George Williams aims to keep Wigan Warriors on track
George Williams admits trying to catch St Helens at the top of Super League is driving him as Wigan prepare to face Castleford tomorrow.
The Tigers will arrive at the DW Stadium looking to draw level with the Warriors, while Shaun Wane’s outfit will be aiming to stay within two points of Saints who will be expected to win at home to Huddersfield.
And while Williams said Wigan’s main focus has to be on their own job, players are motivated by the league table.
“Castleford have only lost two games like ourselves and they are right at the top,” said Williams.
“We want to catch Saints and it’d be nice to level the scores on that.
“We have to keep ticking wins off so hopefully come the Super 8s we’ll still be there.”
Wigan are just a win behind St Helens, but have a game in hand thanks to their postponed clash with the Tigers from March.
And with the season already half-way to the Super 8s split, where the race for the play-offs effectively begin, Williams says the boost of seeing Wakefield beat St Helens last weekend also reminded him of how quickly the season is going.
“It did (make us smile) a little bit but we can’t focus on other results,” he said.
“It’s going pretty quick – 11 games and it feels like we’ve only been playing a month or so.”
Warriors fans will also want to see their side set the record straight from last season, where the Tigers beat Wigan three times on their way to winning the League Leaders’ Shield.
But Williams insists the slate has been wiped clean for this season, and the frustration of not having beaten Castleford since May, 2016 won’t be their main focus.
“It’s in the back of your mind but you can’t whinge about it too much. It’s one of those where you just have to focus on our game and not what has already happened,” he siad.
“There are some great players in there you want to test yourselves against but you can’t buy into that too much or you’ll lose track of your own game.”
Another area Williams says is keeping Wigan’s first-choice stars on track is the quality of the fringe players this season.
So far there has been nothing like the injury problems which threatened to derail their title-winning campaign of 2016 and repeated themselves last term to rock their season.
And with Gabe Hamlin and Romain Navarrete capable of slotting into the team, and making a big impression with supporters, Williams says the benefits go beyond just the battle for places.
“It’s good and everyone’s feeling that,” he said.
“Even though Romain didn’t play a lot last year he’s made a real stamp on it this year, so has Gabe. They know what’s needed and what Waney wants so if they are needed they will slot in fine.”