Burke sees big improvement

Greg Burke (far left) congratulates Ben Flower on his try at the KC Stadium
Greg Burke (far left) congratulates Ben Flower on his try at the KC Stadium

He has only played three games this season, but Greg Burke can already sense a big improvement from the Wigan side of two years ago.

The Warriors head into Friday’s Grand Final rematch with Leeds in confident mood after four straight Super League wins in succession.

Matty Smith’s dramatic second drop-goal sealed a 26-25 win at Hull FC last Friday night.

They also left it late to claim victories against Huddersfield and Salford.

And Burke - who spent last season on loan at Hull KR - reckons they have overcome the “mental block” which hindered them in the past.

He said: “We’re winning games that, in the past, I think we’d have lost - especially with the players who are missing.

“I remember when I was here last in 2014, it felt like whenever Sean O’Loughlin didn’t play we didn’t seem to win!

“We have got over that mental block now.

“That’s a good sign, we’ve got team stability and we’re finding ways to win.”

The absence of O’Loughlin last Friday, owing to an infected cut, thrust Burke into the starting line-up.

“When I was driving into Orrell (for the coach) I saw Lockers going back, so that’s when I knew he wouldn’t be playing,” said the 23-year-old.

“I had an inkling I might be playing a bigger role and on the way over I thought, ‘I better get my head right, just in case’.

“I was happy to get a start, especially in a game like that because they have some big middles and they were a good test for us.

“In terms of the arm-wrestle in the middle, I thought we handled it well but it was a really good battle.”