SHAUN Wane knows only the best from his players will do as his Warriors take on Leeds Rhinos at Headingley tonight.
As well as looking to reclaim top spot from St Helens, who leapfrogged Brian McDermott’s outfit by beating strugglers London Broncos last night, Leeds have a score to settle with Wane’s men after being dumped out of last season’s Super League play-offs at the DW Stadium.
But the Warriors’ boss is confident his men are equal to the task ahead of the match which kicks off at 8pm, Sky Sports One.
“Leeds are very energetic, they have good edges, and Jamie Peacock is playing out of his skin,” said Wane.
“It’s a level playing field, whichever team which completes and turns up the best will win.”
Wigan will close the gap between themselves and the Rhinos to just one point and still have a game in hand if they win tonight, as they continue to creep up the Super League table.
And in the showpiece fixture, Wane is confident his side can find and crack Leeds’ weak spots to gain an advantage once the action starts.
“We admire what they do, but they do have deficiencies and hopefully find them out,” he added. The Rhinos provide the first of five games on the road for Wigan, with their first return home being the Challenge Cup quarter-final clash with Castleford on Saturday, June 7 at 2.30pm, due to the annual work which takes place on the pitch at the DW Stadium.
But Wane is looking at the month-long excursion as a positive.
“I enjoy it. We’re going early to spend some time in Leeds together, we’re in Hull the week after and we’ll stay over, we see it as a nice time to be together.
“All the players are spending time without their families, it’s good for bonding, and we take it as a challenge.
“I see it as a positive, we have it every year so they can do what they need to do to the DW pitch, and if we end it having won every one well be in good shape.”
Although Wane admitted his side’s cruise past Hunslet in last week’s Challenge Cup fifth round (while Leeds endured a tussle with St Helens) was not ideal preparation for tonight, he has insisted no extra motivation will be needed for his players to produce a vintage performance.
“We could have been more battle-hardened if we’d had a real smash up in the Cup, but it was what it was,” he explained.
“My players won’t need motivating. Every player in the team has to be at their best.
“My players can get up for big games and they don’t come much bigger than this one.”