Wigan Warriors coach Shaun Wane has insisted his outfit have the desire for revenge ahead of their Good Friday derby clash with St Helens at the DW Stadium.
The Warriors put a loss at Leeds Rhinos behind them with a convincing 52-10 victory over struggling Wakefield Wildcats last time out.
But Wigan – currently fifth in the standings – have had far from an ideal start to the campaign, and Wane conceded that the Warriors must be on top form in their first competitive encounter with the champions since October’s Grand Final.
“They’re the team to beat, they’re doing a lot better than us and it is a huge challenge,” he said.
“What I do have here are players with a lot of heart and desire to win this game.
“It means a lot to me and my staff, just as it does to the St Helens staff – it means a lot to everybody.
“Saint’s coach Keiron (Cunningham) is a local lad and they have a lot of local player too so it has the makings of a fantastic game.
“When both teams are on it they can play some fantastic rugby league, at the moment St Helens have got the upper hand having won the trophy last year.”
Saints ran-out winners in last term’s Grand Final at Old Trafford – made infamous by Wigan prop Ben Flower receiving a red card two minutes into proceedings for a punch on Lance Hohaia.
Despite pushing Saints to the limit for the remaining 78 minutes, 12-man Wigan were unable to secure their fourth Super League crown.
Although the Warriors have been inconsistent so far in 2015 – losing three matches out of seven in total – they are unbeaten at home.
Wane has also been boosted by the return from injury of prop-duo Dom Crosby and Ryan Sutton, and the coach is confident his squad has the quality to take the spoils this time round.
“We played them in a friendly earlier this year and we got outmuscled,” he added.
“We talked about it after the game so we just need to make sure we get back to what we do best, defend as best we can and really put them under pressure.”
Main image courtesy of TetleysChallengeCup via YouTube, with thanks.