Tomkins talks experience, expectations... and hits back at critics

Sam Tomkins says some people have become "obsessed" with one defeat
Sam Tomkins says some people have become "obsessed" with one defeat

Sam Tomkins reckons Wigan’s big-game experience will come to the fore as the pressure intensifies over the next month.

They head to Hull FC tomorrow looking for an eighth-straight win at the KC Stadium which would keep their League Leaders’ Shield hopes alive.

Tomkins acknowledges the improvements they need to make, particularly in attack, but says their experience in high-stakes matches may prove invaluable.

Wigan have reached the last three Grand Finals and, even accounting for their injuries, boast a side featuring eight players with England experience.

He said: “We’ve got a lot of experience, a lot of players who have been in this position before.

“Although some of our players are young - like John Bateman, George Williams and Dan Sarginson - they’ve played in big games.

“I think back to 2009, we were happy to get to semi-finals, but we didn’t know how to win them.

“Now we demand success and there are plenty of players here who have experience and that’s going to help us in the back end.

“It’s hard (to put a value on it), but you can tell the lads who have been there and done it, and we’ve got a lot of those people.”

Wigan’s attack came under the microscope in wake of last Thursday’s surprise 8-6 defeat by Widnes.

Tomkins admits they need to make improvements, but attempted to put the defeat in perspective amid fierce criticism in some quarters.

“It is amazing to live in Wigan and play for this club,” said Tomkins. “You’re heroes one week and the next, you’re not worth paying.

“Everyone will give us stick and pick out players who should be leaving.

“We did a review and it was lengthy, honest, blokes putting their hands up... we just weren’t at the races.

“We started poorly. Look at the game against Saints and compare the starts – we were like a different team. We need to start each game the same.

“It’s funny how people get so obsessed with us losing one game against Widnes. I saw a comment on Twitter that it’s been an ‘awful, awful season’... the fact is we’re in the top four, we’re going to be playing a semi to get to a Grand Final.

“We’ve lost one game more than Hull – so it’s not been a bad season.”