Super League: Wigan take to wrestling to beat Hull KR
Wigan head into their game against Hull KR as odds-on 1/7 favourites with Coral, hoping to put to test their training drills in the week.
Coach Shaun Wane has had his players in what he calls “The Pit”, doing wrestling moves on each other, in a bid to strengthen their defensive efforts.
This isn’t something new or revolutionary in rugby league; however, it does suggest a heavy focus on Wigan’s defensive efforts going into the game against the Robins, who have proved adept in attack this season, and are prone to crashing over in a powerful manner.
“The pitch at Wakefield was certainly very firm,” said Wane. “My players felt their backs as a result. Defences have also got a great deal smarter,” said Wane in response to his training sessions this week.
“I have noticed the changes from 2010. We could go to places like Hull KR and put 80 points on them but you are now under the pump in such games – hence the reason for me going greyer! When injuries occur, I like to throw the youngsters in. You get on with it, that’s why you have a 35 man squad.”
Having beaten Wakefield 40-22 last time out, Wigan will be hoping for more of the same as they look to keep pressure on rivals St Helens, who lie in second by one point. Joe Burgess who crossed for a hat-trick last time out, took his tally for the season to 10, joint top of the Super League try-scorer charts. As a result, he is odds-on at 1/2 to score anytime.
His teammate, the equally impressive youngster Dominic Manfredi, who also crossed again, also has 10 tries for the season, and is also odds-on at 1/2 in the anytime market.
For the visitors, Ken Sio scored twice earlier in the campaign, when KR won 22-20 and is 11/10 to cross anytime, while Kieran Dixon, who also collected four points, is 11/8 in the same market.
However, if KR are to secure another win over the Warriors, half backs Terry Campese and Albert Kelly, will have to be on top form. The dynamic duo have been unplayable at times this term and are likely to give the Warriors’ defence a run for their money.