Ben Flower backs Wigan Warriors to bounce back as Super 8s draw near
Ben Flower is confident Warriors will get back on track as the Super 8 kick off.
Wigan slumped to their second defeat in a row on Thursday night with a 14-6 loss against St Helens, which allowed the league leaders to open-up a 10-point gap at the top.
With Castleford being beaten by Huddersfield on Friday evening, it also denied Shaun Wane’s men the chance to re-establish a three-point cushion between themselves and the third placed Tigers, but the prop says no one at the club is looking over their shoulder.
“We need to make sure we seal that second spot,” he said as Wigan prepare to face Catalans this Friday night.
“We just need to do our homework on Catalans and make sure we get those two points.”
Flower pointed to the fact Warriors were missing a clutch of front-ling stars for last week’s loss, including skipper Sean O’Loughlin, stand-off George Williams and centre Oliver Gildart.
And while he acknowledged Wigan aren’t the only side with injury problems, he thinks having players in-line for returning to action will boost their play-off chances.
“Once we get some bodies back – we’ve had boys chopping and changing every week and not much consistency there with a full team playing week-in week out together,” he explained.
“That’s not just the
case with us, it’s every team that happens to, but I think once we can get some consistency with a full-strength team we’ll get back to winning ways.”
Friday’s clash is the last of the regular season before the Super 8s – and race to the play-offs–kick in.
Catalans’ 44-10 win over Salford on Saturday secured their Super League status for 2019, though they have a mountain to climb if they are to make the top four play-offs in nine weeks’ time.
And Flower says putting last week’s defeat to one side quickly will be a must if they are to add two more competition points to their tally before the Super 8s.
“We have to move on now,” he said.
“It’s nice to start a new competition and see how everyone goes.
“We just have to make sure we win that game and get those two points.”
Friday night’s clash with Steve McNamara’s men will also be the first time ex-Warriors hooker Michael McIlorum has played at the DW Stadium since
leaving Wigan for the Dragons.
“It’s always nice to play against old team-mates and mates. It will be good,” said Flower on facing his old clubmate.
Meanwhile, Warriors udner-19s beat their Widnes counterparts 32-18 on Saturday after trailing 18-6 at the break.
Five Wigan tries saw off the Vikings as Morgan Smithies, Callum Green two, Samy Kibula and Joe Shorrocks all scored.