Wane - play-off charge starts now

Shaun Wane
Shaun Wane
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SHAUN Wane insists Wigan will go out all-guns blazing tonight – even if victory hands them a trickier route to navigate in the play-offs.

This evening’s DW blockbuster with Leeds is a showdown for third spot in the ladder.

But some cynics have suggested both sides would be content to lose this game and settle for fourth position.

The theory has gathered popularity among fans because of the implications for the opening round of the play-offs.

The team finishing third in the ladder will visit second-placed Warrington the following Saturday, while the side in fourth travels to league leaders Huddersfield.

Wane, though, dismissed that notion and says it is far more important that his side go into the Grand Final race on the back of a convincing victory, rather than attempt to plot an apparent easier route to Old Trafford.

He said: “There’s absolutely no question I want to win this game.

“I want to win every game, it’s not in my nature to go into any game and not want to win.

“I concentrate on our performances and I want to go into the play-offs playing a good brand of rugby league.

“If we do that, we’ll win games. It’s up to us. I can honestly say I’ve not thought about who we play if we finish here or there – I’m bothered about how we play.

“If I can have a good week building up to it, with our attack and defence good, then that’s the most important thing to me. And I can tell you (Leeds coach) Brian McDermott will be thinking that way.

“You just can’t do that, this is too tough a sport to start thinking you’re not bothered about winning”.

Wane also pointed out one flaw to the theory - that going to Huddersfield presents an easier test than visiting Warrington.

“We went to Huddersfield earlier this year and got pumped,” he said.

“They’re a very good team and I know how hard it is to win the league leaders’ shield, no-one will down grade that achievement to me and I sent Paul (Anderson, coach) my congratulations.”

Certainly, his team selection supports his comments, with Wane fielding his strongest team from his fit players.

Tonight’s game takes a superhero theme with both sides branding the Superman logo on the front of their shirts as part of a link-up with Sky and Warner Bros.

“There are two teams who can play great rugby league and this is a real test for us,” said Wane.

“It’s the ideal game we need before the play-offs, a good arm-wrestle and great preparation for us.”