Angry Wigan head coach Shaun Wane said his side “got what they deserved” as they slumped to a shock defeat at already relegated Bradford yesterday.
Wigan were massively out of sorts during their 16-8 defeat, a result which leaves them four points behind Super League leaders St Helens with just four games remaining.
Wane refused to make excuses for the poverty of his side’s play, saying the best side won. “I’m angry and disappointed, but I must commend Bradford. They were the best team and they fully deserved their win,” Wane said. “We got what we deserved, absolutely, straight between our eyes.
“We have to be mentally tougher and I know we can perform a lot better than that. That’s down to me as head coach – it was far from acceptable but we know that. We turned up with the wrong attitude and got what we deserved.
“But we’ll bounce back and we’ll be ready for Salford. We normally don’t give many penalties away but we did today when we defended because we were loose. I don’t want to take anything away from Bradford. It’s sad what has happened to them but they deserved it today.”
Bradford ran in three tries to Wigan’s two, with Danny Williams, Joe Arundel and Matty Blythe all crossing for the Bulls. Dom Manfredi had put Wigan in front early on, and he also grabbed a consolation try towards the end.
Bradford are merely playing for pride in the remaining rounds of the season, but James Lowes – who gained his first win as head coach with this result – said it was no less than his squad deserved after a tough week in training.
“I’m not delighted for myself, I’m delighted for the boys,” Lowes said. “We spoke about not throwing the towel in. They’ve worked extremely hard since I’ve been at the club and I’m overjoyed for them.
“It’s not about me, because some of the stuff we’ve done in training paid off in a big way today. Defensively, they worked so hard.”
Huddersfield cemented their place in the top six of the table with a 38-16 win over Catalan Dragons, but their coach, Paul Anderson, is setting his sights even higher.
The Giants ran in seven tries to three against the seventh-placed Dragons as they maintained their challenge for a maiden Grand Final appearance. “There is everything to play for,” Anderson said. “We want to be in that top four, we still want to finish top if that’s possible.”
Chris Riley scored a hat-trick of tries against his parent club Warrington as Wakefield kept their hopes of a top-eight finish alive with a 40-26 victory at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.