Ours to Defend

Ours to Defend

  • Assistant Coach John Winder says Wigan are using defending the Super League crown as motivation heading into Friday’s Super 8s game against Hull FC

  • “We feed off that we’re defending champions and it’s our trophy to defend” John Winder

  • Wigan travel to the KCOM Stadium on Friday night as they face Hull FC, 8pm kick-off

Assistant Coach John Winder says the Warriors are using their Super League crown as motivation heading into Friday’s crucial Super 8s game at Hull FC.

A run of eight wins from their last ten Super League games has seen Wigan move to within one point of the top four.

The Cherry and Whites beat Warrington Wolves in last year’s Super League Grand Final having endured a torrid time with injuries and go into Friday’s game knowing that a win would put them in the semi final spots.

Having lost to the Black and Whites just two weeks ago at Wembley, Winder was asked if Wigan would be out for revenge, to which he replied: “I think we feed off that we’re defending champions and it’s our trophy to defend.

“We have been building in the last five or six weeks. We’ve been getting better and our combinations have been working well. We’ve been doing some good stuff.

“I think the last time we broke into that top four was in Round 11 so it’s really important that we strive for that. We are coming up against a tough team in Hull and I thought their display five days after Wembley against Leeds was really good and I’m sure they’ll be looking to bounce back.

“It wasn’t our best performance at Wembley and that’s what we need to rectify, we need to come away from Friday night knowing that we performed like we did last week because we walked away from the St Helens game very proud of what we did.”

Wigan are current Super League champions having beaten Warrington in the 2016 Grand Final

On the 26-16 win over St Helens, Winder said: “The two early tries typified our performance in a lot of ways.

“The first try was really slick with our attacking sequence and we managed to finish that off really well and the second try was on the back of some really aggressive defence. It was really pleasing to start that game in an impressive manner.

“Last week was a monumental game and this week is the same. We’ve put ourselves in a situation where we need to win the last four games of the year and nothing has changed. We have got to go to Hull and win that game and that is the challenge in front of us.”

Wigan beat St Helens 26-16 just last week

The game at St Helens wasn’t the only win for the Wigan Club last weekend as the Under-19s beat Castleford Tigers to win their eighth Academy Grand Final in 10 years.

Having previously been involved with the Academy, Winder revealed he was a proud man on Sunday afternoon.

“It’s a fantastic achievement,” said the former Service Area coach. “Eight Grand Final wins in 10 years is special and we’re really proud of our system and all of the staff like Matty Peet, Darrell Goulding and Martin McLoughlin and the rest of the guys all the way through the system, they do a fantastic job.

“To perform year on year to that level in the Academy setup is something that we’re all immensely proud of and I thought there were some very good performances from guys who we are confident will be able to take it to the next level so it’s really pleasing for everyone involved in the club.”

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