Wigan Warriors' Tony Clubb has no 'bad blood' with beaten Grand Finalists Warrington Wolves
The game has been marketed with the ‘bad blood’ slogan but Tony Clubb says he has only “good blood” for Warrington – because Wigan have beaten them at Old Trafford!
Warriors won four of six meetings with the Wolves last year including October’s title decider.
And that was a third Grand Final victory in six years against the Wolves, who have never won a Super League title.
Clubb took part in a public press conference at Warrington this year with the phrase ‘bad blood’ the backdrop.
Asked whether there was ‘bad blood’ between the two sides, the prop replied: “Where this bad blood thing has come, I haven’t got a clue.
“I don’t know where they get it from, maybe from the Grand Finals - it’s good blood for us, we’ve played them twice and beat them twice since I’ve been here.”
Tonight’s televised match is a rematch of October’s Grand Final but it has taken on a different complexion because of Wigan’s poor start to the year.
And they head to the Halliwell Jones looking to snap a three-game losing streak in Super League - all against sides they were widely tipped to beat.
Clubb, 31, says the Warriors are putting an emphasis on cutting the errors which blighted their 14-6 loss to Huddersfield last Friday.
“I’m still confident in this team and what we can do in this game,” he said. “The fundamental errors just hurt us too much last week.
“We had two tap restarts and dropped the ball. Our last plays were poor, we didn’t put them under pressure, and made more than 400 tackles, which is massive in a rugby league game.
“It shows the amount of pressure we’re putting ourselves under. We’re dropping the ball too much. We had nine minutes on our line, we kept them out, we went up their end and dropped it - players you wouldn’t expect.
“It may be a lack of concentration, no-one means to make mistakes, but a lapse and we’re back under pressure.
“We’re all disappointed... but I’d be more worried if we were getting blown away, but we’re not. We’re still battling.
“So a big emphasis for us is getting back to basics, the things that made us a good team. We’ve probably thought a lot about playing a new way and it may have caught up with us, we’ve been guilty of not getting off our line, our ball carrying has not been good. We’ve got to get back to running hard, tackling hard.
“Getting back to basics is massive in a game like this because Warrington essentially bully teams.
“If you keep their forwards quiet, we keep Daryl Clark quiet.”
And Clubb knows victory tonight would silence those who are already questioning the credentials of Wigan’s title defence.
“If we’d gone out and beaten a half-decent team this week, people would still question us,” he added. “If we beat Warrington and it would be a massive confidence boost for everyone.
“It’ll be a good game. Nobody needs any motivation for this one.”