WIGAN Warriors powerhouse Jeff Lima is hoping to crown the perfect Easter weekend with victory today.
The Kiwi prop – a firm fans’ favourite for his unforgiving approach – put the crowning glory on Wigan’s fabulous derby victory over St Helens with the fifth, and final, try.
Shaun Wane’s side will be guaranteed a heroes’ welcome to the DW Stadium this afternoon, in recognition for their history-making exploits.
They claimed the bragging rights of winning the first match at Langtree Park – just two years after winning the last at Knowsley Road – with an ultimately comfortable 28-10 win.
And the fact they achieved that without five front-line forwards made the victory even more impressive.
Lima played an important role in the derby triumph, not only in adding the final polish as he crashed over the line, but with some telling drives and a strong defensive stint in the middle.
“It’s a good feeling to win the derbies,” he said.
“And it’s nice to get over the line, even if it was more a case of being in the right place at the right time.”
Lima took satisfaction in celebrating the try in front of the St Helens fans while – at the other end of the pitch – the travelling supporters chanted ‘Li-ma, Li-ma’ in vocal chorus.
“It’s a blur moment, scoring the try, hearing the fans shouting my name out... it’s great,” he said.
“It was a big win for everyone. We did it tough with injuries and for the young guys to come in, it’s massive – a big, big game for them.
“This is what Wigan is all about and so the young fellas did well.”
To say the build-up to this afternoon’s match against Wakefield has been lower-key would be an under-statement, with Warriors expected to meet little resistance against a side second-bottom of the ladder.
But recent history has taught them a lesson, with the only team below the Wildcats – Widnes – turning over the Cherry and White not long ago.
“From our point of view, it’s important to get the two points,” said Lima.
“Wakefield are definitely not going to come and roll over.
“They’ve been playing some good footy and we can’t take them lightly.
“We certainly won’t be doing that. The teams down there always want to come to the best team and raise their game.
“Even if they come last in the table they’ll still come and play well against us, guaranteed.
“I’ve had that for years, at Melbourne and here.
“So we need to play well and get a good performance.
“It’ll be nice to get back in front of our own fans, especially after a great win over St Helens.”