Powell vows to ‘step up’

Sam Powell

Sam Powell

Sam Powell has vowed to “step up” to try and fill the void of Micky McIlorum’s injury.

Powell started his first Super League game of the season against Salford Red Devils last Thursday, and played the full 80 minutes in the 20-16 win.

While the absence of McIlorum for the rest of the season is sure to be a blow to Warriors, Powell is hoping that he can play a key role at No. 9 as the team rallies on.

The 23-year-old said: “When you’re starting games it is a little bit different but I’m ready for it.

“It is a change as opposed to coming on ten minutes before the half’s up, but when you start you get a feel for it early on, you’re not coming on against tired players.

“Obviously last week losing Micky was a massive loss for Wigan, he does a lot of the little things that spectators don’t see that we just notice as a team. There’s jobs out there that have got to be filled by other people now, and I’m one of those people that’s got to step up.

“That was probably the most disappointing thing abut last week, the loss was tough to take, but losing Micky was even worse.

“It’s a good opportunity for me now to play some minutes, I just want to keep improving, keep putting a shift in for the lads and hopefully we can keep getting the two points.”

Wigan will now turn their focus to their next game at Hull FC on Friday, where they will hope to continue their 100 per cent start to the season.

Powell concedes they have yet to hit top form but believes everyone has learnt from narrowly missing out on the League Leaders Shield last year.

He said: “We’ve got three out of three at the minute and we’ve not played well yet, it sounds daft but its looking good.

“With losing the league leaders shield by a point last year, we feel different now.

“We drew our first game last season against Widnes and that was the difference.

“When we sat down in pre season we looked back at those games where - if we’d just done that there or scored here - that would have meant us lifting the League Leaders.

“The most important thing is two points.”

Wigan’s victory last Thursday was hard fought, and despite their 10-2 lead at half-time, towards the conclusion it looked like the points may have been shared.

However Powell believes the way Warriors clinched victory shows the progress made from the previous season.

He said: “I think last year we probably would have drawn that so to show the guts that we did and get back up the other end and get over the line was impressive.

“With six minutes to go maybe it could have been a draw, but we’ve got players out there who can score from anywhere on the field and it showed.

“Salford had a real dig at us, especially in the second half, they chucked the ball about and they’ve got some skilful players in [Robert] Lui and [Michael] Dobson.

“I think Logan [Tomkins] played really well when he came on as well, so we did really well to get the two points in the end.

“It is a little bit weird, I’m good friends with Logan, he’s a great lad, but it’s always good to go up against each other.”