Smith treating Wigan showdown 'like a cup final'

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The Independent Online

The Wakefield coach and former Wigan player, Tony Smith, will treat the match that could lift his old club off the foot of Super League as a cup final.

A fourth win in a row tonight, should it be by a 34-point margin, will not only take the Warriors out of last place, but also above Wakefield. "It will be like a cup final, but it won't mean the end of the season for either team," Smith said. "There will still be eight games left - all will be like cup finals."

Wakefield have Jamie Rooney back in their side, while Wigan have Wayne Godwin available after injury. For a third game in succession, though, there is no place for Pat Richards, whose future with Wigan looks doubtful.

Events at the foot of the table reduce the spotlight for once tonight on the meeting between Leeds and Bradford. The Rhinos have Danny McGuire back after resting a leg injury, but Matt Diskin is still not fit.

The Bulls hope to field Lesley Vainikolo, but include Andy Smith in their squad despite him going into spasm after a blow to the head at Salford last week.

Castleford have signed their former Widnes and St Helens three-quarter, Gray Viane, for two more years.

Leigh, bidding for promotion to Super League, have signed two Polynesian forwards who have been playing in France. Tyrone Pau is a Cook Islander who has spent the last five years at Limoux and Una Lamalangi is a Tongan who has been playing for Villeneuve.

The Huddersfield forward, Jon Grayshon, has returned to the club after two months on loan to Batley and goes straight into the squad for Sunday's game at Warrington.

Warrington captain Lee Briers has pledged his future to the beleaguered Wolves by signing a two-year contract extension.

The prop forward Paul Wood and promising loose forward Simon Grix have also been handed new three-year contracts in what the coach Paul Cullen says is "a clear sign of intent".

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