THE Warriors are back and hungry for cup success.
The side that has
frustrated and disappointed for the past month has rediscovered its
motivation and is bang on target for a Premiership title.
It is 13 years since Wigan failed to pick up a trophy and it appears
more than coincidence that the spark has returned just as the chance of
another trophy looms large.
The Warriors surprised everyone with the way they came back to beat
Bradford and followed it up with another convincing display that swept
Leeds aside to guarantee the Central Park outfit a top four spot.
The injury-stricken Yorkshiremen, although adding to their own problems
by continually dropping the ball, could not match the Warriors fire power.
Wigan had the strength in the forwards but equally they had backs in
Henry Paul, Jason Robinson and Gary Connolly, who were a constant thorn in
the Rhinos side.
Kris Radlinski, who pulled off a couple of sensational tackles, said
that the previous success of the club was on the players minds. "The club
has the reputation for being the best in the world and none of us want to
be in a side that isn't successful. We were disappointed we let in one try
and that says a lot about the character of the side. We want to keep
building on this and hopefully win the Premiership."
Wigan's defence, which has been so shaky of late, was rock solid as
they raced into a 22-0 half-time lead.
Paul recaptured his scoring touch by grabbing two tries, while Simon
Haughton added a typical powerhouse effort before Farrell crashed over
under the posts. The skipper added three goals.
After the break Leeds stiffened their resolve but Connolly produced a
lovely dummy before racing over, while Danny Ellsion sneaked in at the
corner and Andy Johnson finished off the rout with a neat score. Farrell
and Paul added a goal each.
Leeds only consolation was a Leroy Rivett try in the corner.
For coach Eric Hughes the transformation has not come soon enough.
"It has been a difficult season in many ways but there are several
quality players in the side and I have said all along that although we
haved lacked consistency we are capable of beating anybody.
"But the will to win has to come from the players themselves. They
don't get it from training, it has to come from within."
WIGAN: Robinson, Johnson A, Connolly, Radlinski, Ellison, Paul, Smith,
Hansen, Clarke, Cowie, Haughton, Cassidy, Farrell. Subs: Johnson P (for
Farrell 61), Murdock (for Clarke HT), Holgate (for Cowie 31), O'Connor
(for Hansen 45), Cowie (for Holgate 70).