Sport

Playing 24 hours earlier won’t affect Wigan Warriors in tough Huddersfield Giants clash, claims Shaun Wane

By Mark Shales

Wigan Warriors head coach Shaun Wane believes his side are more than ready to take on an in-form Huddersfield Giants Side, despite the change in date of the game.

The clash was pushed forward to Saturday because the Giants’ footballing relatives Huddersfield Town require the John Smiths Stadium for their FA Cup game, ironically against Wigan Athletic.

The Giants currently top Super League after impressive wins over St Helens and London, but Wane believes his Warriors are capable off picking up two points.

“The date change’s not caused us any problems,” he told his club’s website.

“We have got through the work we have needed to because we have had quite a big turnaround with playing last Friday.

“All it has done is just knocked one day off this week which will have been a day off so our preparations are bang on.”

Wigan remain undefeated this season, following up their opening round victory over Salford City Reds with a hard-fought draw at home to Warrington Wolves last week.

Young second-rower Liam Farrell – cousin of assistant England rugby union coach Andy – scored his first try of the season against the Wolves and currently tops the League Express Albert Goldthorpe Medal standings.

Two tries for prolific winger Pat Richards tomorrow – a past winner of the Albert Goldthorpe Medal – will see the Australian enter the top ten of all-time leading try scorers in Super League.

Huddersfield boast one of the strongest forward packs in the competition after strengthening during the off-season – Welsh captain Craig Kopczak and Stuart Fielden both looking dangerous.

And despite the likes of Tongan second-rower Ukuma Ta’ai joining the Giants’ ranks, Wane insists his Warriors’ stout defence will hold.

“They’ve obviously gone big through the middle,” he told The Guardian.

“It’s obvious which way Paul Anderson has gone with his recruitment, this is a real challenge.

“But if we defend with the type of commitment we showed last week against Warrington, we’ll be OK.”

Image courtesy of Super League TV, via YouTube, with thanks.
 
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