Dom liking his chance to Man up

Dom Manfredi
Dom Manfredi

Most would agree when Joe Burgess vacated his No 5 jersey at the end of last season, Dom Manfredi was an ideal, ready-made replacement.

His ability to run at a wall of defenders and miraculously come out the other side to make a break has won him many fans, and his aggressive approach also supplements his defence.

And as Wigan travel to Hull tomorrow still looking for their best form in attack this term, despite winning three from three Super League games, Manfredi has warned that the Airlie Birds are capable of clipping his side’s flight feathers.

“We’ve not played at 100 per cent yet but we’ve still been getting wins,” acknowledged the 22-year-old.

“But if we don’t perform on Friday we won’t win – Hull are a good team.

“They look really strong this year, they have some good individuals and we’ll have to work hard to handle them.”

Hull’s heavy recruitment from the NRL for this term has been a main talking point in the early stages of the season, and they have given weight to the argument they are capable of breaking into the play-offs based on their start – despite last weekend’s 31-24 loss to Castleford.

But Manfredi is confident his Warriors can preserve their proud unbeaten record at the KC Stadium, which stretches back to 2010, as well as register their fourth win from four opening games, which would represent another first since 2010.

“If we perform as a team we’ll be okay,” he said. “If you look at last week (a 20-16 win over Salford), we didn’t panic. It was a close one but we managed to pull through in the end and we ended-up stealing the game in the last couple of minutes.”

Manfredi played a key role in that nervy win at the DW Stadium, finishing off the move in the south west corner of the ground which ultimately undid the Red Devils’ comeback from 16-2 down to 16-16.

It was Manfredi’s second try of the season, suggesting he could be on course for another impressive return in 2016 as far as points scoring is concerned.

Last year he crossed the whitewash 22 times from 18 appearances, and the year before he scored 11 tries from 14.

But it isn’t just the Leigh Miners product’s try-scoring antics which have endeared him to fans.

His aggressive running style often sees him bounce off defenders who are left grasping at the spot their target once stood –and he has the ability to create chances out of nothing, something he admits ‘just happens’.

And with the left wing spot his to lose, he could be in line to make more appearances as Wigan look to go one better this year than their Grand Final runners-up finishes from the past two seasons.

Not that Manfredi is bothered about rocking the try-scoring charts or boosting his own records – he knows there are bigger items on the agenda.

“As long as we get the win that’s all I’m bothered about,” he said.

“It is good to be first choice winger. I’ve never been in that position before. It’s good to string a few games together and hopefully we can keep that up and I’ll be able to play week-in, week-out.

“But everything’s the same – I just keep trying to improve and all I’m bothered about is playing well.”