SHAUN Wane admits he has been “haunted” by Wigan’s defeat by Castleford earlier this season.
And he wants his players to exorcise the demons of their heaviest loss under his control, when the two sides collide at the DW Stadium tonight. An emotional Wane described their 42-14 loss in the last meeting as the worst of his career.
That night still haunts me. I want Cas to see the best of us, and I think they will. The penny seems to have dropped. Some of the tries we’ve scored showed outstanding skillShaun Wane
He stands by that post-match assessment and promised fans they will see a different team this evening.
“That defeat hurt us badly, they didn’t see anything like a Wigan performance,” he said.
“That night still haunts me. I want Cas to see the best of us, and I think they will. We’ve hit a bit of form, our attack has been good and our D is getting stronger.”
Castleford were one of the surprise packages of 2014. They reached the Challenge Cup Final – beating Wigan at the DW in the process – and climbed into the top–four in the Super League ladder.
They haven’t made quite as many waves this season but they are fifth in the table and have won four of their last five matches. “They talk themselves up, a lot, they did that last year and they’re doing it this year,” said Wane.
“They’re very confident and quite rightly so, we went there and got towelled up.
“They’re a tough side, they complete, they don’t make many errors.”
But Wigan are hot on the heels of top-two Leeds and St Helens having won six of their last seven games.
“The penny seems to have dropped,” added Wane. “Some of the tries we’ve scored showed outstanding skill. “
“I wanted the players to be more entertaining, and we’re scoring different sorts of tries - we want to react off quicker play the balls and offloads.”
England winger Josh Charnley is expected to miss out once again, due to the sterling form of Joe Burgess and Dom Manfredi.
Wane has decided against sending Charnley to Workington on dual-registration.
“I bet there’ll be a few people in that division wanting to give him a smack around the chops,” he said. “I’d do it with a front-rower... because I want them to get a smack around the chops.”
Wales international Danny Jones, who died last weekend after suffering a suspected cardiac arrest playing for Wales, will be remembered with a minute’s silence before kick-off tonight.
“It was unbelievably sad, to lose a dad of two young twins,” said Wane, who acknowledged the tremendous fund-raising drive by players and fans for the 29-year-old’s family.
“But when something like this happens we all come together and help how we can.”