- Darrell Goulding looks ahead to the U19s clash with Widnes on Saturday
- Academy coach expects a tough challenge from the Vikings and says Wigan will have to be at their best
- Match to be broadcast live on WiganTV from 2pm
Wigan Warriors U19s Coach Darrell Goulding has said his side will have to be at their best if they are to be victorious against Widnes on Saturday.
The academy fixture will be played at the Fairhurst Accountants Community Stadium in Orrell with a 2pm kick off and also live on WiganTV.
The Warriors and Vikings last met at the Halton Stadium in March as Wigan won 12-18.
Goulding said: “Like I said to the lads this week, I’ll be openly honest when we won there earlier on in the year they were the better team and I don’t think there was any doubt about that.
“We were below par and they tested us and I don’t think it will be any different on Saturday. They’ll fancy their chances after recently winning nine out of 10 games. The form they’re in will make them more than confident and they’ve got some very good players and we’ll have to be at our best to make sure we get the result.”
Widnes are fourth in the Academy table and Goulding had a lot of praise for Saturday’s opponents.
“Their coach is Grant Gore who I know as a Wigan kid himself and he’s done very well there,” Goulding said.
“Year on year they’ve got better and I think last year they had a spell where they played good rugby and I think he’s took that on this year where they’re looking genuine contenders and at the minute you wouldn’t better against them getting in the play offs.”
After beating St Helens in the derby last weekend, Goulding is taking no game easy and expects a tough challenge against Widnes.
He said: “It probably wasn’t the prettiest of games last week but it was a great result for us to get to the top of the league. We all know that it’s a long season and we’ve got quite a few tough fixtures coming up and obviously it starts against Widnes who are in great form themselves.
“There’s a lot of Wigan kids involved at that club so our lads know a lot of their players and I think there’s always that spice in a game like this as it is one of the local games for us and the fact that their doing so well has added a bit to this.
“It will be a strong team on the pitch and I’m more than confident in the lads who are playing. We know it will be a really tough game and we want to stay at the top of the league as it’s the goal to stay there come the end of the year.”
Wigan’s attack and defence has been immense in 2018, scoring 623 points and conceding only 275.
The U19s Coach said: “It’s something we’ve had a focus on recently, probably more so the 0 points and the mentality of not conceding because we know we are going to score points and we’ve got enough good players to do that. The points difference is a real focus for us and it’s a real good stat and something we take a lot of pride in.”
Goulding also had praise for current Academy player Samy Kibula as the prop made his first team debut against Huddersfield last week.
“Samy’s a good kid. I think he’s matured a lot over the last few years and he’s starting to show some of the potential we all know he had. If he’s attitude is good over the next few years and he works really hard I think he’s got a real chance of being something special and everyone at the club and academy was really proud of him and I thought he did him and his family very proud too in his debut.”
Entry to the game is free for Wigan Warriors Season Ticket Holders and is £5 for adults and £3 for juniors.
If you can’t make it on Saturday tune in to WiganTV as the game will be broadcast live from 2pm.