Sam will handle the stick, says O’Loughlin

Sam Tomkins is set to play his first game since the video nasty saga
Sam Tomkins is set to play his first game since the video nasty saga

Sam Tomkins will not be rocked by the off-field drama which saw him and his brother Joel sanctioned by Wigan.

That is the defiant view of captain Sean O’Loughlin, who knows the full-back may get a rough ride from the Wakefield fans tomorrow night.

Tomkins has been fined £5,000 for his role in the drunken night out captured on video, which led to brother Joel – who has since apologised – being banned for four games and fined £10,000.

“Sam’s a strong enough character,” said O’Loughlin.

“He’s disappointed in what’s happened, what’s come of it and what’s gone on.

“But he’s been copping stick for 10 years, and I don’t think this week will affect him too much.

“The club has dealt with it, he’s done what he needed to do, and Sam will just concentrate on his performance and making sure he mentality switches on to playing well again.

“Sam has the best thing you can do – the sooner you’re back on the pitch showing what you can do the better.”

O’Loughlin echoed comments by coach Shaun Wane that the antics were out of character.

“Obviously it doesn’t reflect well on the club, Joel and Sam, but it’s happened and it’s been dealt with,” he said.

“We know the kind of people Joel and Sam are, and that’s not the kind of stuff they see as acceptable.

“We respect what the club has done and how they’ve handled it, but we’re also here to support Joel and Sam.

“We know how hard they’ve taken it and how disappointed they are in themselves.”

Dan Sarginson will return to a side in a very different position to when he left.

Wigan remain second in the ladder, four points behind leaders St Helens with a game in hand.

But successive losses has put tomorrow’s televised game under sharper focus.

Sarginson, though, has been quick to put their recent results into context.

“It was only three weeks ago we beat Warington by 28 points so it’s not the end of the world,” said the centre.

“People are quick to jump on our backs but it’s the same team out there, same players, same mentality.

“The (criticism from fans) just shows how much they care.

“It’s not a bad thing, necessarily – I think we get a bit too much stick on social media, I think social media is going the wrong way with stuff like that.”

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