Smith wants to make history

Matty Smith
Matty Smith

Matty Smith is in a confident mood as Wigan chase a place in the history books tonight.

The Warriors have won their opening five games in Super League.

And a victory against Widnes this evening would mark the club’s best start to a season in the summer era.

Smith said: “It was great to get the win last week against a good Leeds side.

“We’re five from five now and looking to stretch that, and keep it going as long as we can.”

Tonight’s showdown in front of the Sky Sports cameras is an unlikely top-of-the-table clash.

Widnes have surged to the top of the ladder with five wins from six games, including last week’s 46-6 thrashing of Hull FC.

And Smith has seen enough to convince him Denis Betts’ outfit are the real deal.

He said: “Widnes have been building something for a few years and playing well, and proving they should be where they are.

“They put 40 points on Hull FC, who were the in-form side at the start of the season, which takes some doing.

“They’ll be confident and the ex-Wigan players in their squad will have points to prove, so it will be a tough game.”

One of those former Warriors, Kevin Brown, is often cited as their key player but Smith has seen a better-rounded game from the Vikings this year.

He added: “Kev is still a key player for them, he’s their captain and leader, but they have a great squad.

“Joe Mellor has really stepped up and they’re coming together as a team.

“They’ve come from the Championship to the top of Super League. They’ve got a great coach in Denis and they’re a good club, I spent time there earlier in my career and enjoyed it.

“It’s great to see them doing well – but hopefully they won’t come here and get the win!”

Nick Gregson is set to hang onto his place after a debut last week, and prop Joe Bretherton may come into the reckoning if Liam Farrell is ruled out with a shoulder problem.

Stand-off George Williams is in the squad but remains a major doubt with a back problem which ruled him out a week ago.

Widnes are set to switch Chris Dean from the second row to centre to plug the gap caused by the loss of Chris Bridge with a neck injury.

Setaimata Sa and ex-Warriors prop Gil Dudson are pushing for recalls.