Thank heavens for Magic Sam: Wigan Warriors’ Shaun Wane delighted with Tomkins’ weekend show

By Thomas McCooey

Wigan Warriors coach Shaun Wane praised man of the match Sam Tomkins as they beat Leeds Rhinos and reinstated their three-point cushion at the top of the table.

Tomkins raced over the line to open the scoring after nine minutes in the 20-16 victory at Magic Weekend but the manner of the win left Wane unhappy.

Wigan were kept scoreless in the second half for the first time this season but Wane insists he was confident the Warriors would pull through.

“Sam played with energy and I was confident we could get over ourselves,” said Wane.

“Leeds are a team that can score, they have got that much quality in their team. You can never write them off but I still thought we could pull something out of the bag. 

“I enjoyed the win but I would not say it was a relief. It was enjoyable to win and not be at our best with our attack.”

Rhinos captain Kevin Sinfield knocked over a penalty and scored a try in the 20th minute but Wigan fought back with tries from Pat Richards and Josh Charnley.

The champions replied through Kallum Watkins and scored the only try of the second half with a 52nd minute try form Joe Vickery.

But Richards, having kicked two first half penalties, produced the match winning tackle with 56 seconds left when he bundled Vickery into touch. 

“At times we were trying to go round them instead of through them and when we did put our plays on we just were not our best,” said Wane.

“I think we have come a long way from the defeat at Leeds in March and that was my big challenge for this year. 

“We are getting close but we are nowhere near where I want us to be but as long as we are making improvements and we are making the right strides then I am positive. If I do not see improvements then it’s different.”

Wigan face Wakefield next Sunday and Wane asserted this week’s video review will not be positive. 

“I’ll not be celebrating tonight,” he added.

Image courtesy of Super League TV, via YouTube, with thanks

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