The world of Rugby League.

rleague.com

Wigan look to bounce back

Wigan are confident they can bounce back from a disappointing start to the new English Super League season as they prepare for their World Club Challenge against NRL premiers the Sydney Roosters.
Wigan look to bounce back
by AAP

By Robert Lowe

AUCKLAND, Feb 11 AAP - Wigan are confident they can bounce back from a disappointing start to the new English Super League season as they prepare for their World Club Challenge against NRL premiers the Sydney Roosters.

Wigan slumped to a 24-8 defeat to Huddersfield in their season-opener and now face a warm-up fixture against the Warriors in Hamilton on Wednesday night.

Coach Shaun Wane backs his players' ability to get back on track in a hurry and cites their Challenge Cup final victory over Hull FC in August as inspiration.

"The week before, we went to the Catalans and had a bad loss, so my players know how to turn up in big games," he said.

"It wasn't great preparation last week. Huddersfield played well and were the better team.

"We know it's a tough challenge over here. We'll have a good dig on Wednesday and prepare for our best game against the Roosters."

Wane's picked a 27-man squad for the trip down under, which culminates in the World Club Challenge match at Sydney's Allianz Stadium on February 22.

That squad includes England internationals Sean O'Loughlin, Josh Charnley, Michael McIlorum and Liam Farrell.

O'Loughlin, with a hamstring problem, and Charnley, returning from a hernia operation, both sat out the defeat to Huddersfield.

The squad also contains former NRL campaigners in fullback Matt Bowen, five-eighth Blake Green and prop Eddy Pettybourne.

Green admitted that the loss to the Giants was less than ideal and said it followed a good performance in a trial against fierce rivals St Helens.

"We just lacked a lot of energy," he said.

"It was a bit uncharacteristic from us, but we've got two weeks now to get into training and watch as much video as we can and improve for the World Club Challenge."

Formerly with Parramatta, Cronulla and Canterbury, Green is in his second season with Wigan and was player-of-the-match when the club won the Super League grand final against Warrington in October.

The Warriors, who are juggling the demands of three pre-season matches as well as the Auckland Nines this weekend, have picked a side with plenty of up-and-comers.

Only half a dozen players have played in the NRL, among them stand-in skipper Sam Rapira.

The prop said the Warriors' focus at Waikato Stadium would be on building combinations and completing sets.

"We've got only a bit of experience, but we've been training the same way," he said.

"It's a chance for players who haven't played in the NRL to stamp their mark."


Your thoughts?


You need to login or register to contribute here



Follow rleague.com on Facebook

Related Profiles

View profile pages including statistics, results, news, photos and more on all of the following...

Popular News Stories