Super League: Shaun Wane proud of Wigan Warriors after win over Salford Red Devils
Last Updated: 01/08/14 7:13am
Wigan coach Shaun Wane expressed his pride after the Warriors bounced back from a shock defeat with an eight-try demolition of Salford.
Wane cancelled the players' day off and ordered them in for extra training following their 16-8 loss at relegated Bradford last week.
But on Thursday night the coach of the defending Super League champions rewarded his players with a four-day break for trouncing the Red Devils 45-4.
"I'm really proud. It's been a real tough week, probably our toughest and most honest since I've been head coach and they responded well,” Wane said.
"It was a very satisfying win. We wanted to stand up and be aggressive and we were. We were pretty ruthless.
"We have got a lot of young players in our team, a lot of local kids, and they were playing against a team with hand-picked players from all over world.
"Yet we put 40-odd points on them with seven or eight regulars missing so we're in good shape. The players have now got four days off and they've deserved it."
Centre Anthony Gelling put the returning Joel Tomkins in the shade by scoring his first Super League hat-trick but Wane was delighted with the contribution of both players.
He said of Tomkins: "He went well. He didn't have to defend much because we had the ball and scored tries in the period he was on. I think he only made three tackles so I need to check on his defence.
"But with the ball he looked a handful, he's a big athlete. I asked the boys to make it a welcome-back performance for him and that's that they did. Some of the tries we scored were really impressive."
Salford had re-ignited their play-off hopes with three consecutive wins but they are now four points behind eighth-placed Widnes and coach Iestyn Harris was not able to hide his disappointment.
"I don't think we're in a position to be thinking about the top eight. We just didn't do the things we've been doing for the last seven weeks,” he said.
"We didn't work hard for each other. We cut corners and allowed them to play on the front foot so it was only a matter of time before we started to concede points.
"Habits are strange old things, you have to work extremely hard to be consistent. Tonight we chose to have a day off, we didn't do the things we have worked desperately hard to change and we learned a big lesson."
Salford were again without star signing Kevin Locke, the New Zealand international full-back who has played fewer than two matches since arriving in the country a month ago.
Harris said: "Kevin's having some issues with a few niggles. He's got some work to do to be where he needs to be and he's working hard at the moment."