Tuson: We’re not there yet

Wigan Warriors v Salford Reds - Players at the end of the match
Wigan Warriors v Salford Reds - Players at the end of the match

CHRIS Tuson admits Wigan have plenty of work to on the training ground before they’ll be ready to take on Huddersfield in the big Super League opener on Sunday week.

Warriors continued their pre-season preparations with a hard-fought 16-10 victory at Salford on Tuesday night, but it was hardly vintage stuff as handling errors dogged the cherry and whites throughout.

And Tuson admits they’ll have to be a whole lot better when the Giants visit the DW in just 10 days’ time, or risk getting off to a losing start.

“Our completion was terrible at Salford, we just coughed up too much ball and that’s why we spent so much time defending,” he said.

“We always expected a tough game – a week before the season starts, Salford were always going to give it to us. But we made it really hard on ourselves. Our completion for a spell of the game was 21 per cent.

“It was greasy conditions, but it’s hard to win games with those figures.

“We scored two tries with 50 per cent of the ball in the last 20 minutes, so that’s a good sign.

“We defended well too when they had the more ball – that’s another good sign.

“But we need to learn to be a bit smarter and when we get the ball, make sure we look after it.”

One player immune from criticism was Sam Tomkins, who marked his first hit-out of pre-season with a sparkling show including a trademark try.

“Sam does all the little things well,” Tuson enthused.

“He stands out for the people watching, but they may not notice he does the little things right as well.”

On a personal note, Tuson is looking for a big 2012 – not least because of a hefty weight gain in the off-season.

“Form-wise I felt I went okay last year, and gaining a bit of weight will hopefully improve me,” he added.

“I’ve managed to put 5kg on. In the past, I struggled to get above 92kg but I’ve done it this year, and hopefully I’ll keep the weight on.”

As well as being bigger, Tuson says his skills have also been sharpened during the off-season.

“When Waney took over, I thought it’d be the same as under Michael Maguire,” he added. “But it’s been different. We’ve done more specific stuff and we’ve done heaps more skill.