SHAUN Wane has warned his players they face being “hammered” if they fail to raise their game tonight.
The Warriors have lost two of their last three matches heading into this evening’s clash against pace-setters Leeds.
Wane has backed his players’ big-game credentials to come to the fore this evening, and preserve a proud home record which stretches back more than a year.
But he says they will need emulate the spirit of their Magic Weekend victory over the Rhinos - when they triumphed 27-12 in Newcastle - if they are to claim a precious two points.
“If we don’t turn up, we’ll get absolutely hammered,” he said frankly, nodding to the quality of their opponents.
“We need to be physical, match them in contact, because they play fast and put you under pressure.
We need to be physical, match them in contact, because they play fast and put you under pressureShaun Wane
“We showed at Magic that we can score tries against them and defend – and not many teams can do that against Leeds – and we need to play like that again.”
Wane says Wigan have spent the week working on improving their error-rate and discipline, following a 17-6 loss at Warrington a week ago.
But he has found a positive from that display.
“It was embarrassing, not good enough for Wigan,” he said. “But we made 19 errors and only lost by 11, so it wasn’t as bad as it seemed.”
Wigan trail Leeds by four points, and their hopes of finishing top before the Super 8s split are hanging by a thread. Climbing ahead of second-placed St Helens is more realistic, which would give them a home derby during the run-in towards the Grand Final play-offs.
“We have three games before the split, and we want six points,” said Wane. “Everything else is out of our control.”
Wigan could announce tonight that assistant coach Paul Deacon is leaving to take up a role with Sale Sharks.