SHAUN Wane has challenged Anthony Gelling to produce “less rocks, more diamonds” as Wigan count down towards their first derby of the year.
The centre can thrill and infuriate in equal measure. In seven rounds he has made more metres (824) and more carries (118) than any of his Warriors team-mates.
He’s got some talent, but he’s a bit rocks and diamonds. When he does good things, they’re very very good – and it’s the same with the bad thingsShaun Wane
But only two players in Super League have made more errors than his 16 - and Wane has blamed the Kiwi for accelerating his ageing looks!
He believes Gelling has the potential to become a superstar of the competition if he can wipe the blemishes from his form.
“He’s the reason I’m going grey,” he joked. “He’s got some talent, but he’s a bit rocks and diamonds. When he does good things, they’re very very good – and it’s the same with the bad things.
“But he’s improving, the more he’s here.”
Gelling was plucked from the obscurity of the New Zealand Bartercard Cup competition at the end of 2011 and last season made the right centre berth his own. He has started every game this year and will play in front of a packed DW Stadium when St Helens arrive in town this Friday.
“There’s something there, no doubt about that,” said Wane. “When he’s on, he’s a big athlete, a very skilful man.”
The coach will put his players through a physical training session today, but plans a lighter workload for the rest of the week in preparation for back-to-back games over the Easter weekend.
Friday’s visit of St Helens is followed by a trip to Salford three days later.
Wigan’s thumping 52-10 win against Wakefield on Friday night, coupled with St Helens’ loss at Hull KR, has changed the complexion to the derby build-up.
Wane believes the outcome may depend on his forwards ramping up their efforts to combat Saints’ pack.
“Our middles defended well against Wakefield, but this will be another level,” he added.
“Their middles are running hard and playing well.
“But we’ll be asking questions of them, the way Tony Clubb and Taulima (Tautai) are going, it’s got the makings of a really, physical game.”