Wigan Warriors may have been top of the league heading into this weekend’s fixtures – but coach Shaun Wane has stressed that Friday’s opponents, bottom-placed Leeds, are playing better than his side at the moment.
The Warriors and the Rhinos renew their rivalry at Headingley Carnegie on Friday night, with Wigan knowing a win takes them back to the Super League summit after Hull’s win in the derby on Thursday night.
But victory is equally important for Leeds, who are looking to secure an extra home game in the Qualifiers next month.
And despite once again winning in tough circumstances last weekend – playing over a half game with 12 men and beating Wakefield – Wane says the Rhinos are the form side heading into the clash.
“They are playing better than us at the minute. They are back to the old Leeds and we are miles off,” he said.
“What they did last year was unbelievable and I always knew they would get back to playing really well. It is just our luck that we have got them now.”
Wane has also insisted the table means nothing when it comes to a Leeds-Wigan game: and he wants his players to treat the match with the intensity of a major final.
“I don’t take notice of the table,” Wane said.
“Leeds are playing confidently and playing with loads of energy. You watch them at Hull and you could see that.
“They’re a better side now – I said all along they would come good. They’ll get through the middle eights, I’m sure. My chat to the players this week is to treat it like we’re playing a Grand Final.”