League Leaders’ Shield is for everyone at Wigan Warriors, says Matt Peet

WIGAN WARRIORS’ League Leaders’ Shield triumph is a success for the whole club, according to their coach Matt Peet.

The Cherry and Whites secured top spot in the Super League regular season thanks to a tense final-day win over neighbours Leigh Leopards.

With Catalans Dragons and St Helens at their heels, any slip-up from Wigan would have thrown away not only the Shield but a top-two place and automatic play-off semi-final berth.

But the Warriors held their nerve for a 10-6 victory, their ninth in a row in Super League, to finish ahead of their two rivals on points difference.

“It’s a great achievement and a great pat on the back for the whole club,” said Peet of Wigan’s sixth triumph since the prize was introduced in its current guise in 1998.

“The Grand Final is the main prize, no doubt, but it’s a nice nod to everyone at the club and all our departments, because it’s a reflection of the full squad.

“It’s been fine margins this year, so in one sense it’s shared (with Catalans and St Helens). We all finished pretty equal, but we get the trophy and I’m really proud of the team.”

Sky Sports were showing tries from around the grounds while broadcasting Wigan’s match, keeping Peet abreast of other scores from his coaching box.

But he insisted he wasn’t too bothered about how Catalans and Saints were getting on, knowing his side was in the driving seat and simply had to do their job and win.

“It didn’t really change it for us. I wasn’t that concerned about other games,” he said.

“I asked straight after (about the results) but it’s ended as everyone thought it would.”

Wigan now have the simplest route to Old Trafford in theory, with a home clash the week after next against the lowest-ranked winner in this weekend’s eliminators.

But Peet remembers all too well how their title hopes ended last season, after also progressing straight through to the semi-finals with a second-placed league finish.

They were stunned then by a resurgent Leeds Rhinos, who were fresh off a run of victories to first reach the play-offs, and then beat Catalans in the first round of them.

“It works both ways,” said Peet of the benefit of a week’s rest.

“Last year, we got a week off and Leeds came in hardened from a run of results, so I think teams can build momentum in the play-offs. 

“I think (achieving) the home semi-final is the big one.”

Meanwhile Wigan are being strongly linked with former St Helens prop forward Luke Thompson, who has now left Canterbury Bulldogs after four seasons in the NRL.