Wakefield Trinity's Dave Fifita ready for Wigan's "grubbiness"
WAKEFIELD Trinity prop Dave Fifita says he expects Wigan Warriors' pack, and the 'grubbiness' of players like Tony Clubb and Ben Flower, to come right at them tomorrow night.
The West Yorkshire host opponents who, though sat in second, are in the midst of some difficult times.
Wigan were beaten at bottom-placed Hull KR and then left pointless when rivals Warrington Wolves knocked them out of the Challenge Cup quarter-finals with Saturday’s 23-0 win.
Furthermore, Joel Tomkins has been stood down for four weeks - and brother Sam fined £5,000 - after video footage emerged of the ex-England player verbally abusing a barmaid on a drunken night out.
But Wakefield are looking to back-up Friday’s much-needed win at Widnes to get some momentum into their own season.
Australian prop Fifita said: “This week’s vital to see where we are as a team.
“I'm sure with Wigan getting touched up last week, I'm sure he (coach Shaun Wane) will tell their middle that they have to toughen up.
“I think they’ll try and come through us but I’m not worried.
“We only worry about ourselves and what we do best.
“I don't mind the players that they've got, just the grubbiness of blokes like Clubb and Flower.
“If we do our job and concentrate on that, we should get the job done.
“It should be a good game and we’re looking forward to it.”
However, Wane said today that, despite being initially named in his 19-man squad, Flower and fellow prop Taulima Tautai, the former Trinity forward, will now not play due to minor injuries.
Another prop - the South Sydney-bound Ryan Sutton - had already dropped out with a knee problem which is likely to sideline him for six to eight weeks.
Wane will give chances to youngsters Callum Field and Gabriel Hamlin while Romain Navarrete also comes in and Dan Sarginson's return at centre allows England star John Bateman to return to the back-row.
Wakefield coach Chris Chester is without back-rows Chris Annakin and James Batchelor but sees captain Danny Kirmond and Matt Ashurst return as like-for-like replacements.
“Chris Annakin has gone to a wedding in Poland,” he said.
“His brother’s getting married but he’ll be back in the country on Monday and it’s something I've known about for probably five months.
“He’s obviously playing a big part in the wedding but I’m disappointed for Chris as he’d just got himself settled in the squad after injury.
“Young Batchelor is struggling a little. He has a small fracture in his clavaccal and an issue with his AC joint.
“We’ve spoken about it this morning and decided a week off means we should be able to manage it until the end of the season.
“But it’s an opportunity now for Kirmo to step in and we’ve Matty back as well.”