The Liam Farrell Column: We’re all keyed up for the big one

Liam Farrell races away for a try against Widnes
Liam Farrell races away for a try against Widnes

It feels weird that the derby is only worth two points, because it feels like there’s much more at stake.

They are really special games to be involved in, for the fans and everyone at the two clubs.

I know from watching them when I was younger just how much anticipation and excitement there is in the build-up to the game.

It’s a massive game for all the Wigan lads, and the players from overseas and other areas all realise just how big it is as well.

The feel of the game seems different to other matches.

The atmosphere is great – it’s fantastic to see we’ve sold out our away allocation – and the speed of the game is usually high, there’s a lot of nervous energy early on.

Sam Tomkins minus his beard

Sam Tomkins minus his beard

All games against Saints are big, but there’s something about Good Friday which elevates it above the other fixtures later in the year.

I’m not going to talk about their form too much, because form goes out the window in these games. We’ve played them when we’ve been down on bodies and won, and there have been times when Saints have been struggling and they’ve turned up – they tend to be close games because they mean so much to everyone involved.

Hopefully we’ll see our attack finally click into games.

We have been really good defensively this year, but our attack hasn’t found its rhythm yet.

It’s something we have spoken about and something we are working on, because there hasn’t been one game this year we’ve been happy with our attack throughout the match.

The number of players we have missing through injury is one factor, but we’re not using that as an excuse.

Everyone knows we are a structured team and the easiest way of describing it is we are trying to make sure each of us do our job effectively.

If everyone does that, the team really lifts.

My late try against St Helens in the 2011 Good Friday is still one of the best I’ve scored.

There were that many people piling on top of me, my ribs were sore for months!

Someone asked whether my try against Widnes last Thursday was the furthest I’ve ever scored a try from – 100 per cent!

I don’t think I’ve ever scored a long range try like that, even when I was a kid!

Sadly, we lost the game, and the disappointing thing was it ended our run of 21 months without a Super League defeat at the DW.

The Easter weekend always stirs the same debates, about whether we should play two rounds over four days.

I won’t disagree with people who say it’s tough - it really is a challenge to back-up and play on Easter Monday.

But I’m happy with it. It’s only once a year, and it’s something I enjoy doing.

It’s a test of your squad strength and you tend to see the table take shape after Easter.

We’ve also done pretty well in recent years in coping with the demands.

There were some surprising results last weekend.

It was good to see Hull KR get their first win of the year – they did well to beat Salford, who had been in form.

And while I’ve not seen too much of Warrington this year, they’re posting some impressive scores.

It could be an interesting one next week...

When I turned up for training on Monday, I thought one of the academy lads had been promoted to the first team.

Then I realised it was Sam Tomkins.

He’s finally, finally had a shave and it’s taken 10 years off him!

But seriously, it was good to see him back on the training field. Hopefully we’ll see him back in the team in the not too distant future.

Liam Farrell was talking to Phil Wilkinson