Revenge in the air for Wigan

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Published: Thursday 30th April 2015 by The News Editor

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Revenge will be in the air when Wigan host Hull KR at the DW Stadium on Friday night.

The Robins came from 20-6 down to inflict on the Warriors their first Super League defeat of the season at the KC Lightstream Stadium in March and Wigan coach Shaun Wane says his team are still smarting from that 22-20 loss.

“Hull KR are playing well this year,” Wane said. “They’ve beaten some big teams – obviously they beat us at Hull KR and that’s something we need to take into this game because that loss hurt us a lot.

“It’s a bit of payback, the players want to put that right.”

Wigan have put together a three-match winning run to climb up to third in the table while Rovers have suffered back-to-back defeats to drop into the bottom four.

Chris Chester’s men have a woeful record on the road this year but Wane is mindful of their potent attack, superbly orchestrated by new Australian half-backs Terry Campese and Albert Kelly.

“Campese is a great player,” Wane said. “He’s doing a great job in marshalling them around the field. We need to put him under pressure and, if you do that, you put Hull KR under pressure.

“He is a very smart professional so it’s a challenge for us.

“Physically they are a bigger team than us and obviously they’ve got two of our old players in Greg Burke and Darrell Goulding in there so they know pretty much what we do.”

Second-placed St Helens will be looking to stay ahead of their arch rivals when they host bottom club Wakefield at Langtree Park.

The Wildcats are in danger of being cut adrift at the foot of the table after losing their last nine matches but Saints coach Keiron Cunningham is warning his players to expect another hard-fought contest following their 20-16 win at Wakefield in March.

“Wakefield can certainly play and were outstanding at the beginning of the season with a full squad,” Cunningham said. “They have lost players but they are starting to come back.

“We owe ourselves a complete performance. If we come with the wrong attitude, then it is going to be a hell of a game for us.”

Cunningham has drafted full-back Shannon McDonnell into his 19-man squad following his return to the club, with hooker James Roby rested.

The 27-year-old former Hull and Hull KR player’s first spell with the club last season was curtailed by a broken jaw but he has rejoined them on an 18-month contract.

In Friday’s other game, Salford coach Iestyn Harris will take a patched-up team to Hull insisting they can get their play-off bid back on track.

Back-to-back defeats by Leeds and Castleford have coincided with a glut of injuries and suspensions that prompted the Red Devils to seek a postponement of the round 13 fixture.

That was, not surprisingly, rejected by Hull but Harris insists there is still enough talent in his weakened side to get back to winning ways.

“We’re ready to go,” Harris said. “We’re excited about a really good challenge for us.

“I think this is a really crucial period for us because, if we can pick up points when we are down on troops, we’re going to be fresh at the right end of the season. But it’s only good being fresh if you’ve got enough points on the board.”

Hull are next to bottom following their home defeat by Huddersfield and coach Lee Radford is expecting a big improvement from his under-performing players.

“The key for us is to not let our guard down in any way regardless of what Salford have said and perform better than last week,” Radford said.

Published: Thursday 30th April 2015 by The News Editor

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