Tomkins eager for Wigan to decide their own fate
Wigan Warriors full-back Sam Tomkins wants his team to be in a position to select their semi-final opponents in the Stobart Super League play-off series.
Tomkins is desperately hoping the Warriors see off Catalan Dragons in tomorrow’s first qualifying tie at the DW Stadium to by-pass the second round of play-offs and move to within 80 minutes of the Grand Final.
The innovative clubcall goes to the highest-placed winner from the two qualifying ties so Warrington manager Tony Smith could again find himself in a position to choose their opponent if Wigan lose tomorrow and the Wolves beat St Helens on Saturday.
Although they ended the regular season with a home defeat by St Helens last Friday, the Warriors had already done enough to secure the league leaders’ shield and Tomkins remains confident they can make the most of their finishing position.
“To be the most consistent team all year is vitally important for us,” Tomkins said.
“It gives you that head start in the play-offs. You win a game and you get to choose who you play, which is something we want to do.
“We are dying to win against Catalan on Friday knowing we get a week off and then choose who we are going to play. We are excited about the play-offs and we are confident.”
Bizarrely, a Wigan defeat would rekindle hooker Michael McIlorum’s hopes of playing in the Grand Final.
He failed yesterday in his bid to overturn a three-match ban imposed for the high tackle on St Helens prop Anthony Laffranchi that earned him instant dismissal last Friday so needs the Warriors to play an extra game en route to Old Trafford.
In the meantime, Wigan coach Shaun Wane is set to plug the gap by switching either Matty Smith or Thomas Leuluai to hooker for tomorrow’s game.
The Dragons are without former St Helens stand-off Leon Pryce, who is still recovering from a knee injury.