Maguire knows what to expect from Saints
St Helens will have history as well as form on their side as they look to avenge their Grand Final defeat by Engage Super League champions Wigan Warriors in the Good Friday derby at the DW Stadium.
Saints have won on each of their last three visits to Wigan and go into tomorrow’s game on the back of a five-match winning run - the best in Super League - which has taken them to within a point of leaders Huddersfield Giants.
Wigan coach Michael Maguire watched his side held to a draw by their arch rivals in the opening game of the season in Cardiff and is expecting another difficult test.
“It will be a tough game,” he said. “They are a team that have been bobbing along and playing very well.
“They have blooded a number of youngsters who have come through and performed. It is going to be a good test.
“I’ve seen the rivalry between Saints and Wigan from the day I walked in, they love playing each other and love beating each other.”
It will be Wigan’s first outing since Maguire confirmed he is to leave the club at the end of the season but Saints coach Royce Simmons is not expecting that announcement to cause any disruption for the champions.
“When you win a premiership as a player or coach, there is a strong bond so I can’t see it making any difference whatsoever,” he said. “I wish it would!
“I have only met him a couple of times but he seems like an impressive bloke to me.
“When we played him in round one, after I’d been home for my father’s funeral, he went out of his way to come and see me.
“It was a game where he had led 16-0 and it ended 16-16. You could be excused for not looking for the opposition coach because you might have been pretty cranky with the players.
“But he came out of his way and that shows the good qualities of the man.
“Obviously he is a very good coach and has a lot of discipline about him. That is another good quality. He wins the players’ respect and gets the best out of them at the same time, which is what all good coaches do.”
Fresh from back-to-back wins over Warrington Wolves and Leeds Rhinos, Huddersfield Giants face a top-versus-bottom clash with Crusaders RL at the Racecourse Ground tomorrow.
With a home game against Salford City Reds on Tuesday, the in-form Giants have arguably the easiest Easter programme before they fly out to Perpignan for next Saturday’s clash with Catalan Dragons but coach Nathan Brown is confident there will be no complacency from his men.
“The guys are definitely feeling pretty happy and confident at the moment but they all realise it’s hard work that’s got them to where they are now and they know that, if we don’t keep working hard as a group, then you get yourselves in trouble,” he said.
Warrington forward Louis Anderson will come up against older brother Vinnie for the first time when the Wolves take on Salford at the Willows.
The back-rower initially came to England to play alongside his brother at Warrington but they will find themselves on opposite sides following Vinnie’s close-season move to the Reds.
“He is going to treat me like I’m just another player and I will do the same,” he said.
Elsewhere, Harlequins RL give a debut to new loan signing Lee Mitchell against the Dragons at the Twickenham Stoop as they look to end a five-match run without a win while, in the only night match, Wakefield Trinity Wildcats will be looking to avenge their opening-day derby defeat when they visit Castleford Tigers.
Guest of honour at the PROBIZ Coliseum will be former Man of Steel winner Adrian Vowles, a former player with both clubs who has flown over from Australia for the match and will present the winners with the Adam Watene Trophy, awarded in memory of another Wakefield and Castleford forward who died in 2008.
The Good Friday action kicks off at mid-day with the Hull derby at the KC Stadium.