Although Wigan Warriors beat Hull FC 30-24 at the DW Stadium on Friday coach Shaun Wane was quick to praise a passionate Hull side, admitting his side could easily have lost.
Warriors’ hopes of pinching top spot away from the Leeds Rhinos was given an almighty lift following their narrow victory over Hull.
Leeds had the chance to respond on Saturday with a trip to Perpignan, but were heavily beaten by a rampant Catalans side which left Wane’s men second in the Super 8s ladder, with points difference being the only thing separating them from the Rhinos.
‘‘They (Hull) talked all week about injuries – and they do have injuries – and that makes these difficult mental games,’’ said Wane.
‘‘It was always a danger and it was my job to get rid of that.
‘‘Unfortunately we didn’t do that so I’m to blame.’’
The Warriors had to rely on a late Joe Burgess try in the dying seconds of the game to seal the win against spirited Hull side in the last move of the game.
At this stage of the season though, getting points on the board is the most crucial thing and the victory against Hull means the cherry and whites extend their unbeaten run at the DW to six games.
Captain Sean O’Loughlin (calf), Larne Patrick (back) and Matty Bowen (knee) were all forced to drop out of the Wigan squad at the last minute.
“We were disrupted, having no Lockers or Mango (Bowen), but that’s no excuse for having a scare like that,” Wane said.
This Friday the Warriors travel to Langtree Park to take on local rivals St Helens in their penultimate Super 8s fixture.
Saints, in fourth, have beaten Wigan twice already this season, a not-so-pretty statistic for the Wigan club as Wane’s men look to pile the pressure on a Leeds side that are surely tentatively looking over their shoulder as the semi-finals loom.
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