Wigan Warriors’ season came to end on Thursday night as they were beaten 8-0 by Leeds Rhinos at the DW Stadium.
Here’s a look at some of the talking points to emerge from the contest.
Lam’s era comes to an end
The loss to Leeds ensured Adrian Lam’s time in charge of Wigan Warriors came to an end on Thursday night.
He will have hoped to prolong his time at the club for another week at least, but he was forced to wave goodbye to the DW Stadium after being nilled on home soil by the Rhinos for the second time in the space of a month.
Lam was only supposed to be stopgap, warming the seat for Shaun Edwards, but he ended up staying for three seasons.
He led the Warriors to the League Leaders’ Shield in 2020 and reached the Grand Final in the same year, but it must be said that probably isn’t enough for a club that demands so much.
The manner in which Wigan’s season came to end wasn’t out of the ordinary either after struggling to find confidence in attack all year.
There have been mitigating circumstances such as Covid, injuries and uncertainty over the head coach position, but Lam will be hugely disappointed with how his time in charge of the club came to an end.
It wasn’t just Lam waving goodbye to the Wigan fans after the final hooter as Jackson Hastings and Oliver Gildart said their farewells, too, ahead of their moves to Wests Tigers.
Work to do
Wigan haven’t announced who will be replacing Lam yet, but it seems Matt Peet is the frontrunner having been strongly linked with the job for some time.
The assistant coach has worked his way up through the ranks at the DW Stadium and it seems he could be given the main job in the coming weeks.
Whoever takes charge, though, they will have a huge jobs on their hands trying to turn this misfiring Wigan side around.
The Cherry and Whites were at their worst in attacking areas on Thursday night as they failed to trouble Leeds’ try line throughout. The Rhinos looked strong defensively, but they weren’t tested in the slightest as Wigan lacked the confidence and the know-how to open their visitors up.
Wigan’s attack was boring, predictable and ineffective and their last tackle plays underlined where they have been going wrong all year, failing to carve out a single chance of note.
There’ll be personnel changes throughout and the loss of Hastings might be felt, but sorting the club’s attack will undoubtedly be the new head coach’s number one priority.
Eyes on Bateman
Wigan will be better for the return of Bevan French from injury next season, having missed most of the season.
Jai Field is another who will be looking to shake off his injury worries in order to give the Cherry and Whites something different and get his Super League career up and running fully.
The additions of Kaide Ellis and Patrick Mago will certainly improve a young pack, too, but more is needed from certain big name players who have played most of the year.
John Bateman is one of those who will be expected to step it up next season after a largely disappointing first year back at the DW.
He’s had his moments but he has largely struggled to replicate the type of performance he became known for in his first stint with the club and with Canberra Raiders.
He’ll be desperate to find form next year and the pressure will be on for him to deliver for the new head coach moving into a World Cup year.