Sarginson: Cas’ crowd can get in the ref’s head and sway a few calls

Dan Sarginson says their Cup agony has left them all with a 'hunger'
Dan Sarginson says their Cup agony has left them all with a 'hunger'

When Dan Sarginson leaves Super League for the NRL later this year, there are many things he will miss and some he won’t.

Which category does a trip to Castleford fall in?

”It’s a real tough place to go Cas’, since I’ve been here we’ve always had tough games against them,” he smiled.

“The crowd is that loud, they do get in your head and fair play to them.

“I think every team can take something from how the Cas’ fans probably get in the ref’s head a bit and sway a few decisions, but it’s good, a great experience.

“It’s a great place to go and there’s a few other clubs like that – so I’ll definitely miss them when I go.”

Sarginson’s thoughts have yet to drift to 2017, but his exit at the end of this season has put their current trophy-hunt under sharper focus.

He has a maximum of eight games left with Wigan, and after two years without a trophy, he is determined to leave with a piece of silverware.

“It’s been two years now that we’ve been to Grand Final and have come up short, so I think the hunger’s there more than ever from the other boys as well,” he said.

Wigan ended a three-game losing run with a crushing 60-12 victory against Wakefield last week.

The manner of the victory provided a welcomed confidence-boost, while the scale of the win swelled their for-and-against to +63.

Hull FC and Warrington, their biggest rivals for the league leaders shield, have better points differences – which may come into play if the race for the No.1 spot goes down to the wire.

But, despite losing out to Leeds on for-and-against last year, Sarginson says it would be dangerous to try and overhaul their advantages.

“I think as soon as we try to score points, I know when we’ve been down against sides and we’ve tried too hard to score points, our systems go and we don’t play to the game plan,” said the 23-year-old.

“So we play a lot better when we stay calm and really just focus on the minor details and that’s when we score points.

“The way we defended against Hull FC (in the Challenge Cup semi-final) was probably the best we’ve defended all year, so we know if we can defend like that against a massive side, then we shouldn’t have a problem with any other side in the league – and if we brush up our attack as well then we should be real strong.

“We tweaked a few things last week and we should really find some attacking form – our defence has been there all year, so I think combining those two, we’ll be a real force coming into the back end.”

Recruited from London Broncos at the end of the double-winning 2013 campaign, Sarginson has gone on to become an England international and establish himself as one of Shaun Wane’s first-choice centres.

He turned down Wigan’s offer to extend his stay in favour of a move to Gold Coast Titans next season and, while that is at the back of his mind, he was pleased to see the Queensland outfit recruit superstar Jarryd Hayne.

“There’s a lot of press over there about him at the moment, I think they’re recruiting really well for next year and it’s looking promising,” he said. “So when I get over there I’ll give it my best shot and hopefully play alongside some of those big names and just try and enjoy the experience.”

St Helens face Catalans in tonight’s other game looking for their seventh straight win.

“We know it’s a results-based industry so after picking up a few results it certainly makes the pressures of coming into work a lot less,” coach Keiron Cunningham said.

“The manner we are going about things definitely helps too. We are doing lots of good things and that makes good for our video sessions.

“Catalans are a good side. They have beaten us twice and have certainly had our numbers but we will be a different side.”