Ollie Partington a 'caged animal' for Wigan Warriors... and Adrian Lam loves it!
Returning Ollie Partington can bring the fire to ignite Wigan’s charge towards the play-offs.
That’s the prediction of coach Adrian Lam, who wants his firebrand prop to avoid any more run-ins with the disciplinary – but retain his aggression.
Partington is back from a two game ban for his role in a brawl against Leigh in time to face St Helens tonight.
Asked whether he would ask him the 22-year-old to curtail his fiery side, Lam said: “I love that side of him, it’s a side you can’t coach – it’s natural aggression.
"He just needs to make sure it’s controlled and he’s aware of that.
“He’s better off managing that caged animal that’s within him, I love that part of him – it’s the same as Victor Radley who I coached in Australia, we don’t have enough players like that in the game.
“We don’t want punches thrown, but you can be aggressive in other ways.”
Wigan used the infamous 2004 brawl in their marketing of this weekend’s derby, and while Lam says there is no place for fighting in the game, he believes some recent sin-binnings have been harsh.
“I just think let them play, I think the game is spoiled when one team loses one player,” said Lam, who labelled the recent yellow card of Morgan Smithies for an altercation as "ridiculous".
“If they break the rules give them time but let’s not be soft about it – let them go at it aggressively but cleanly.
“We want to stick within the rules, I’m forever talking to my players about discipline and I was disappointed about Partington and Singleton getting suspended for their actions because you can’t do that. But if it’s just aggression then let it go.”