Lockers blasts ‘pointless’ ClubCall

Wigan's Sean O'Loughlin says Clubcall is 'pointless'
Wigan's Sean O'Loughlin says Clubcall is 'pointless'
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SEAN O’Loughlin has labelled the ClubCall “pointless” – and reckons Wigan won’t feel any benefit from choosing their semi-final opponents.

The Warriors have been handed the dubious advantage of picking who they will need to overcome if they are to reach Old Trafford.

Shaun Wane will make his selection after this weekend’s Elimination play-off semi-finals between Catalans and Leeds, and Warrington and Hull.

The only side Wigan cannot choose are St Helens, who are guaranteed home advantage in the Qualifying semi-final on account of their win at Warrington last week.

While O’Loughlin admits Wigan’s week off has come in handy, he is less of a fan of ClubCall given every side to date has selected the lowest-ranked side left in the competition.

“The week off is definitely an advantage,” he acknowledged.

“We’re enjoying the week, there’s none of that anxiety – we’ll work on what we need to work on and enjoy the weekend, and watch the other games. But I wouldn’t say I was a fan of ClubCall.

“I can’t see anyone bucking the trend, they’ll probably carry on picking the lowest ranked side so it’s probably a pointless exercise. I think they should just play it so the highest ranked team plays the lowest one. I think if you’re picking, it can risk being a lose-lose.

“You can inspire someone to play well against you and the team you don’t pick take it as a compliment too.

“It’s the semi-finals – whoever you pick it’s going to be tough. Both sides you could easily lose to if you don’t play well – so there’s no real benefit.

“Whoever you play, you’re going to come up against a top side capable of winning.”

O’Loughlin started at hooker against Catalan last weekend, before moving to loose-forward midway through the opening half when Matty Smith was introduced from the bench.

And he says he’s happy to keep doing his bit with Mike McIlorum ruled out for the rest of the season through suspension. “I don’t mind doing it,” O’Loughlin admitted.

“Starting at hooker allows Faz (Liam Farrell) to start in the middle, and he does a great job and adds some size before Matty comes off the bench to cause some damage.”

Meanwhile, fans will have the chance to see the entire Wigan squad being put through their paces at the Co-operative Community Stadium, Orrell tomorrow between 4-5.30pm.

Admittance will be by way of a suggested £2 donation to the Wigan Warriors Development Association.