SHAUN Edwards has highlighted Wigan’s team spirit as the driving force behind their success – and reckons it will lead them to Challenge Cup glory this Saturday.
Sam Tomkins’ dazzling two-try display in the 60-12 thrashing of Bradford last Friday earned him the man of the match prize and inevitably grabbed the headlines.
But legend Edwards believes it is the Warriors’ unselfishness and togetherness which defines their style under Michael Maguire.
And the man who won at Wembley nine times with his hometown club is backing them to overcome Leeds when they return to the iconic venue this weekend.
Edwards said: “They’ve got a lot of talented players but what’s really caught my eye has been the team-work.
“I’m a big believer in team-work being more important than what individuals do.
“They’re very unselfish and they play for each other and work for each other, and that’s what team sport is about.
“They’re all doing their jobs and that’s what’s so pleasing.”
The demolition of Bradford last Friday was Wigan’s 11th straight victory and heightened the excitement and anticipation ahead of their first appearance at the new Wembley.
With Lee Mossop, Andy Coley and Brett Finch coming into the selection frame after being rested, they will head to London in confident mood.
By contrast, Leeds will need to pick themselves up from a surprise 32-22 loss to Harlequins.
Rhinos coach Brian McDermott rested forwards Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Ryan Bailey and Jamie Peacock but would still have expected to overcome the struggling London outfit last Saturday, a game in which Kallum Watkins and Carl Ablett picked up injuries.
Edwards said: “I think Wigan will win.
“I think they’ll out-last Leeds, and wear them down eventually.”
The Warriors effectively face two Cup finals in a week, after Warrington maintained their push for the league leaders’ shield by beating Catalan 25-12 in France last Saturday.
That win keeps them just one point behind Wigan on the Super League table, meaning their showdown at the Halliwell Jones on Sunday, September 4 may decide who will finish the campaign in top spot.
Both sides have just one game each remaining after that meeting, with Wigan hosting Crusaders and Warrington taking on Hull FC.