Tony Clubb doesn’t believe Cronulla’s day-trip to Paris is a signal the NRL champions are taking the World Club Challenge lightly.
It is understood the vast-majority of the Sharks squad embarked on the journey to the French capital.
We will definitely have to aim up
They will return to their London base tonight and relocate to Manchester tomorrow ahead of Sunday’s showdown at the DW Stadium.
“Whatever works for them,” said Clubb.
“I’m sure they’ve been around London, I’m sure a few haven’t been over before and it’s something different for them.
“I’m not reading anything into that – it gets them away and not thinking about the game, that’s all.”
On arriving in England on Sunday, Sharks coach Shane Flanagan said he was preparing to meet fire with fire. “If they want to get fiery, I’ve got the team to handle that. (Paul) Gallen and (Andrew) Fifita and (Matt) Prior and them – they’ll handle that easy,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald. Clubb says Wigan’s pack will need to “aim up” to give the Super League champions a chance of victory.
“They have got physical lads, but we’ve got some big physical boys ourselves,” he said.
“We will definitely have to aim up, Gallen and Fifita are big bodies and they run for a lot of metres, and we need to nullify that with good D (defence).”
Former London Broncos captain Clubb is seeking his first trophy since moving to Wigan ahead of 2014. “I don’t think anyone has given us a chance, some of the messages I’ve had, they think they’re going to put 40 or 50 on us, and I think that’s massively off the mark,” added the 29-year-old.
“We’re quietly confident, Waney will have us well-prepared. People talk about them being a good team, but we’re a good team, too.”
Clubb played his first game in nine months last Saturday as Wigan opened their Super League defence with a 26-16 win at Salford.
He missed the bulk of last season due to a serious neck injury, while a lower back strain kept him out of pre-season.
“The lungs were pretty tired,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve been as nervous in a long time. We had drop out, big Lama Tasi got the ball and I had to steam into that! But now I’ve got the first game out the way it’s put me in good stead.”
Robert Hicks will referee Sunday’s game (3pm kick-off), which will be played under international rules. Chairman Ian Lenagan expects a crowd upwards of 20,000 at the DW.