Wane: This is a mental test for Wigan Warriors

Shaun Wane has put seeing 'good habits' at the top of his wish-list tonight.

Friday, 28th September 2018, 7:50 am
Morgan Escare, who started last week, is again poised for a big role

Wigan host Hull FC at the DW Stadium in their last match before next week’s semi-final showdown with Castleford.

The Warriors have already tied up second spot and, with Hull FC out of the play-offs picture, both sides are simply playing for pride.

Such low-stakes will be evident in the team selection, with Sean O’Loughlin and Thomas Leuluai rested to nurse minor injuries and Sam Tomkins expected to play only a bit-part role.

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Of course, this is Wane’s last tune-up before their real test next week but the coach has put an emphasis on maintaining standards, rather than improving specific areas.

He said: “There’s nothing to fix-up but I want to see habits, that’s the important one for me. It’s a mental test because they’ve nothing to play for, it’s personal pride.

“But we understand what works for us and I just want our habits to be good.”

A victory would see Wigan become the first team to finish the top-tier Super-8s campaign unbeaten – while FC are still searching for their first win since the competition split. During that time, Wane’s outfit have conceded two tries or less in all but one of their matches.

And he says maintaining a tight, disciplined defence can be key to realising their Grand Final aspirations.

“We’ve spoken about our defensive record, it’s something we need to take a lot of pride in it,” he said.

“We can score, our attack is good, we just need to make sure we keep concentrating with our defence. Our ‘D’ has clicked, we know what we need to do.

“Our intensity and desire to put our body on the line are massive in these big games.”

And while FC have been unable to buy a win in recent weeks, Wane is not taking anything for granted.

“I’m expecting a team which will be care-free, try things, middles passing a lot – so our concentration needs to be good,” he said.

“They still have a lot of quality in their side.

“It only takes one week to not turn up and you get burned.”