Don’t miss your FREE SL18 supplement

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TO mark the start of Super League 18 the Wigan Observer has produced a cracking 12-page supplement FREE in this week’s 128-page paper.

Featuring all the news, views and interviews from the Warriors camp ahead of the big kick-off this Friday night, it’s an absolute must for Warriors fans.

Here’s a sneak preview of one of the articles ...

Matty Smith reckons the current play-off format is unfair.

Days before the new Super League campaign begins, the half-back has voiced his opinion about the current top-eight.

For two years running the team finishing top has failed to reach the Grand Final – while Leeds have marched from fifth to claim the title.

And Smith (pictured) hopes it will be tinkered with in the future to better reward those sides which finish higher up the ladder after 27 rounds.

He said: “I think it does need changing.

“I reckon there’s should be five teams, gave a top five and the team that finishes first should go straight into the Grand Final and then the other four battle it out – but that’s just my opinion.

“It’s the way it is and we’ve just got to get on with it.”

Smith was not making an excuse for Wigan’s collapse last year which saw them fall at the semi-finals, spoiling an otherwise enjoyable and successful campaign. He said: “We did really well last year in the league and to come top and then come away with nothing is a bit frustrating and it’s not a nice feeling.

“In a way you don’t get the credit due. No disrespect to Leeds but at the end of the day it seems all about winning four play-off games and you’re champions.”

Smith – who joined the Warriors last summer from Salford – will be critical to Wigan’s success this year.

He and Blake Green will come under sharp focus in Friday’s opener on Salford as Warriors fans – and Super League as a whole – get an indication of how the team may cope with new halfbacks, following the departure of Thomas Leuluai and Brett Finch.

And Smith said: “There’s pressure, but you look round and there’s loads of world class players here so I believe we can go that one step further this year and come out with trophies. That’s all we’ve talked about.”

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