MATTY Smith is preparing for the biggest night of his life - and ready to prove to the Australian sporting public what a great side Wigan are.
The Warriors recorded a stunning Challenge Cup and Grand Final double last season.
But that achievement carried little weight among NRL followers, many of whom have a disregard for the standard of Super League.
While the Roosters themselves have been glowing in their praise of Wigan, few outsiders are giving the touring squad a chance in tomorrow’s World Club Challenge showdown.
Smith said: “We’re not here to take part in the game – we’re here to win.
“We’ve got a great competition, and a lot of people over here are negative about Super League, but there’s no reason why we can’t go there and beat them.
“We’re representing Wigan foremost, and hopefully we can do a good job for the town. All the work the staff have put in for the last few months has been for this game.
“There’s been a lot of work, and I know a lot of fans have spent their hard earned money to come here. They don’t want to see us lose.”
A crowd of around 30,000 is expected at the Allianz –Sydney Football Stadium – with more than 2,000 cheering for Wigan.
Their preparation included an opposed session against NRL heavyweights Souths last Tuesday, and Smith says they got more than just the obvious benefit.
“We trained really well and it was a good hit out,” said. “Just training against Greg Inglis and Sam Burgess and guys like that, they’re world class players, and it was great for me, never mind the young players.
“They’re a great side. But when you get the chance to train against them, you realise we’re a great team as well.”
Smith won the Lance Todd Trophy last season for an astute kicking game during the Challenge Cup Final. That success came after Latics had earlier lifted the FA Cup at the same venue, and by the end of the year Wigan had enjoyed other top-level sporting successes in rugby union, golf and athletics – not to mention the Grand Final.
“The town did so well last year with the FA Cup and ourselves and the rest of the athletes, and we want to keep it going,” he said. “The thing about success is it feeds itself, it makes you hungry and you want more and more.”