Sam Burgess on Warrington Wolves loss in Philbin Testimonial

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josie andrews
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Sam Burgess on Warrington Wolves loss in Philbin Testimonial

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REFLECTING upon his side going down to defeat in their final run-out before the new Super League season, Sam Burgess admits he expected more from his Warrington Wolves players.

The Wire were beaten 28-12 by Leigh Leopards in Joe Philbin’s Testimonial match as first-team players got their only run-out before the campaign kicks off in a fortnight.

The vast majority of the senior players on show were withdrawn at half-time when the hosts trailed 12-6, with Josh Charnley and Zak Hardaker having put Leigh in command early before James Harrison crashed over to respond.

A younger side then took over for the second half, but Burgess admitted his side have plenty to ponder and work on before facing Catalans Dragons in Round One in Perpignan.

“We weren’t what I thought we were going to be and we’ve got a bit of work to do,” he said.

“I thought they were more physical than us on both sides of the ball, so we didn’t earn much right to play.

I’ve said from the start that we’ve changed a lot. We’re not going to be the finished article and we may not be for a long time but I’m more disappointed tonight that we lost the collision.

Joe’s a really popular character in the team so the guys will be disappointed as well.

“I’m glad it wasn’t for two points, so we’ll just rest up and get ready for Catalans in two weeks’ time.

“There were some good moments but we weren’t willing to get in the grind.

“I thought Leigh were brilliant – their middles were really strong and dominated the game.

“We’ll take a great lesson out of it, so there are things to take from this.”

What Burgess did take heart from was the display of the less experienced members of his squad, who formed the vast majority of the team that took the field in the second half.

One of them – academy team winger Frank Sergent – managed to find his way over the tryline as he latched onto a Sam Powell kick.

“They’ve been really enjoyable to coach through pre-season,” Burgess.

“A few of them jumped on and did a job in the second half, which gives me real trust in them for if we pick up a few injuries.

“We were probably better in the second half than we were in the first – Leon Hayes controlled things well for us.”

Burgess left his final thought of the night for Philbin, who is being honoured for his decade of service to his hometown club throughout 2024.

“He’s a great bloke and I like what he brings,” he said.

“He’s authentic, he’s happy, he trains hard and does the little things well.

“He’s an all-round good guy and I think he’s going to have a great year.” ... stimonial/
Anyone can support a team when it is winning, that takes no courage.
But to stand behind a team, to defend a team when it is down and really needs you,
that takes a lot of courage. #18thMan
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