LARNE Patrick is predicting a Grand Final-type atmosphere when he makes derby debut this Friday.
The forward – who arrived in the off-season from Huddersfield – is gearing up for his first taste of the Wigan-St Helens rivalry.
There are no bigger games than Wigan-Saints, and the atmosphere will be like a Grand Final
Patrick has watched the fixture from afar for years and can’t wait to sample the intensity himself.
“There are no bigger games than Wigan-Saints, and the atmosphere will be like a Grand Final,” he said.
“It’s obviously a first for me, and I’m really looking forward to it.
“Everyone knows how big this game is, the lads have told me what to expect.
“Wigan have a great record over the Easter period and so hopefully we can carry that on.”
A capacity crowd will pack into the DW Stadium on Friday for the annual derby showdown. Warriors have won the last five Good Friday fixtures, and Patrick says their hopes of stretching that impressive run to six games will depend on them “not cutting corners.”
“That’ll go a long way towards it, definitely,” he said.
“We need to do the one per cent-ers, all the little efforts, they all add up.”
Saints’ strength lies in their middle unit, which includes Samoan wrecking-ball Mose Masoe.
And Patrick says they will combat their size-disadvantage with a rapid defence.
“They have the size on us, but that doesn’t matter,” said the 26-year-old. “Our line speed just needs to be good, because someone like Masoe, if you let him get a stride he’ll be dangerous – so it’s about getting off the line and being in his face.”
The game was last night heading for a sell-out.
Shaun Wane will name his 19-man squad later today and last night said he had still not decided between Matty Bowen and Ryan Hampshire for the full-back role. Phil Bentham has been appointed referee.