Back to reality for Endacott's Wigan

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Frank Endacott believes he has got Wigan's feet back on the ground after what many who were there, are calling the best and most exciting rugby league match they have ever seen.

Frank Endacott believes he has got Wigan's feet back on the ground after what many who were there, are calling the best and most exciting rugby league match they have ever seen.

The last-second victory over Bradford last Sunday left a sense of euphoria, "but the elation only lasts 24-hours and then it's back to reality," said the Wigan coach.

That reality tomorrow consists of a Warrington side out of play-off contention, but still with the ability to be awkward spoilers.

"They've got nothing to lose, but that's when they're most dangerous," Endacott said.

Wigan will be paying particular attention to Allan Langer, whose first season at Warrington might have been a disappointment in terms of results, but who still commands great respect.

"You can still see the brain working, even if maybe the legs aren't," said Endacott. "They would have won only half the amount of games they have without him."

Endacott is likely to use Tony Smith from the bench again as a substitute hooker, after the success of that ploy against Bradford. Warrington have their own regular hooker back now that Danny Farrar is fit again.

Victory would keep Wigan at the top of Super League, which with the play-offs now looming, carries obvious advantages in a week off and a subsequent home draw.

"There's still a lot of work to do, but if we win our matches, we stay top," said Endacott.

Bradford's recuperation is at a ground where they have had recent problems. They dropped a point in a stormy 20-20 draw with Halifax at the Shay just four weeks ago, a match that ended with Robbie Paul in hospital with two broken ribs and a punctured lung.

With perfect timing, the player who was suspended for using his knees in the tackle which injured Paul, Andy Hobson, returns for this game and Halifax's self-declared policy of roughing-up the opposition is sure to give Bradford another test.

They should not expect any luxury at the partly rebuilt Shay; Stuart Raper, whose Castleford side was beaten their last week, described the facilities as "pathetic".

Castleford play host tomorrow to the London Broncos, in their first match since the sacking of John Monie. Tony Rea, the chief executive who has taken over as coach for the last three games of the season, cannot make many changes from a depleted squad, although Dom Peters is fit to replace Rob Smyth, who damaged a knee in training, on the wing.

Victory for Cas would make it mathematically certain that they will be in the play-offs, thus putting Hull, who are at Salford, out without any lingering doubt of advancement. Wakefield, who are expected to enter into a voluntary agreement with their creditors next week, are at Huddersfield/ Sheffield.

Comments