TALKING SPORT - There’s Wigan in first place, daylight in second

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LET me start my opinion piece by offering the opinion of someone else.

“At the moment there’s Wigan... then the rest of us,” Huddersfield coach Nathan Brown told The Guardian.

The ladder says the Warriors are only three points clear, but really there’s daylight between themselves and their closest rivals.

They have scored 92 points against last year’s two Grand Finalists, St Helens and Leeds, and they’ve done so with a depleted side.

What I like most about what Shaun Wane has done to his home-town club is his attitude. That sense of, no matter what happens, they will dust themselves down and get on with things. When he was asked about having eight players missing before facing Leeds, he responded, ‘We’ll deal with it’. And they did.

Can anyone stop them? Warrington, on their day. Maybe.

But unless something goes drastically wrong, Wigan look well-equipped to win one or both trophies this season.

WHEN you see genius all the time, you can take it for granted.

But I’d find it hard to fall into that trap with Sam Tomkins.

He excels himself week after week with some jaw-dropping performances.

Look at last Friday night at Leeds – he displayed another side of his game because only those at Headingley could get a real feel for the spite he faced from the terraces, at the very same venue where he was booed while on England duty.

His response? By irritating and niggling at Leeds, confronting Jamie Jones-Buchanan with all the gung-ho enthusiasm of Scrappy Doo and silencing the fans with a breathtaking performance.

At the full-time whistle he still wasn’t done.

He cheekily Tweeted afterwards: “Wigan fans were loud as ever for 80 minutes... so were the Leeds fans for 60.”

A COLLEAGUE was writing about those lucky enough to run with the Olympic flame through the borough last week.

Noticing that some names were missing from the list, he contacted the London 2012 press office – who told him that some didn’t want the publicity.

So just to be clear, they’ll be cheered by thousands of people, have their pictures printed in newspapers and Tweeted around cyberspace, feature on the local TV news... but have their name printed? Heaven forbid.

THERE has been a strong sense of deja vu where Wigan Athletic are concerned this summer.

Stay up in dramatic style? Check. Approach made by another club for Roberto Martinez? Yep. Martinez turns down offer from said club? Present and accounted for.

We’re also now in the calm before the storm, just like last year, before a clutch of new players arrive – probably from South America, Spain or Scotland, if the deja vu train continues – in time for the new season.