Wigan Warriors coach Shaun Wane has declared that every game between now and the end of the season is to be treat like a Grand Final, as they look to bounce back from defeat in the Challenge Cup semi-finals this weekend.
The Warriors came agonisingly close to a Wembley return before falling just short against Hull FC in Doncaster on Friday, quashing any hope of a treble in 2016 for the club.
They now start their Super 8s campaign at home to the Wildcats on Friday looking to consolidate their spot in Super League’s top four, and Wane believes that they have to approach all their remaining fixtures with a big-game mentality.
“Every game is a must-win, and we are thinking about nothing else other than Wakefield on Friday, and making sure they get a really good performance put on them by us,” he told Wigan Today.
“We’re treating it as a Grand Final – every game. The preparation will be very intense.”
Wane also said that the club’s youngsters will learn from the heartache of defeat so close to a Wembley final.
“It will do people like Oliver Gildart, Ryan Sutton, the world of good playing in those big games,” he said.
“They were very noticeable in how upset they were after the game and again on Saturday morning.
“So it’s good for people like Sam (Tomkins) and Lockers (Sean O’Loughlin), who’ve done it, won and lost those big games, to give feedback at training. They’ll be stronger players and probably more determined to get to a final after what happened.”