Ryan Sutton is preparing for “fireworks” at Hull FC tonight as the battle for a top-four spot intensifies.
Lee Radford’s outfit and Wigan are both outside the semi-final spots heading into tonight’s televised showdown (kick-off 5pm).
And both are without a Super League win in the last three rounds - a fact Sutton expects will dial up the tensions.
“We’ve both not played well, it’s as simple as that,” said Sutton.
“Against Wakefield, we weren’t good enough and Hull lost, too.There are fireworks whenever we play, and this is going to be a cracker. We’re looking forward to it.”
Wigan have not lost at Hull FC since 2009 but Sutton won’t be reading too much into their sparkling record.
“I think it’s a quirk, because we go into every game the same way,” said the 21-year-old.
“We know what Hull are capable of. It’s going to be won down the middle, they are a big physical side, they have some tough players.”
Fifth-placed Hull are three-points outside the top-four spots, with Wigan – in sixth – a further point behind.
While teams have until round 30 to secure a place in the semi-final positions, there is an added bonus to getting a top-four spot by round 23 – an extra home game in the Super-8s phase of the season.
Wigan drew with Warrington at the Magic Weekend and backed that up with a gutsy effort in a 22-19 derby loss, but the 42-30 defeat by Wakefield on Monday bruised the players’ pride.
“We attacked really well, but our defence let us down,” added Sutton. “That’s what disappointed us, we are a good defensive team and we slacked off.”
Wigan are boosted by the return of Joe Burgess and Joel Tomkins.