SHAUN Wane’s decision to rest players against Widnes was debated and discussed by fans long before kick-off on Sunday.
No surprise those conversations have been amped up since their shock 37-36 loss at Widnes.
But anyone who needs convincing Wane’s right to rotate his squad need only look at last year.
It’s widely accepted that Wigan looked tired by the end of the season, when they lost three from five and faded out of the Grand Final reckoning.
Yet earlier in the season, they thumped Barrow in the Cup 52-0 with a squad featuring Sean O’Loughlin, Sam Tomkins, Thomas Leuluai, Pat Richards and George Carmont – who were all rested by Wane last Sunday!
And it’s not all about keeping the front-line players fresh. It’s also about making sure there’s cover – and competition – for their spots.
Think about it.
If Leuluai or Mike McIlorum were injured or banned a week before a play-off match, or a Challenge Cup semi-final, or a Good Friday derby, would it be fair to hand an unprepared Logan Tomkins a debut in those circumstances? Or Joe Mellor, or Anthony Gelling, or Matt Russell?
Better, surely, to give them a taste of Super League earlier so they can acclimatise to that level. And hopefully, they will play well enough to provide genuine competition, so the likes of Leuluai and Richards feel under genuine pressure for their spots.
The benefits are huge... even if it carries the risk of defeat.
WIGAN Athletic have 10 games to save themselves.
And if Sunday’s draw at Norwich is anything to go by, they have it in them to get out of trouble.
After the shambles of Swansea, Roberto Martinez called on ‘the real’ Latics to stand up to be counted.
And his team didn’t let him down with a rousing performance. The challenge now is to take that level into the final straight – starting this weekend against West Brom.
Roy Hodgson’s men won’t be pushovers, boasting one of the best away records in the Premier League.
And Wigan’s home form has been poor.
But Shaun Maloney provided the spark when he came on at Carrow Road, and there will now be an inevitable clamour for him to start against the Baggies. Could be so crucial in the relegation run-in.
HOW precious of the athletics chiefs to react to questions about Tiffany Porter’s appointment as Great Britain captain.
The Daily Mail journo had his privileges withdrawn after asking if she knew the words to God Save the Queen.
It seemed a fair question.
Porter was born in America, represented America, first visited these shores two years ago and Tweeted to the world on American Independence Day: “It’s the 4th of July!!! Wishing I was in the States to celebrate this special day! I’m definitely there in spirit though.”
So why was she selected?
The headline on GB’s own press release says it all: ‘GB and NI grab best ever world indoor medal haul.’