Endacott backs Wigan factor
Former New Zealand coach Frank Endacott believes the atmosphere and crowd support at the DW Stadium will help England to a crucial victory in the third Test.
The Kiwis and England meet at Wigan’s home ground on Saturday in the deciding third match. England took the opening Test in Hull while New Zealand squared the series up in London.
But Endacott, who coached the Warriors from 1999 to 2001, told Love Rugby League the vocal support England will receive at the DW Stadium will be a vital element.
“The Olympic stadium helped the Kiwis and they deserved their win, but this week I believe England will win in a very tight match purely because of the intimidation factor the stadium has,” he said.
“There will be 30,000 people there, but they will sound like 100,000, and that could affect the Kiwis concentration and push them into errors.”
A sell-out crowd is expected at the 25,136 capacity-venue is expected for Saturday’s encounter.
Endacott knows the DW Stadium after he led Wigan to the Super League grand final in 2000, before departing the following season.
He had five years in charge of New Zealand and also had two years coaching Widnes.
Endacott expects England halfback Gareth Widdop to give a dominant performance in the deciding match.
“I believe the team that does their last tackle plays best will win, and that is where I believe Gareth Widdop will stand up,” he said.
“He hasn’t been as influential as I thought he would but I expect him to control the game here.”
Matty Smith could replace George Williams as Widdop’s partner in the England 17-man squad.
Smith has been added to the team and is expected to take the spot of his Wigan teammate in the run-on team.
Endacott may be predicting an England win, but the proud New Zealander said he would love to see his country prevail this weekend.
“I would love to see the Kiwis win and be only the fourth touring Kiwi team in history to win a series in England,” he said.