This game will be a gauge to show us where we're at, says Flower

Ben Flower expects today's opponents Castleford to provide the biggest test yet of Wigan's water-tight defence.

Sunday, 18th March 2018, 5:05 am
Ben Flower in action against Wakefield

The Warriors’ effort without the ball has underpinned their solid start to the season.

They limited their opponents to only two tries each in their first four games - and only leaked three touchdowns in a 30-18 win against Wakefield last time out.

But Flower says Castleford’s free-flowing attacks - on their tight home pitch - gives this game a different complexion.

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And he believes this fixture, against a side which topped the table in impressive fashion last season, will be a real gauge of their encouraging start to the campaign.

“We seem to be on a bit of a roll and playing really well, but this is a massive test for us to see where we’re actually at,” said the Welshman.

“The way Cas’ play is a very difficult style of rugby to defend.

“They’ve not had the start to the season they normally have, but they’ve started to find their mojo and when you watch them now they’ve started to get that style of rugby they’ve always played in the last few years.

“They are used to playing on that pitch and they know how to run it a bit better than others, so that’s one thing we’ve practiced on.

“On a short pitch, one decent kick can set you up for your next set so it’s just about completing, grinding our your sets and getting into that arm wrestle with them.

“So we’re going to have to be firing and making sure that we’re on for the game otherwise we’ll get beat.”

Wigan’s last trip to Castleford ended with a 54-4 defeat and, for Flower, it proved particularly painful - he suffered a season-ending knee injury.

But returning to the venue will not prove any mental hurdles for the barrel-chested prop.

“It’s nothing to do with the ground or where you play, injuries are injuries and you get them anywhere.

“To be honest it’s a good place to go. It’s a really good atmosphere there and that’s what you want as a player. It gets you up for the game a bit more.”