Ellis and the Cherry and Whites battled hard to defeat Leigh Leopards at The Brick Community Stadium, winning by 24 points to 6 to extend their lead at the top of the Betfred Super League table.

Reflecting on the victory, Ellis said: “It was a good win against a tough side. I think whenever we’ve looked at the games previously between us they’ve always had that derby feel, with both teams obviously being from the same area.

“With the way they play it was always going to be a tough start and a tough game throughout, but it’s always nice to win at home.”

It took 20 minutes for the match to see it’s first points, with Adam Keighran scoring a penalty before converting Bevan French’s first try of the night in quick succession. Ellis highlighted the intensity brought by both sides as a key factor to the game.

“I think it was quite even early on and a tough first 20 minutes”, said Ellis. “We spoke about it all week and we knew what they were going to bring with that physicality early on. They’ve got such a big, mobile pack and they throw the ball around at the back a bit as well, but we matched that and had to bring it against them too.”

The Warriors saw Brad O’Neill sent to the sin bin just prior to the half-time hooter. Speaking on defensive efforts, Ellis said: “At the start of the second half we had a man down and we knew exactly what they were going to do – come through the middle and take us on, and they had a lot of joy. But we fought pretty hard and scrambled our backsides off. Bevan (French) at the back came up with some big stops.

“We were hanging on at the end there a little bit, but we back ourselves to find our way out of it. It was a gutsy defensive effort, no doubt.”

From one big game to another, Ellis and his teammates will turn their attention to next week’s Betfred Super League fixture against St Helens. The Warriors will welcome their rivals to The Brick Community Stadium for the first time in 2024, with Saints currently sitting behind them in second place.

“That was probably a good dress rehearsal for what’s to come next week”, said Ellis on the two fixtures. “The lead up to tonight was always about that – two big games in a row with a big month ahead. They’re all going to be very physical, end-to-end games, so that was perfect preparation.

“It’s going to be nice now to get a good string of home games”, said Ellis. “When you get a good turnout and they get behind you like tonight, there’s no better place to play.”

By Harvey Orgill.

Saturday 06 July 2024