Point to prove for Tomkins-less Wigan
Super League leaders Wigan Warriors will be out to prove they can win without Sam Tomkins when they take on Widnes Vikings on the artificial turf at the Halton Stadium tomorrow.
The Warriors have lost each of the six matches Tomkins has missed over the last two seasons, including the corresponding fixture with the Vikings in 2012.
Tomkins was rested, along with four other senior players, as younger brother Logan made his debut alongside Matty Russell, Anthony Gelling and Joe Mellor in that 37-36 defeat.
The England full-back, Super League's leading tryscorer this year, will be one of no fewer than nine first-teamers sidelined through injury for tomorrow's game but coach Shaun Wane will not use the absences as an excuse for a failure to extend their winning run to 13 matches.
"I will expect the 17 that play to be competitive and be able to get the two points," said Wane, who is set to give debuts to teenagers Lewis Tierney and Ryan Hampshire. "I expect a certain level of performance from any side that plays."
Widnes' draw with Catalan Dragons last Sunday enabled them to equal their 12-point tally from their first season back in Super League and, with 10 games left, coach Denis Betts is urging his side to build on this year's progress.
"Sitting where we are on the league table at the moment is pretty pleasing but we know that things can change in an instant," he said. "We've got a tough period of fixtures ahead of us but the boys are up for the challenge.
"We'll certainly be gunning for it against Wigan and looking to put in a decent performance against a side that is littered with star quality throughout.”