Tomkins the team player

Sam Tomkins
Sam Tomkins

SAM Tomkins is perfectly happy to vacate centre stage if it means Warriors picking up two precious Super League points at Hull tonight.

The 22-year-old was Wigan’s match-winner in the corresponding fixture at the DW back in March, booting home a late penalty in Pat Richards’ absence to seal a hard-fought 14-12 victory.

The stand-off turned full-back is usually renowned for making the headlines via his try-scoring prowess. But he insists he doesn’t care who steps up for the Warriors tonight as long as they keep up their charge for a Super League-Challenge Cup double.

“It was certainly an eventful game against Hull earlier in the year, Joel got sent off which was really out of character for him and we ended up sneaking up home,” admitted Tomkins.

“I managed to kick the goal at the end because Pat was out, but he’s back now and I’m far happier about him kicking the goals than myself.

“Hopefully, it won’t be as close tonight, but if it does go down to the wire it’s good to know Pat will be there to do the business.”

Warriors travel to Humberside in great spirits after last weekend’s fantastic 44-24 victory over Warrington that sets up a mouth-watering Carnegie Challenge Cup semi-final showdown with St Helens tomorrow week.

Understandably, all the talk in the town this week has been of the derby clash, with Wigan 80 minutes away from a first trip to Wembley for 13 years. But Tomkins insists the players are not looking beyond tonight’s game at the KC, with Wigan desperate to stay ahead of Warrington at the top of the table.

“We’ll all be very focused at Hull, there’s no danger of that not being the case,” Tomkins added.

“They’ll be a tough nut to crack on their own ground, but we’ve showed how resilient we can be in the past and I’m sure we’ll do so again.

“Hull will probably be thinking our minds will be on the St Helens game, but they’d be dead wrong to think that. We’re as determined to finish the season well and finish top of the league as we are to reach the Challenge Cup final.

“It’s a big ask to be playing different competitions week in, week out but we enjoy the challenge. It’s why you play the game.”

Paul Prescott (hamstring) has failed a late fitness test, which could mean a debut for Ben Cross, while Stuart Fielden is out for the season with a ripped pectoral muscle.

“It’s gutting for Stuart, and a big blow for us,” Tomkins admitted. “But he’s a true pro and he’ll be back.”

TONIGHT’S game kicks off at 8pm and is live on Sky Sports.