SHAUN Wane knows his Wigan side may be the focal point of the Magic Weekend – but he has backed them to “do the business again”.
The Warriors head into Saturday’s headlining clash against Leeds still reeling from their 58-16 loss to Catalans.
We don’t have to go too far back to see what we can do. It was only two or three weeks ago that our attack and our defence were the best in the competitionShaun Wane
It was the most crushing loss of Wane’s tenure and the club’s fourth-heaviest defeat in their history. The coach knows that – given the Warriors’ profile – they will be under the media glare in the build-up to the biggest event of the regular season.
And with an estimated 40,000 crowd expected on Saturday at Newcastle’s St James’ Park – as well as the Sky Sports cameras – there will be no shortage of interest in how Wigan perform.
But having guided his outfit to seven wins from their previous eight Super League matches, he remains confident their landslide loss to the Dragons was an off-day.
And while he doesn’t make excuses for his players, he knows it isn’t rare for even the best sides to suffer heavy defeats during the course of the season.
He said: “We beat Catalans by 34 points a few weeks ago, and now they’ve beaten us be 42, but everyone will talk about it because of who we are.
“It was a blip. The last time we had one like that was at Castleford (losing 42-14) earlier this year, and we responded to that in the right way. We need to go out there and do the business again this weekend.”
While Wane was fiercely critical of their performance at the weekend, his confidence in his players has not been dented.
He added: “I’m not giving my players an excuse, because they know we weren’t good enough at the weekend.
“But we don’t have to go too far back to see what we can do. It was only two or three weeks ago that our attack and our defence were the best in the competition.” The Magic Weekend was launched with a media event at St James’ Park yesterday. Injured prop Tony Clubb represented Wigan. Phil Bentham will referee Saturday’s match.
Wigan’s Under-19s face Wakefield in a rearranged fixture tomorrow at Orrell, kick-off 7pm.
Tickets for Wigan’s game at St Helens on June 12 go on sale to season ticket holders today, from 10am. Half-season tickets also go on sale, priced from £85 adults.