Wigan Warriors and rivals likened to ‘NRL’ outfits as Broncos boss heaps praise on two ‘phenomenal’ clubs

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josie andrews
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Wigan Warriors and rivals likened to ‘NRL’ outfits as Broncos boss heaps praise on two ‘phenomenal’ clubs

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Wigan Warriors and St Helens are as strong as NRL standards, insists London Broncos boss Mike Eccles following back-to-back fixtures against the Super League leaders.

The London boss praised his side’s effort during their 36-0 defeat at The Brick Community Stadium as Matt Peet’s side crossed for six tries in the victory, extending their unbeaten streak.

Wigan’s Harry Smith and Luke Thompson were rested for the Round 15 clash, while rising half-back Jack Farrimond put in a player of the match performance with two tries and six conversions from as many attempts on his home debut.

The capital outfit challenged the Warriors’ defensive line but could not convert chances into points, with Eccles sharing his pride for his side’s effort.

To come up here and play the world champions on a five-day turnaround like that was class, I’m proud of them,” the head coach said.

“They’re probably the biggest club in rugby league really, and we’re an expansion club.

“It is really David versus Goliath and that’s probably to be expected, as much as we give the message to not feel like that.

“Before you know it, you’re 12 points down before you start to get into the game, but we weathered the storm, and we created some opportunities for ourselves.

Matt Peet said it was probably the most linebreaks they’ve had against them all year, which is something to take from it, but we didn’t convert them.”

London Broncos picked up their first win of the season earlier in May with a 34-18 home triumph over Hull FC, while they travelled to The Brick Community Stadium following a 52-6 defeat to St Helens in the capital.

And Leigh-born Eccles continued to liken both Warriors and Saints to NRL standards, heaping praise on the two ‘phenomenal’ clubs.

He continued: “What’s really hard is, those two teams are NRL teams in my eyes. St Helens beat St George Illawarra and Penrith Panthers last year, not just the World Club Challenge but they beat St George in the warm-up as well, so that’s where they’re at.

“And Wigan are an NRL team as well for me, and that’s the standard this year. When we were up in 2019, I thought that whilst we were stronger then and we were already full-time, so the transition was easier and better, I just feel like those top teams this time have grown further away.

“They’re phenomenal teams and phenomenal players. They’ve got all bases covered; big, tough middles, speed, quality, the depth, it’s phenomenal.

“The point I’m making is, it’s hard to gauge yourself against those teams. It’s such a mismatch.

“But the effort there was phenomenal today and that's all I can ask for.”

Eccles was also asked about the performance of opposition half-back Farrimond, who also hails from Leigh and played his amateur rugby league with Leigh Miners Rangers.

“Good on the kid. I said it last week at St Helens, these are the two best clubs by a country mile,” Eccles continued.

“The way they do it, the way they develop their players and the amount of homegrown talent on that field today for Wigan and Saints last week, it’s phenomenal.

“He’s a Leyther, and I didn’t realise that until today until I saw his junior club badge. Good on him.”

https://www.wigantoday.net/sport/rugby- ... bs-4675857
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