Wane’s plan to make more memories

Wigan Warriors' John Bateman celebrates scoring a try  during the Super League match at The John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield
Wigan Warriors' John Bateman celebrates scoring a try during the Super League match at The John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield

SHAUN Wane has urged his players to leave no room for regrets – and make another memory to last a lifetime.

Wigan are the slight-favourites as they head into tonight’s play-offs semi-final against Huddersfield.

For the losers, it will mark the end of the line – while the winners will progress to the following week’s Grand Final to face either Leeds or St Helens.

And Wane, targeting his third successive appearance in the Old Trafford decider, said: “We’re all desperate to get there.

“It’s a great occasion, and I remember everything about the finals we’ve been in.

“The Grand Final in 2013, when we completed the double, was one of the best nights of my life.

Those memories are special, they don’t fade... and we want to experience that again

Shaun Wane

“Those memories are special, they don’t fade... and we want to experience that again.”

Wane says he would “detest” missing out on a Grand Final, and played down what motivation will be provided by last year’s defeat by St Helens, after Ben Flower was red-carded.

“We did well last year, and I was proud of the effort we put in,” he said.

“Last year was a moral victory, to go so close with 12-men spoke volumes of our character. It was unfortunate what happened, but there’s no motivation from that.”

He reported no fresh injury concerns after finishing yesterday’s final training session. John Bateman’s return from a hamstring strain is likely to be the only change to the squad which beat Castleford 47-12 last Friday.

And he hopes fans turn out in force to help them preserve their unbeaten home record which stretches back to the start of the year, when they suffered their solitary defeat - in extra-time to NRL Grand Finalists Brisbane, during the World Club Series.

“We have home advantage and I know we’ve got a good record, but if we were going to Huddersfield, I’d be into my players to get the win,” continued Wane.

“So it’s really important we’re mentally ready.

“Our defence has been great in the last couple of weeks, and we just need to make sure the players are mentally in the right place to win the game.

“There’s no margin for error. We’re very motivated.

“It’s very tight, it’s very tense, but I like it and my players like it.

“We want to be playing in these games. There are teams who aren’t involved yet, coaches who are on their holidays, and I would detest that.

“Hopefully we’ll get another week as well.”

Wigan have beaten Huddersfield in their last four meetings, and Giants coach Paul Anderson said: “It means all the pressure is on Wigan. They’re at home and the expectation on them will be incredibly high.

“At this stage of the year, it’s not about the performance it’s all about the result, and we feel ready to meet that challenge and make it as tough as we possibly can for Wigan.”