OPINION: Improving Defence Is Key For Wigan

Back to winning ways, not a great performance but a win is a win. The most important thing from Sunday’s game against Widnes was to ensure we got the two points, by any means necessary. Job done. Next task, visit win in the South of France against Catalan Dragons.

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Catalans have been in poor form of late but their epic last minute winner against Leigh will give them belief going into the Wigan game. That seems to be the case for most teams Wigan come up against at the moment, they win the game before giving them a little lift – it was the same with Huddersfield and Widnes.

This year is my first trip to Catalans and I can’t wait for it. Catalan v Wigan games in France are always physical and brutal. A real forwards battle and I am really disappointed that it looks like Greg Bird will be suspended for the game. Although, missing Bird improves Wigan’s chances of winning, I love watching Greg Bird play, he is a real competitor and it’s a shame that we won’t see Sean O’Loughlin v Greg Bird this season.

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Up to four players from Catalan could be suspended for Saturday’s game which may swing the advantage in Wigan’s direction. One thing Catalan’s did show on Saturday in their game against Leigh, is that when they want to attack and need to score points – they are very capable of doing that. Wigan’s biggest test this weekend will be stepping up to the next level in terms of their defence. It improved against Widnes, with two sloppy tries conceded but preventable tries with a bit more luck, their improving defence was epitomised by Joe Burgess’s try saving tackle at 16-12. That tackle won the game for Wigan and was probably more crucial to the game than his two late tries.

If Wigan continue to improve on their defence then they will beat Catalans, the added option of Sam Tomkins in the line is now ensuring that Wigan’s attack, albeit not free flowing, is effective and will improve the more Leuluai, Williams and Tomkins play together

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