Adrian Lam reacts to Wigan Warriors’ 18-12 Betfred Super League Play-Off Qualifier victory over Salford Red Devils.
Lam: ”Really proud of our courage and resilience.”
- Full-time: Wigan Warriors 18-12 Salford Red Devils.
Head Coach Adrian Lam expressed delight at his side’s spirit and work ethic in the second half of their Betfred Super League Play-Off Qualifier against Salford Red Devils as Wigan Warriors secured a Semi-Final tie with St Helens.
Tries from Oliver Gildart, Tommy Leuluai and George Williams were enough to seal the 18-12 win at the DW Stadium on Friday night.
Reacting to the victory, the boss said: “I’m exhausted emotionally, but just really proud of our courage and resilience. We weren’t always great with the ball, made a lot of errors and gave away a lot of penalties.
“I think our defence was incredible. We’ve been good at that for a long time now and it’s probably what’s got us back on top in the tail end of the season.”
In the second half, Wigan had to face long periods without the ball, defending in their own 20 consistently. On their work ethic, Lam commented: “You can’t coach that, it’s got to come from within. They kept turning up for each other. I don’t know how we stopped them at times but we did it.”
Joe Burgess created several chances on the left flank for the Warriors and assisted George Williams’ crucial second half try.
On his performance, Lam said: “He’s been quiet of late, but he’s got better over the last three or four weeks, found a lot of confidence and could have even grabbed a try in the first half.”
He also provided an update on hooker Sam Powell who was replaced in the second 40 by Bevan French.
“It doesn’t look good. He’s done his wrist; it’s most likely a break. We’ve seen that a million times in the past and it didn’t look good. We will have a look over the weekend at an X-Ray to see how it is, but Sam never comes off the field. I asked him to go an extra 10 minutes in the second half and he couldn’t.”
Wigan’s triumph over Salford sets up a Semi-Final clash against local rivals and League Leaders’ Shield winners St Helens at the Totally Wicked Stadium next Friday.
“It’s potentially the biggest derby in rugby league throughout the world,” Lam stated. “These are the games that everyone wants to play in. I’m getting old now but I remember my time as a player and finals times were the best times. I’m glad we’ve worked hard to get into second spot to get that home advantage tonight.”
St Helens will head into the game as favourites, having beaten Wigan three times this season. On facing the Saints: “We’ve worked really hard to get here. I think they’ve been the best team all year and they will be red-hot favourites next week but we will go there with a team that we think can challenge them and see how we go.”
Lam also took the time to praise Wigan’s Under-19s, who won the Academy Super League Grand Final against St Helens at the DW Stadium earlier on Friday.
“I’m really proud of them. They’ve been the best team all season by a country mile and a lot of those boys will be coming up into our squad next year. It’s been a great day for Wigan Rugby League.”