BRETT Finch has targeted his opposite number Rangi Chase as posing the biggest threat to their hopes of sweeping to the top of Super League tonight.
The battle between the two stand-offs is shaping as an intriguing sub-plot to this evening’s DW Stadium showdown with Castleford.
And in-form Finch – twice Sky Sports’ man of the match in the past three weeks – admits he will have his hands full trying to put the shackles on the slippery Kiwi No.6. He said: “Rangi has had a good year, he’s obviously been their best player and I thought he was fantastic in that Exiles game against England as well.
“He’s very skilful and if you give him time and space he’s going to cause problems. He’s obviously going to be the key for what they do. We’ll have to try and nullify him as best we can.”
Coach Michael Maguire added: “He’s their go-to-man and he’s got a lot of quality about him.”
Tonight’s Sky-televised game is a rearranged fixture from Round 3 in February, owing to Warriors’ involvement in the World Club Challenge.
Wigan, on 29 points, trail leaders Warrington by just a point and are the bookmakers’ overwhelming favourites to win tonight and leapfrog the Wolves.
The disappointment of drawing 22-22 against the Tigers last month – having led 22-4 – is fresh in the players’ memories and they are determined to give the fans an 80 minute display this evening.
“For 40 minutes it was great,” admitted Finch. “And that wasn’t too long ago so we’ll not be taking anything for granted. We know they’ll be a good team and hopefully we can put in an 80 minute performance this time.”
Since that draw, Wigan have beaten St Helens, Huddersfield and Leeds and Finch added: “They are three of the best teams in the competition so to back up from that is going to be tough, but we knew it was coming and we’re prepared for it.
“It’s great that we’ve had a run of home games, and to put some wins on the board for our fans is great, they’ve been going bananas and it lifts us.”
Warriors prop Andy Coley will miss tonight’s Super League clash against Castleford after being handed a one-game suspension at the RFL judiciary last night. Leeds scrum-half Rob Burrow was also banned for one match for a dangerous tackle on Ryan Hoffman during Wigan’s 26-24 win last weekend.