Talking Sport - Which Warriors side will turn up?

Phil Wilkinson

Phil Wilkinson

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WIGAN have shown what they can do at stages this season.

At times they’ve been mesmerising, as they’ve racked up big scorelines (60-0 v Hull KR, 52-10 v Wakefield). At other times, their character has shone through.

I’m thinking of the Magic win against Leeds, the home victories over St Helens and Warrington... even the extra-time loss to Brisbane.

Yet those highlights have been spliced by sticky stages, surprise defeats and some error-strewn displays.

Against Warrington, they were soft. I said before kick-off that, had both performed at 80 per cent of their capabilities, Wigan would have won quite comfortably. I stand by that.

Trouble was, if Warrington were at 90 per cent, Wigan were at 50. Maybe lower.

I won’t join those fans who make bold predictions of doom on the back of one performance.

Because when Wigan were mauled by Catalans, I heard similar forecasts... and the week later they claimed a magnificent win against Leeds at Newcastle.

Little wonder Shaun Wane has been left “frustrated” by their inconsistency this term. Which Wigan will turn up this week?

Forgive me if I don’t feel too sorry for the Latics players being flown out to the Spanish sun, while the rest of us endure the rain back at home.

Gary Caldwell has stressed they will be experiencing anything but a holiday over in La Manga.

Of course, it’s easy to say the right things at this time of year.

But remember, this time last year, Latics were enduring a catastrophic pre-season in Germany. It got so bad the club had to cancel one of their fixtures, as injuries and fitness issues hit them hard.

Latics ended up staggering into the season, and it could be argued they never really recovered. If boxing fights are won and lost in the gym long before showtime, football sides are shaped in pre-season.

The friendlies start in earnest next week, with short trips to Altrincham and Southport, and hopefully the hard work being done in La Manga can ensure the side hit the ground running in the new season.

PART of me admires Marwan Koukash for letting fans in for free last Sunday. For taking such a bold and costly move to try and win over new fans.

And then part of me sees their crowd was the lowest of all the six games (5,078) and wonders whether he asks himself: Why do I bother?

I LOVE this part of summer, because it seems every week there’s a major sporting event.

If it’s not Wimbledon, it’s the Ashes. If it’s not the Ashes, it’s The Open.

I can watch and enjoy most sports ... but Formula One is not for me.

Lewis Hamilton claimed the British Grand Prix victory last weekend because of a decision to take a pit-stop.

As I say, each to their own. It would be boring if we all had the same interests.

But I prefer raw athleticsm and skill, rather than things like ‘nozzle speed’, to decide champions.