Wellens’ World: We’re ready to earn final showdown

Paul Wellens of St Helens stares defeat in the face as Wakefield score a last minute drop goal to win 33-32
Paul Wellens of St Helens stares defeat in the face as Wakefield score a last minute drop goal to win 33-32

AFTER a weekend with no game, the batteries have been recharged and we have now turned our attention to the semi-final eliminator against Warrington.

It was the likely scenario that we would have to play Warrington twice in the play-offs, so it came as no surprise that Wigan chose to play Leeds at the Club Call announcement on Sunday afternoon.

Preparations for the game have been going really well, at this stage it is very important that we maintain our focus, and continue to apply ourselves in everything we do.

We have had very good wins in our last two matches, and have gained a lot of confidence from them, but we have to recognise that we will need to perform better.

There is no doubt Warrington will be equally as motivated to get to Old Trafford – they are a very good side with quality players right through their team.

n OVER the weekend, we went as a squad to the Aerial Extreme course at Knowsley Safari Park, which consists of a series of obstacles that we had to negotiate, and it’s not for the faint-hearted, especially if you have a fear of heights.

As rugby players, we are very comfortable out on the training field or taking part in matches, so this alternative activity was designed to take us out of our comfort zone.

It’s important that we challenge ourselves in different ways, and you can find out a lot about yourself and team-mates.

I had the advantage of having been there a few years ago when 17-stone James Graham had to be winched down by an eight-stone woman after his cries for help echoed out across the park.

Thankfully, this time it passed without incident, and the boys got a lot out of the experience.

n SPEAKING of James Graham, I was delighted to see his Canterbury Bulldogs team make it through to the NRL Grand Final, which will be played on Sunday.

When I spoke to Jammer prior to him going to Australia, he didn’t just mention going there for the experience, but he wanted to go and be a success, not just individually but with his team.

There is no doubt that he has made a huge impact Down Under in his first year and victory in Sunday’s final against Melbourne Storm would cap of a dream start to his life in Australia.

I’m sure all Saints supporters will join me in wishing him well and hope that they can claim the prize.

n ALSO I’d like to congratulate James Roby and Josh Jones who have been shortlisted for the Man of Steel and Young player of the year awards respectively.

Both have had great seasons and fully warrant their place on the shortlists.

We all know Robes and his qualities, but Josh is very new on the scene.

He is physically strong, very athletic and with these attributes its easy to see why he has fit seamlessly into the first-team environment.

As a person though, we are still trying to work him out.

He seems a very complex man and, if I’m honest, he can be a little grumpy and sad at times, so he has been given a few nicknames.

Firstly, the boys came up with the name “Sadders”, but that seemed a bit boring.

So over a few weeks, it has been amended slightly.

“Saddington Bear” was recommended by Micheal Shenton, but the eventual winner was Mark Flanaghan who came up with “Sadley Wiggins”, much to Josh’s annoyance.

Let’s hope him being angry makes him play even better.

n FINALLY, I look forward to seeing you all at Langtree Park on Saturday evening, when we will be giving our all to get back to Old Trafford and to have your support behind us would be fantastic.

Sing loud – Wello