Wigan Warriors centre Oliver Gildart hopes lethal combination with Joe Burgess can spark again

Oliver Gildart
Oliver Gildart

Oliver Gildart hopes Wigan’s left edge can rediscover their potent touch when they face Hull KR tonight.

His lethal combination with Joe Burgess has been shackled in recent weeks, despite the Warriors piling on the points.

Adrian Lam’s side have racked up 108 points during a four-game winning streak - but Burgess and Gildart have contributed just 12 of those points, from three tries.

England centre Gildart attributes their “dry patch” to opposition sides stacking their defence to try and limit the strike-threat of their left side, where George Williams also primarily operates.

The knock-on effect is the defence is stretched elsewhere and Gildart said: “We’ve had a bit of a dry patch recently.

“We’re coming up against teams numbering up and putting an extra man on our edge, and so it creates space elsewhere.

“We’ll let the right side get a couple and boost their confidence!

“It’s good competition between us. It’s not happening at the minute, but we’ll keep on working hard, and as long as the team is doing well I don’t mind.”

The team is certainly doing well, with four straight wins elevating them into the play-offs positions for the first time this year.

“We’re in a miles better place than we were,” said Gildart. “We always believed we’d get there, we just couldn’t put in a complete performance – and we’re still not there yet.

“But we also know Hull KR are a dangerous side.

“Danny McGuire is on my edge and he always has trick plays, and it’s about concentrating for 80 minutes.”

Two of his England team-mates, Sean O’Loughlin (Achilles) and Joe Greenwood (concussion protocol), will be missing tonight but Liam Farrell and Dan Sarginson are set to return.

Lam isn’t planning to tinker with his side, other than the enforced changes, meaning young forwards Ollie Partington and Morgan Smithies are set to continue their run in the side.

“They’re both outstanding players,” added Gildart. “Ollie got a taste last year and Morgan has come in this year and done really well.

“It happens every year, one of the young lads comes through. To play in the middle at 18 and to not just get by, but to dish it out as well, it takes a special player.”