Gildart: How teams are trying to shut-out our left edge

Oliver Gildart believes rival teams have wised-up to Wigan's lethal left-edge - but is happy as long as they can reap rewards elsewhere.

Friday, 23rd March 2018, 9:40 am
Updated Friday, 23rd March 2018, 9:40 am
Oliver Gildart scored two tries on the opening day

The centre declared at the start of the year that he wanted to have the most potent flank in Super League.

With Liam Farrell, George Williams and either Joe Burgess or Liam Marshall on the wing, they certainly have the fire-power to cause opposition trouble.

And while those players have chalked up 12 tries in five matches, Gildart admits it has been difficult unlocking congested defences.

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Asked whether he was happy with how they had started the season, Super League’s reigning Young Player of the Year replied: “I am and I’m not.

“In round one (against Salford), we got loads of quality ball and I thought, ‘This will be a really good year for us’.

“But I think teams are realising now, they seem to put numbers on our edge... if you look, they stack players on our side.

“But when they do that it opens it up for our right edge, so as long as we’re winning, I’m not bothered.

“As the year goes on, I’m sure we’ll start creating more and more.”

He hopes those opportunities arise at the DW Stadium tonight when Huddersfield arrive in town.

Rick Stone’s outfit were humbled 38-6 by Super League newcomers Hull KR in their last outing – a result which surprised Gildart, given the personnel in the Giants ranks.

“Huddersfield are not going too well but when they turn it on they’re dangerous,” he said.

“They have big middles who can cause a bit of damage and then you look at the quality of their backs.”

Shaun Wane assembled his players earlier this week to stress the importance of this two-week period sandwiching the Easter weekend.

Wigan have won 20 of their 24 matches during that period under Wane’s watch, and Gildart gave an insight into the extra work needed to succeed during this period.

“We’ve put a big emphasis on this period,” he added.

“If you come out of this with four wins, it puts you in good shape for the league leaders. We’ve got eight points in all this time we’ve already been playing (this season), and we’ve got a chance to win that many points in two weeks.

“Off the field, it’s a tough ask and it’s about making sure we do everything we can.

“I remember before I did my first Easter, Mark Bitcon (head of performance) pulled me to one side and said, ‘It’s a test and you can’t do nothing on your day off’.

“Whether it’s recovery, massage, swimming, extra weights – even though you’re sore and tired, you need to do something which benefits you, and diet is obviously a big one, too.”