Maguire applauds Wigan display - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Maguire applauds Wigan display

Ian Laybourn 05/03/2011 11:19:01 AM Comments (0)

Wigan coach Michael Maguire was delighted with his side's response to their World Club Challenge defeat as they beat Salford 32-16 to maintain their unbeaten start to English Super League XVI.

Scrum-half Thomas Leuluai led the way as the Warriors bounced back in style from their 21-15 loss to NRL premiers St George Illawarra, scoring three tries in each half at the Willows.

"I'm very pleased," said Maguire. "It's been a tough couple of weeks, leading into a massive game, and we worked hard to make sure this was a positive week.

"I'm really happy the boys came through the way they did. It was good to see us defending the way we can.

"Thomas Leuluai has kicked on from last year. He is really willing to learn and he's reaping the rewards for his hard work."

Maguire refused to comment on the absence of centre Martin Gleeson, whose future at the club appears to be in serious doubt, but he confirmed Australian winger Amos Roberts was rested as a precaution after complaining of a sore knee.

Salford were hit by the late withdrawal of prop Ryan Boyle (hamstring) and skipper Daniel Holdsworth (shoulder), while stand-off Stefan Ratchford was taken off at half-time with a shin injury.

But they produced a gutsy display to atone for their humiliating experience at the hands of St Helens in their previous home game.

The Reds, under the charge of football director Steve Simms in the absence of head coach Shaun McRae, were booed off the field following that 56-22 thrashing by St Helens but left this time to generous applause from the 6,266 crowd.

"Losing two players in two days didn't help and then we lost Stefan Ratchford at half-time when I thought we were still in the game," said Simms.

"We had a few opportunities we didn't take in their quarter, we lacked a bit of composure in their areas.

"We're certainly proud of the performance. A lot of teams could have thrown the towel in against the second best team in the world, but they tried things and some of them came off."

Simms prepared the side with the help of assistant coach Malcolm Alker, with McRae on sick leave and his right-hand man Phil Veivers on compassionate leave back in Australia.

"Hopefully Shaun's going to be back quick," he said. "Certainly a performance like that will pick him up."

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