Broncos bracing themselves for Wigan clash

Brisbane Broncos' Matt Gillett is ready for a tough clash against Wigan. Photo: AAP Image.
Brisbane Broncos' Matt Gillett is ready for a tough clash against Wigan. Photo: AAP Image.

Brisbane is preparing for another tough contest at Wigan's DW Stadium, much like last year's rugged World Club Challenge clash when the Broncos got home 14-12 in golden point.

Wigan will be determined to exact revenge for that narrow loss, when Brisbane forward Corey Parker kicked an easy penalty when the game had been locked up 12-all after 80 minutes.

That match was played in wet and muddy conditions, and Brisbane representative forward Matt Gillett said the players had been told weather conditions were again set to deteriorate before kick-off early tomorrow morning.

"I've heard to weather is going to turn a lot worse, so it's going to be a bit wet and slippery," said Gillett, happy to see a few Broncos jumpers being worn by fans when the players enjoyed a day off.

Wigan's field has been returfed recently, so the surface could be better than expected if the rain stays away.

Gillett admitted he and his teammates were expecting a torrid time from Wigan fans notorious for their noisy behaviour and singing to put visiting teams off their game.

"I'm really looking forward to the experience. I've heard a lot of things about how loud their fans get. It should be something special playing there," he said.

Wigan have been pumping up the clash for weeks, and centre Dan Sarginson said there was a fierce rivalry between the two clubs from opposite sides of the world which went back almost 30 years.

"Anyone who knows anything about rugby league knows this is one of the biggest rivalries in the game," he said.

Wigan has been a power club for decades, while Brisbane has been one of the most successful clubs in the NRL.

As well as the home-ground advantage, the English outfit has won its opening two Super League games and is likely to have a fitness edge on Brisbane.

Sarginson said his teammates wouldn't need any more motivation than recalling last year's result.

"The lads are pumped up," he said. "We're ready to go. Training has been very intense this week. We're all itching for another shot at Brisbane."

This clash could be the pick of three games featuring NRL and English Super League teams over the weekend with the Roosters playing St Helens at Langtree Park early Saturday morning, and North Queensland paying Leeds Rhinos in the World Club Challenge final early Monday morning.



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