Wane: We’ll get even better

Shaun Wane - my Warriors will get even better
Shaun Wane - my Warriors will get even better
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SHAUN Wane still wants more from his players despite the fact the Warriors have not lost since March.

Wigan travel to Wakefield tomorrow with 11 straight wins and sit three points clear at the top of Super League after the Magic Weekend win over champions Leeds Rhinos.

But Wane is still looking for ways to make his team even more uncompromising as they seek a dirty dozen.

“I don’t think we are playing as well as we can yet. We can improve a lot in how we attack and how we defend,” said Wane.

“Our defence is good in spells but it is not consistent enough for me.

“We need to make sure from the first minute we concentrate so we can defend everything they throw at us.”

Wigan’s defence is the best in Super League – conceding on average just over two tries per game and they have conceded 31 points fewer than next best defenders Leeds.

And Wigan have played two more games, making the record even more impressive – except for the head coach.

“In this competition you need to be consistent in your performance,” Wane added.

“Wakefield are a good attacking team and will test you.”

With stand-off Blake Green expected to be missing for a further three weeks through injury Wane is once again calling on Sam Powell.

But with the systems the Warriors have in place to develop their young talent, the head coach is happy to call on the services of youngsters – if they are up to the task.

“The kids are desperate – every time I walk in the gym I have 15 pairs of eyes looking at me hoping I’m going to call them into the office and ask them to play,” said Wane.

“It’s good – I like that they are so keen and I will be doing that more throughout the year whether we have injuries or not because I am desperate to see how they go.

“You just need to select your games.”

Powell has featured prominently in the halves since Green’s injury, which was caused by a Cory Paterson shoulder charge.

But Wane would like to see the 20-year-old take more control of games.

“Against Leeds his attack wasn’t as dominant as I wanted it to be but he’ll fix it and come good,” he said.

“He’s in again this weekend and I have obviously got a lot of faith in him but I do need to see a change in his performance.”

Wane also asserted he will take the chance to see how more youngsters handle the pressures of first team rugby regardless of the injury situation later in the season.

Wane continued: “I’ve started being really strict on who we promote to first grade – they need to be the right sort of people.

“Being the most skilled player is not the most important thing for me, I want tough. I want them to compete and I want them to be winners.

“I will put the finishing touches on them like speed and weight but they need to have that toughness in them.

“If I see that is missing the player will not be in the first team.

“George Williams played his debut against Leigh and in a couple of weeks’ time I want to see him again – he is going to be a great player.”

The Warriors integration of young players into the squad this season has been almost seamless.

Despite an early injury crisis, young forwards Greg Burke, Dom Crosby and Logan Tomkins were able to match and dominate other Super League packs.

And the Warriors crisp attack has suffered no harm from Powell and Iain Thornley slotting into the back line as Wigan have racked-up 110 tries in just 16 league games this season.

“At Wigan we train with a lot of intensity and include the youngsters in everything we do,” said Wane.

“I expect a certain level of performance and I expect my young players to technically concentrate of how we attack and on the things we do differently to other clubs.

“So far this year they have done that and I’m really pleased.”

Despite the Warriors fearsome record in both league and cup, Wane will not reward the crop of young talent by easing-up on them and he wants the rest of the Warriors staff to do the same.

“The expectations on our youngsters are quite immense but it won’t get easier – it will get harder if anything,” he warned.

The Warriors have a proud record of developing players which don’t just appear in cherry and white hoops but feature across Super League.

This makes Wane almost as proud as seeing his home-grown lineup take Super League by storm.

“It’s good for the game we produce so many quality players. We let a lot of players go who don’t meet our standards but they are really talented players,” he added.

“That’s the rugby league benefit. I don’t want to sound arrogant but it is a fact – the amateur clubs around here are doing a fantastic job and our youth system is fantastic.”