Warriors coach 'excited' about big challenges ahead

Wigan coach Adrian Lam is banking on his struggling team "lifting" for the derby clashes with Warrington and St Helens.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 2:33 pm
Adrian Lam

The injury-hit 2020 Super League leaders have lost their last three matches to slip further behind pacesetters Catalans Dragons as they enter a potential make-or-break period.

The Warriors' home game against the Wolves on Wednesday is followed four days later by the Grand Final rematch, a clash with champions St Helens at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

"It's a really important period for us," Lam said. "We haven't been great over the last couple of weeks. We seem to have lost a little bit of confidence.

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"I am excited about the big games that are ahead because I think we're due for that. It's time that we stood up as a squad and performed well.

"We do lift to another level when we play in these big games. We've had a bit of success against Warrington in recent times.

"They're playing some great rugby, it will be a great test and I'm looking forward to the response, how we turn up on Wednesday night."

Warrington have won their last five league games but coach Steve Price is wary of Wednesday's wounded opponents.

"They're going to be desperate, as are we," he said. "We want to continue to improve and keep climbing that ladder.

"The local derbies are always fierce battles and we expect nothing different on Wednesday night."

Wolves' out-of-contract winger Tom Lineham will be hoping for a big performance at the DW Stadium as he puts himself in the shop window for a new club for 2022.

Lineham's priority has been to improve his discipline, having missed the last two months of the 2020 season with an eight-match ban for a "squirrel grip" and another three this season for a late tackle.

The last suspension actually turned into six as Price gave him the hard word.

"Recent times have not been too pretty for me," Lineham said. "Within an organisation you want to be known as an asset and not a liability and I think it was getting to the point where I was developing a bit of a reputation.

"So my aim is to completely eradicate any on-field indiscipline and misdemeanours from my game.

"I made a conscious effort to change my mindset and approach to contact areas and hopefully I can put the suspensions behind me.

"Steve was very cross about the last one and staying out of the team for an extra three games effectively doubled the suspension, which is not nice, but since I've been back things have been going very well."

Meanwhile, Warrington are still without former Australia Test centre Greg Inglis amid growing fears for his future.

The 34-year-old, who sat out the first five matches of the season as he built up his fitness following two years out of the game, tore a hamstring in his third game for the club in mid-May and Price says he cannot put a date on his return.

"He's still a fair way off," he said. "It was a serious injury and there's not much you can do but just wait for it to heal."

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