Jackson Hastings steers Wigan Warriors to first League Leaders Shield since 2012

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Adrian Lam has banned any use of the C word after Jackson Hastings steered Wigan to a first League Leaders Shield since 2012.

Hastings – whose future beyond the end of this season has still to be decided – scored one try and made another for Zak Hardaker in the space of five crucial second half minutes.

They proved decisive moments in a tight tussle, with Lam’s side looking nervous at times after last week’s impressive victory over rivals St Helens.

They now have a weekend off ahead of a Super League semi-final, and Lam doesn’t want to hear any mention of Covid-19 during that time.

“We don’t talk about the C word,” he said. "It’s a dangerous time and we’ve talked about it nearly every day. Our protocols are among the best in the world – if it happens it happens, but I pray it doesn’t for the integrity of the game.

Sam Powell was awarded a contentious first half try for the Warriors
(Image: Getty Images)

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“There was a little bit of nerves in the dressing at half-time and it was a bit quiet, but that’s because it was important to them.

“We went into lockdown in first place and have been there or thereabouts, and it’s acknowledgement for a consistent year.”

On match-winner Hastings, Lam added: “Jackson’s been good for a long time – he’s been doing some great stuff and played a big part in where we are.”

The Giants finish the campaign in seventh after a series of close defeats all year. But they could still feature in the play-offs as they remain on stand-by for any team struck down by a virus outbreak in coming weeks.

Coach Luke Robinson said: “I feel like I’m on repeat every week – once again the boys really showed up for each other. The effort was incredible but unfortunately once again we just fell out of that arm wrestle.”

Jackson Hastings forces his way over for his crucial second half try
(Image: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com)

The teams were locked together at 6-6 after an attritional first half, Sam Powell’s contentious opener cancelled out by Sam Wood’s response just before the break.

After a period of Warriors dominance in the third quarter, Hastings followed Powell’s lead by plunging over from dummy half – with no doubt over the grounding this time.

Moments later his weighted kick to the in goal was touched down by Hardaker to quickly open up a 12-point lead.

That was always likely to be enough in worsening conditions, and Hastings made sure with a drop goal in the closing stages.