Wane: Wigan Warriors owe fans a performance
Shaun Wane admits Wigan owe fans a performance for their last two '˜home' matches - after tonight's showdown with Widnes was provisionally given the green-light.
Officials inspected the weather-hit pitch at 5pm yesterday and agreed it was suitable to be played on.
They will meet at 10.30am today to confirm their decision (check wigantoday.net website for updates).
Presuming it goes ahead, this will be the Warriors’ first match at the DW Stadium in nearly six months, when a 38-20 loss to Castleford effectively crushed their top-four hopes at the end of last season..
Wigan have had a ‘home’ match since then - but the club decided to take the fixture against Hull FC to Australia.
And Wane said that, with both of those games in mind, he hopes to reward their loyal supporters this evening.
“We probably do owe them a good display,” he said.
“I’ve not really thought about the Castleford game in a long time, but it was our last game there.
“And not only that, but we got a lot of messages of support while we were in Australia - from fans who couldn’t get over there - which was nice.
“It was a shame they couldn’t get to the game, so it would be a bit of a ‘thank you’ to them for their support.”
The weather has wreaked havoc with Super League fixtures.
And it impacted on Wigan’s preparations for the non-televised encounter, with Wane taking training on artificial pitches.
“It isn’t ideal, because doing that rules some players out,” he explained.
“There’s no give on a 4G pitch, so Sam Tomkins, for example - after having a foot injury - he could train but it would be sore the day after, so it’s not worth it.
“But it’s the same for all the teams at this time of year.”
Wigan have won two from three of their matches this year and despite the 16-10 loss at Warrington, Wane says he is “in a good place.”
The biggest improvement he wants to see tonight is an ability to build pressure against opposition who won twice at the DW Stadium last year.
“That’s something we didn’t do against Warrington,” he said. “We them too many pressure-releases, and we can’t afford to do that against Widnes.
“They’re playing well, I’ve watched their games. They are flying, very confident, and they lift their game against us.
“I’ve watched their four games and the two they lost could easily have been win, I’ve been very impressed with their brand of rugby.”