MATTY Smith is drawing on history as Wigan charge towards the Super 8s.
The Warriors have two games to go before the Super League splits – against Widnes this Friday night and a trip to Hull FC the following Thursday.
And Smith has targeted four points to ensure they climb above St Helens, should their rivals slip up in their next two matches.
The England halfback acknowledges this has been a sticky campaign for Shaun Wane’s outfit.
Memorable wins against Leeds (twice), St Helens and Warrington have been interrupted by some shock defeats and flat performances.
But Smith points to their 2013 double-winning campaign – and last year’s charge to the Grand Final – as evidence of their big-game credentials.
I’m fully confident in this team going into the Super-8s and play-offsMatty Smith
He said: “It has been frustrating, we’re always striving for that perfect performance.
“We’ve had dips in form but, if you look back over the last couple of years, we had dips in form then– but at the right times we’ve come good.
“I’m fully confident in this team going into the Super-8s and play-offs.”
Smith says his halfback partnership with academy-product George Williams is feeling more comfortable.
“George is more of an off-the-cuff half, I’m more of an organiser so it (was always) going to take some time,” he said.
“I love playing alongside him, he’s a great player.
“It’s not gone fantastically well in every game but it’s coming together.”
The seven Super 8s fixtures are stacked to favour sides which finish higher up the ladder, and the difference between 2nd and 3rd will determine home advantage of the next Wigan-St Helens derby.
In addition, points carry over into the new phase of the season, as the teams battle for places in a top-four play-offs.
Smith kicked the vital penalty in Warriors’ 26-24 victory over Leeds last Thursday night.
Although Wigan only trail the Rhinos by two points, they appear unlikely to dislodge them from top-spot before the Super 8s begin.
The Rhinos’ next two games are both at home, to lowly Salford and travel-sick Catalans, and their for-and-against is 73 points more than Wigan’s.
l Scans on centre Dan Sarginson’s hamstring injury have revealed the damage is not as bad as first feared, though he remains a doubt for Friday.