Coach Shaun Wane says his Wigan side are using the Warriors’ World Club Championship win over Brisbane in 1994 as motivation to beat the Sydney Roosters.
Wigan coach Shaun Wane says his side are using memories of the famous World Club Challenge victory over Brisbane in 1994 as motivation for Saturday’s clash with the Sydney Roosters.
The Warriors went into that game at Brisbane’s ANZ Stadium – the last time this game was played in Australia – as huge underdogs and given little chance of winning.
However, they managed to shock Wayne Bennett’s Broncos 20-14 in front of a crowd of more than 54,000, thanks to a heroic second-half defensive display, supported by a brilliant Jason Robinson try.
Wane’s side will face a similar scenario going into the Roosters game at Allianz Stadium, with the NRL premiers $1.12 favourites to beat his $6.25 underdogs.
More than 2,000 Wigan fans have snapped up tickets for the game with half that number making the long journey from the north-west England.
Wane, who replaced Michael Maguire in the Warriors hotseat in 2011, is under no illusions as to the size of the task his team face when they run out against a star-studded Roosters side, but is quietly confident of an upset.
“I remember that game in `94 and how down on numbers they (Wigan) were,” Wane told AAP.
“To turn up and play the way they did, it just shows that if you turn up with the right attitude and if your defensive skills are good, you can win.
“That’s the challenge and what I have been saying to my players, it’s about who wants it most.”
The Roosters admit they will go into the game underdone, with just one trial game under their belts, and Wane acknowledged his side must try and catch the hosts cold early in the game to have any realistic chance of winning.
“We need to start well. When we do that we usually win games. We need to get through our sets,” he said.
“That is going to be tough, they are physically a very strong team and a lot bigger than us and we will need them to have an off day.
“But my team are brave and will put their shoulders in and the Roosters will know they’ve been in a game.
“But we need to be at our very best to beat them.”
Wane was given the option of playing the game on home soil, but said the chance to play in Sydney was one the club couldn’t turn down.
“I had the choice of playing it in England but I jumped at the chance to come out here,” he said.
“The NRL is fantastic and I watch every game each week. The challenge of coming out here and beating the Roosters was just too tempting for me.
“It will affect my season no question, but we have the chance to create history for Wigan and it would be fantastic.”