Wane: We can’t afford to go chasing big wins

Matty Bowen set to return to the Wigan side for the trip to St Helens tomorrow night. He is in the 19-man squad with Josh Charnley, John Bateman and Joel Tomkins
Matty Bowen set to return to the Wigan side for the trip to St Helens tomorrow night. He is in the 19-man squad with Josh Charnley, John Bateman and Joel Tomkins

SHAUN Wane says Wigan won’t go chasing points at St Helens if tonight’s result goes against them.

Second-placed Warriors are level with Leeds at the top, with two rounds to go, though Brian McDermott’s men have a better for-and-against by 60.

They face Castleford tonight and, if they get the win and beat Huddersfield in their final game, Wigan will need to eat into their points difference if they are to overhaul them before the play-offs begin.

Warriors host Castleford next week.

But Wane will not be instructing his players to change their style, and said there’s a danger in trying to rack-up big scorelines.

“There is, because you end up going side to side, and not going forward,” he said. “So the for-and-against won’t come into it.

We want the two competition points. The (size) of the win won’t come into, we won’t go with that mindset

Shaun Wane

“We want the two competition points. The (size) of the win won’t come into, we won’t go with that mindset.

“Our week has been very defence-orientated. And when we defend well we seem to attack well and score points.”

Tomorrow night’s derby will take on an added dimension if Leeds are beaten by Castleford this evening – giving Wane’s men a chance to pull clear at the top.

The Rhinos have lost twice since their Challenge Cup Final win in a trend which has echoes of last year, when they lost all four of their matches following their Wembley triumph.

Yet while Wane concedes they may have been suffering from a Cup hangover, he expects them to get back on track.

“We’ve been in that position and Wembley takes a lot out of you mentally,” said Wane, who guided Wigan to a double in 2013.

“They’re struggling a bit, but they’re too good of a team and they’ll be there by the end. I’m sure they will.”

The play-offs structure has been slimmed down this year to straightforward semi-finals, with the team finishing 1st hosting 4th, and 2nd facing 3rd, with the winners meeting in the Grand Final.