Rugby

Wigan Warriors Have the Talent to Dislodge St Helens

Wigan Warriors Have the Talent to Dislodge St Helens

Wigan Warriors produced a thrilling performance in the 2018 Super League Grand Final to defeat St Helens even after the Saints dominated during the regular campaign.

The Warriors would have been confident of emulating their feat in the 2019 post-season even after their underwhelming performance during the term. However, they crashed out of the playoffs, suffering heavy defeats at the hands of their rivals at the semi-finals and the Salford Red Devils in the preliminary final.

It was a humbling defeat and Adrian Lam and his team have had ample time to dwell on their loss.

However, they’re once again on the charge in the 2020 season and will be expected to compete for the crown. The Warriors are backed in the rugby league odds at 7/2 to win the Super League this term, although it will take a flawless effort to dislodge St Helens from the pinnacle of the sport.

Wigan lost playmaker George Williams during the off-season as he made the move to the NRL to join the Canberra Raiders.

Only three players created more tries than Williams last season, but fortunately for the Warriors they were able to snap up one of those men to replace him. Jackson Hastings tormented the club in the preliminary final while playing for the Salford Red Devils.

As a result of his excellence over the course of the 2019 campaign, Lam secured his signature on a two-year deal.

Hastings notched 36 try assists for the Red Devils, and he has already made an impact in the 2020 season, creating six scores for his team-mates. If Hastings continues to operate at that standard, Wigan should be one of the leading scorers in the Super League this term – perhaps breaking the 700-point barrier that the Red Devils reached in 2019.

Jake Bibby and George Burgess were also signed by the club, with the latter charged with improving the defence that was – to say the least – lacklustre in the 2019 post-season. The early signs are promising for the new term, although only time will tell whether Wigan can match the stoic Saints’ defence.

The Warriors edged out the Warrington Wolves in the opening match of the 2020 season. Ben Murdoch-Masila did put the visitors ahead at the DW Stadium, but Lam’s men were to rally through scores from Bevan French, Sam Powell and Liam Marshall to claim the victory. Warrington put forward a stout effort even after seeing captain Chris Hill dismissed in the first half.

Wigan’s struggles in the final third were evident as they slipped to their first loss of the campaign at the hands of the Castleford Tigers. French was on form with a couple of good runs, while Liam Byrne and Burgess notched their side’s two scores, but it was not effective enough to avoid a 16-12 defeat on the road.

The Toronto Wolfpack were the solution to those issues in week three as the Warriors put 32 points on the board against the Super League fledglings, although the Warriors did have to come from behind to win.

French continued his bright start to the season with a brace along with Liam Farrell, who also crossed the line twice.

There are plenty of positives for Wigan in the opening month of the campaign, but they know they will have to be flawless to beat the Saints, while even teams of the ilk of the Huddersfield Giants could cause issues after their impressive start. Lam has the talent at his disposal, although he has to find a way to blend it together to create a championship-calibre outfit.

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