Warrington vs Wigan: No panic at the Warriors, says coach Adrian Lam
Wigan coach Adrian Lam insists there is no panic as the reigning Super League champions look to arrest a four-matching losing run against arch-rivals Warrington, live on Sky Sports Arena from 7pm.
Lam revealed the club held clear-the-air talks after last week’s home defeat by bottom club Huddersfield and is hoping it will help get their title defence back on track in Friday’s Grand Final rematch.
“We had a good sit-down between the staff and the players and made sure it was clear that it’s not panic stations yet,” Lam said.
“We feel at different times in different matches we’re doing some really good stuff, we just need to put that together collectively as a group over 80 minutes.
“The week’s preparation has been outstanding, the players have bought into what we want to change.”
Lam has already used 25 players in six matches – Jake Shorrocks could become the 26th – partly due to injuries but also in an effort to discover the winning formula.
“We haven’t had that stability or cohesion and there’s a few more changes this week,” he said.
“But the key for us turning it around is our senior players, who haven’t been performing at their absolute best, but they’re aware of that responsibility.”
Warrington have banged the drum in the build-up by highlighting the bad blood between the rivals and look set to be rewarded with a 13,000-plus crowd at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Warrington Wolves vs Wigan Warriors
March 15, 2019, 7:00pm
“We all have a duty to grow the game and get more people watching our great game,” said Wolves coach Steve Price, who says he is still hurting from October’s Old Trafford defeat.
“It still doesn’t sit well with me. It doesn’t seem that long ago but this is a totally different team and it’s going to be a totally different game.
“Form goes out of the window in local derbies. They’re going to be desperate. They’ve still got a lot of good-quality footballers who have played at the highest level.”
Lam added: “It’s a massive game for us.
“Warrington want to prove a point, they’re still hurting from last year’s Grand Final and we need to bounce back so there’s different reasons for both teams wanting to win.”
Price sprung a surprise a week ago by bringing England forward Ben Currie back into his starting line-up after an 11-month injury lay-off and, after watching him come through his comeback unscathed, is expecting another 80-minute performance from the second rower.
“He’s pulled up great” Price said. “He’s done every session this week.
“To knock out 80 minutes in his first game back in a high-intensity game against a quality football team says a lot about the character of Ben Currie.
“The more games he plays, the better Ben’s going to be. I see him as an 80-minute player. He’s the ultimate player, the way he looks after himself on and off the field.”
Warrington Wolves’ 19-man squad: Ryan Atkins, Blake Austin, Josh Charnley, Daryl Clark, Jason Clark, Mike Cooper, Ben Currie, Chris Hill, Jack Hughes, Toby King, Tom Lineham, Jake Mamo, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Declan Patton, Joe Philbin, Stefan Ratchford, Lama Tasi, Danny Walker, Ben Westwood.
Wigan Warriors’ 19-man squad: Joe Bullock, Tony Clubb, Tom Davies, Morgan Escaré, Ben Flower, Oliver Gildart, Joe Greenwood, Gabe Hamlin, Chris Hankinson, Zak Hardaker, Willie Isa, Tommy Leuluai, Romain Navarrete, Sean O’Loughlin, Oliver Partington, Jarrod Sammut, Dan Sarginson, Jake Shorrocks, George Williams.
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