SHAUN Wane has challenged his players to “smash” St Helens tomorrow.
Fans are smacking their lips in anticipation as the Warriors prepare to welcome their fierce rivals to the DW Stadium with a place in the Challenge Cup semi-finals up for grabs.
And Wane reckons they can expect a full-blooded battle after instructing his players to tear into Saints from the first whistle.
He said: “If we’re properly mentally prepared and we can go out there and smash them as hard as we can, then we’ve got a good chance of winning the game.
“I had to calm the lads down the other day, we had a good smash-up, a real full-on session which we all enjoyed, so we’ll be spot on by kick-off time. You’ve been able to tell that there’s a Saints game approaching.
“There’s been that feistiness this week.
“It’s a game we badly want to win, and we are determined to win it.
“I just want to get one over our arch enemies now. I want to win every single time we play against them.
“I hope they arrive at the DW determined, because my lads will be as well.”
By last night more than 12,000 tickets had been sold for the outcome.
They only went on sale a week ago due to the uncertainty over the venue, and Wane admits he was pleased for the supporters that the green-light was given to play it at the DW Stadium, just 24 hours before Latics’ last game of the season.
“I’m grateful for all the work Ian Lenagan and Dave Whelan have done,” he said.
“But if I’m totally honest, it wouldn’t have bothered me if we played them at Leigh, Bolton, or even Langtree Park. Our record is quite good there!”
Warriors beat Saints in the Good Friday derby by 28-10.
“Wherever we play them I will be confident,” continued Wane. “We played well at Langtree Park and the one thing we did have was the will to win. We wanted it badly.
“You can have all the technical stuff in the world at your disposal, but it’s all about what team wants to win the most. That day we did that.”
Saints have not lost since their derby loss last month and ex-Warrior Mark Flanagan said: “We’re travelling with a lot of confidence. We’ve played well recently and we’ll be going there to win.