SUCCESS in this afternoon’s clash between Wigan and St Helens comes down to a very simple formula according to Shaun Wane.
Warriors face a St Helens team who have won their last three games after finding their feet under new coach Nathan Brown – but Wigan can pull two league points clear in the table with a win at the DW Stadium.
Form counts for nothing when Wigan and Saints collide according to Wane.
“Rugby League is a desire game – it’s who wants it the most,” said the Warriors boss.
“The attitude of the players will be bang-on.”
As for hunger, the local contingent in the Warriors ranks have helped make this week’s training even more intense than usual as they prepare to confront the enemy.
“They know it’s a different week and that’s driven by the local players,” Wane added.
“You don’t need to motivate the players. They understand there’s a different feel about the club and the way we train. There is no way I need to get the players to concentrate in training.”
Today marks Brown’s first experience of a Wigan v Saints derby and Wane’s advice to the St Helens boss on what to expect is simple.
“Fire,” warned Wane.
“It’ll be nothing like he’s had before - even in the NRL.
“I played in Yorkshire derbies when I was at Leeds and they are nothing compared to this game.”
Wane is all too aware Saints have found their stride after an impressive 10-22 win at Warrington at the beginning on March and he thinks they will kick-on under Brown’s stewardship.
“History tells me that Nathan Brown’s teams play a good brand of rugby. I respect him a lot. I respect the St Helens club,” said Wane.
“You have two teams hitting good form so this comes down to desire. There’s no question of that.”
With Wigan’s injury pile-up still showing no signs of easing, the congested Easter schedule is unforgiving but Wane wants to use the pressure to thrive.
“These are testing times - there’s no doubt about it. I honestly enjoy this period. It’s a real test of all your staff for how you prepare and look after your players,” he said.
“It’s all about doing something different to find that 1 per cent and I’ll not be resting anybody unless I have to.”
“The players know how important it is to look after each other and ourselves.”
It’s a challenge Wane expects the club to rise to and he is looking to emulate recent success over the Easter period.
“This is a tough period but we’ve managed it well in the past two years and I expect this to be no different.”