Wigan Warriors coach Shaun Wane has targeted a physical approach from his team ahead of Friday’s huge derby match against St Helens – in a bid to ensure they aren’t “out-Wiganed”.
The two great rivals lock horns for the first time in a competitive match since last year’s controversial Grand Final, which the Saints won to claim a first Super League title since 2006.
And Wane is fully aware of the challenge Saints pose having met in a friendly prior to Super League XX, and wants his team to muscle up and get physical against their biggest rivals in front of a packed DW Stadium.
“We played them in a friendly this year and we got out-muscled,” Wane said yesterday.
“They talked about it after the game, about how aggressive they were and they ‘out-Wiganed Wigan’ was a comment from Jon Wilkin. It’s just about us being really physical and getting back to what we do best.
“If we defend as best we can, really physical and put them under pressure, then we’ll give ourselves a chance with the ball. I thought in the Wakefield game we were very committed on our plays and we need to do that again.
Despite an encouraging win against Wakefield last Friday, Wane is still under no illusions about the challenge in front of his side on Friday afternoon, insisting they will be a totally different challenge than the Wildcats were.
He said: “I’m under no illusions – St Helens are a much improved team and i don’t mean that in a disrespectful way to Wakefield.
“They’re a very talented team and really well coached – it’s a totally different challenge for us this week.”