Wigan Warriors head coach Shaun Wane says his side owe Super 8s local rivals St Helens a beating as the duo prepare for a traditionally fiery derby.
A win for his side at Langtree Park will take them to the top of the table following Leeds’ loss to Castleford last night which has opened up the race for the all-important top two league positions.
A win for Wigan tonight, who like St Helens are playing their penultimate Super 8s encounter, could guarantee them a home semi-final tie, but boss Wane insists his side are not thinking too much about league positions particularly going into a game of such rivalry.
“If we were at the top and they were at the bottom or vice-versa, this game would be full on.
“There is some intense feeling between both clubs but it has been bred into us to win this game.”
The Warriors welcome back Matty Bowen, Sean O’Loughlin and Larne Patrick and will not be short on confidence having won seven of their last eight games. But Wane knows all too well the threat that Saints can pose.
“Their front-row is good and so is their back five.
“We owe them one as they beat us really well at Langtree Park a few months ago, so we need to go there with a much improved performance.”
Both Wane and his opposite number Keiron Cunningham have detailed the ease with which they are able to motivate their players for games such as this.
“We always work hard but in terms of motivation it doesn’t take a lot to get the players up this week,” Cunningham said.
Wane echoed the Saints boss’ comments and vowed there would be no signs of the mental struggle seen last week in their game against Hull FC.
“It is easy getting them up for this game.
“We have had three video meetings already with individuals and the players are ready and prepared.
“There is a different look about them – they know it is a St Helens game week.”
Image courtesy of TetleysChallengeCup via YouTube, with thanks.