Liam Marshall and Oliver Gildart don’t need to look over their shoulders just yet, but Tony Clubb has been happy to see Wigan’s props rack up the tries this season.
The big Londoner has been leading the way, crossing the whitewash five times in 13 competitive matches this season.
Ryan Sutton (four), Taulima Tautai (two) and Ben Flower (one) have also chipped in with four-pointers in the early stages of the Super League season.
To put those into perspective, before this season, Tautai had only managed two tries in 95 appearances for the club.
Flower didn’t cross in 13 starts last year and, impressively, Clubb’s five tries this campaign match the number of touchdowns he had chalked up over the previous three years and 63 appearances.
The radical improvement is not a coincidence, says the 30-year-old.
“We spoke in pre-season about wanting to be better on scoring tries,” said Clubb.
“We were averaging one of two year a year, now we’ve already got a few on the board. We just need to get the French lad (Romain Navarrete) over now!
“When you’re close to the opposition line, why not have a dig, rather than just do our normal plays?
“So when we’re down there, Tommy (Leuluai) calls the plays and I get on the back of it.
“Waney loves those tries, too.
“We worked on in pre-season and they’re working for us at the moment.”
Clubb knows their their willingness to punch through goal-line defences may not go unnoticed by rival sides.
But, he says, their efforts to contain Wigan’s props will only benefit the side elsewhere.
“If we tighten the ruck up, there’s more space somewhere else,” he said.
“So we’ll carry on doing it and try and get more tries.”
Marshall and Gildart are leading Wigan’s try-scoring chart, with nine each, putting them joint-fourth on the Super League chart behind St Helens duo Ben Barba (15) and Mark Percival (13), and Hull FC’s Fetuli Talanoa (12).
Wigan switch their attention to the Challenge Cup on Sunday when they travel to Hull KR for a non-televised game. Referee Chris Kendall will take charge.
Wane’s squad returned to training yesterday after a few days off, with the coach set to name his provisional 19-man squad tomorrow.
Liam Farrell and Sean O’Loughlin are expected to return to the side which beat Salford’s 30-0 last Friday, the Warriors’ sixth straight victory which saw them tighten their grip on second spot.
“We’ll travel to Hull confident, it’s going to be a good game,” said Clubb.
Wigan’s reserves are due to take on Bradford today at Robin Park, kick-off 6pm.