World Club Challenge: Matty Smith reflects on Wigan's win over NZ Warriors
Last Updated: 12/02/14 12:45pm
Matty Smith: captained the Wigan side in Hamilton
Wigan half-back Matty Smith says his side will take encouragement from their second-half performance as they warmed up for the World Club Challenge with a 46-22 win over New Zealand Warriors in Hamilton.
The Super League champions went into the trial match at the Waikato Stadium on the back of a solitary training session following their 28-hour flight from the UK, but they quickly shrugged off the effects of jet lag to run in nine tries - four of them from rising star Joe Burgess.
The visitors let slip an early 12-0 lead to trail 22-16 at half-time to a weakened Warriors side but dominated the second half with six unanswered tries, with 21-year-old Sam Powell leading the way with an impressive playmaking display in the absence of Australian stand-off Blake Green.
"It was scratchy in parts but I thought it was a great second half from the boys," said Smith, who captained Wigan in the absence of the injured Sean O'Loughlin.
"We've a lot to work on for next week. We wanted an 80-minute performance and I don't think we were quite there tonight. But we were up against a great opposition in the Warriors.
"We need to recover properly over the next couple of days and then hit training hard. We need to work on our plays and our defence because I think that is what is going to win us the game next week.
"Our defence needs to stand up better than it did tonight."
Warriors captain Sam Rapira said: "We've a few things to get right but we're in a trial period and I think there's no better team to come up against than a good side like Wigan."