Wane hopes Saints will wilt under pressure in cup derby
Saturday 12 May 2012
The Wigan coach, Shaun Wane, said that St Helens will go into today's Challenge Cup quarter-final at the DW Stadium "underdone".
Saints are on a five-match winning run and have scored 216 points in their last four games but Wane believes the ease with which they have won those matches could count against them in a high-intensity quarter-final.
Wigan are also on a roll, having won their last seven matches, including a 28-10 Super League triumph in the Good Friday derby, although Wane admits that will count for little tomorrow. "We played well that day," he said. "We're fully aware that St Helens weren't firing that day and that it will have no bearing on what happens this time.
"The one thing about their team is that since our game, they've not been in a real arm-wrestle. We need to make sure they know they've been in a game, get them in an arm-wrestle going set for set and see what they're like under pressure."
That home defeat by the Warriors is the only one suffered by Saints since Mike Rush and Keiron Cunningham took charge following the sacking of Royce Simmons, and their acting head coach insists there is nothing wrong with their form. "We know if we put in a real good performance, we'll be competitive against anybody," Rush said. "We've shown that. We're in pretty good form and, if we can get some troops back, it makes us that little big stronger."
Rush expects to welcome back the England second-rower Jon Wilkin, who has not played since hurting his shoulder on Good Friday, as well as prop Josh Perry and utility back Gary Wheeler.
It is 12 years since Saints last failed to reach the last four of the cup but Rush does not believe that adds any more pressure on his side, who have lifted the trophy seven times in the Super League era.
"I think there's always pressure at this club," he said. "There's been expectations placed on this club since the formation of Super League."
Wane, a former Wigan player, has made no secret of a burning desire to lead the holders out at Wembley. "I badly want to get to Wembley," he said. "I loved my time last year as assistant but to go there as head coach of my hometown club would be awesome.
"But we're quite a few games away from that yet. This is a massive hurdle for us and I will never ever under-estimate St Helens."
Latest in Sport
QPR vs Arsenal match report: Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez on the scoresheet for the Gunners
Newcastle 0 Manchester United 1: Louis van Gaal describes performance as 'maybe our best match of the season'
Cristiano Ronaldo: Real Madrid superstar 'sends his hair stylist to look after his waxwork once a month'
Newcastle vs Manchester United match report: Ashley Young scores late winner as Angel Di Maria fails to shine yet again
Brooklyn Beckham to be released: Why Arsenal could regret letting David Beckham's son depart
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 3 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway in dense fog
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 The majority of sex workers enjoy their job - why should we find that surprising?
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin