LUKE Douglas’ derby day experience is restricted to only three match since joining Saints from the Gold Coast Titans in 2017 but he is fully aware of the hype and expectation that goes hand-in-glove with a Good Friday fixture against Wigan Warriors which, in his own words, will ‘make the hairs stand up on the players’ necks.’
It will be a case of taking no prisoners, only two crucial Super League points as far as both camps are concerned and the vastly experienced Scottish international forward knows how tough it will be, having been knocked out in one of last season’s showdowns !
“Both teams are in red-hot form and expecting to win but we are hoping the crowd will get right behind us and urge us on to victory.” said the Aussie.
He went on: “Wigan are the kind of team who get into your faces and have a set of very physical forwards. They try to mug you, slow you down, and also have brilliant line speed and we will have to work extremely hard to secure the points.”
Saints will also be able to counter with their own strength up front and in Luke Thompson have a player in a rich vein of form and capable of inspiring the team-mates around him.
Douglas said: “I think the sky is the limit as far as Luke is concerned. He can do anything if he continues to keep his head down and play the way he is at this moment in time.”
Like Douglas, Wigan boss Shaun Wane is expecting a no-holds-barred Easter eggs-travaganza in which form often goes out of the window and it will be a question of who wants it most.
He said: “It will be physical with a lot of needle and I just want the referee to let us have a good arm wrestle.”
Squads-Saints: 1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 6. Theo Fages, 7. Matty Smith, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 11. Zeb Taia, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Luke Douglas, 15. Morgan Knowles, 16. Luke Thompson, 17. Dom Peyroux, 18. Danny Richardson, 19. Regan Grace, 20. Matty Lees, 23. Ben Barba.
Wigan: 1. Sam Tomkins, 2. Tom Davies, 4. Oliver Gildart, 5. Joe Burgess, 6. George Williams, 7. Sam Powell, 8. Tony Clubb, 9. Thomas Leuluai, 10. Ben Flower, 11. Joel Tomkins, 12. Liam Farrell, 13. Sean O’Loughlin, 14. John Bateman, 15. Ryan Sutton, 17. Taulima Tautai, 19. Willie Isa, 22. Liam Marshall, 25. Romain Navarrete, 34. Josh Woods.
The game kicks off at 3.15pm and the referee will be Robert Hicks.
Tickets for the clash are sold out.