14 September 2023

Wigan boss Matt Peet hails competitive Super League, saying ‘every game matters’

14 September 2023

Wigan head coach Matt Peet has hailed the most competitive era in Betfred Super League history as three clubs head into the final two weeks of the regular season locked together in their quest to claim the League Leaders’ Shield.

Peet’s side top the standings by virtue of a better points difference over Catalans and St Helens respectively, with the top two in the final table guaranteed a single home play-off tie to reach the Grand Final at Old Trafford on October 14.

“It’s brilliant for the sport, and the league table at the moment is what the salary cap was introduced for,” said Peet, whose side face struggling Castleford in their final home game of the season on Friday night.

“I remember times when we were looking at the NRL and saying how competitive that was, and I think now we can say we’ve reached the point where a lot of teams can beat each other and every game matters.

“Catalans have now become a major player and are beginning to bring their own players through, and then you look at the likes of Leigh and Hull KR. I think it’s about individual clubs raising their standards.”

Less than half of the League Leaders’ Shield winners have gone on to claim Grand Final glory since the system was introduced in 1998, but Peet, who signed a new four-year contract extension with his club this week, refused to dismiss the importance of topping the table at the end of the regular season.

“It would be a massive achievement,” added Peet. “I think of those teams who have won it in the past, some like to make a big thing of it and others like to gloss over it and turn straight to the play-offs.

“We’d be really proud to finish in that spot because it suggests a level of consistency, and it’s a great way to acknowledge that you’re heading in the right direction.”

With the third-placed team facing an additional play-off tie prior to a prospective trip to their second-placed rivals, both Catalans and Saints also know the importance of claiming wins over Leeds and Warrington respectively this weekend.

Ahead of his side’s Friday night trip to play-off hopefuls Wire, Saints boss Paul Wellens echoed Peet’s opinion, insisting: “For it to go down to the wire with three teams so close together is fantastic for the sport.

“We’re really proud to be in this position because we were in a very different position not so long ago. It gives us a chance that not so long ago we probably didn’t think we would have.”

Also on Friday night, Wakefield’s relegation to the Championship will be confirmed if they fail to win at fourth-placed Leigh, or if Castleford get an unlikely result at Wigan.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox