Wigan Warriors: Matty Peet expects a 'play-off feel' to Friday's game against Warrington Wolves
Matty Peet believes Wigan Warriors’ game against Warrington Wolves will have a “play-off feel” to it.
His side will make the short trip to the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Friday night (K.O. 8pm), in what is the first meeting between the sides this season.
Peet states he’s well aware of the talent Warrington have at their disposal and their expectations as a club.
He said: “There’s a lot of players and staff who have worked at both clubs. We’ve got a lot of respect for them and appreciate how they go about their business.
“We know that it will be a really intense game, normally it has a play-off feel about it, and hopefully it’ll be like that for the fans.
“We are well aware of their individuals. Players like (Ben) Currie, (Toby) King, and Daryl Clarke, who have been internationals throughout. They are a club who recruit at the top end of the market and get top, top talent.
“They’ve got the coaching staff that they want, and it’s clear that they are on a mission to win trophies.
“We know what they are looking to build, they know how to win games and get the best out of their players. So it’s only a matter of time before they get the combination of the talent and the knowledge they have got to click.
“They will be well aware that they’ve had the knock on us over the last few years. I don’t know the results off the top of my head, but it feels like they were quite strong against us last year, so they will be expecting to win.
“We feel like if we can keep on improving week on week then the results will go our way, but it will take a quality performance to beat such a strong team.”
Peet says he won’t make too many changes to his side heading into Friday’s game, and states building partnerships is one of the main focuses at the moment, due to some key players being absent.
“It’ll be a very similar team,” he added.
“We’ve not got a lot to come back in. Brad Singleton will be back in the mix, so we will make a late call on him. Everyone else is fit, so it won’t be too dissimilar.
“We are always considering what’s the best way to approach the games, and that’s something we will do for this one. No one will be risked, so there could be some rotation, but we are looking for fluency as well.
“This time of the year, most of the work is done in the meeting rooms rather than out on the field, so we’ve been able to have some decent conversations this week. We think this kind of game will bring out the best in us in terms of energy.
“The team is connected and we all understand the way we want to play. We’ve got a group that gets on really well. They come in enjoying their work and each other’s company.
“We moved on quickly from the Salford game. We knew that was a tough encounter at the end of the Easter period, and we feel like we learned some lessons around our new combinations, so we will tighten a few things up there.
“I would’ve liked the win to be a lot more straightforward, but we raised the intensity in the run up to the (winning) try of our defence. We are aware that if we do that well then we’ve got the capability of posting points, which gives you confidence.
“Obviously with Jai (Field) you need that special player to break the game wide open, but there were a lot of unseen actions, like Liam Byrne coming off the bench and lifting our line speed.
“I’m pleased with the effort and the desire, and we will look to build on the cohesion. We’ve come through with confidence, we know where we are at as a team.
“In terms of player availability we’ve lost (Sam) Powell to a suspension and (Thomas) Leuluai for a while, and they’re two important players for us, but on the whole we are considerably fit and healthy.
“You only get to find new leaders and new voices when the opportunity is there for those players to step up, so that’s the challenge for us. We are excited by it because there is now a gap there to fill.
“This is a good chance for Harry (Smith), we are well aware of his capabilities. For his age he’s got quite a lot of experience, so we are very happy with him as a replacement for Tommy (Leuluai).
“I do think it is difficult for players, particularly in the spine, to just play games here and there because those positions depend on combinations and relationships, so this could be a good opportunity for Harry.
“If you look at our team we are always very young, with a strong contingent of home grown talent. It’s something we take a lot of pride in. With Warrington too, there’ll be some good British talent on show on Friday evening.”
Peet says the club are not currently in the market for any more players following the departure of Zak Hardaker, who has joined Leeds Rhinos after being released by the Warriors.
“There’s no real rush (to replace Hardaker),” he explains.
“Obviously we have got space, but neither me or the club are in any sort of rush.”