Liam Marshall admits Wigan are having a “dream” season and believes the club have benefited from being written off at the start of the year.
The Warriors won the Challenge Cup in May and are four points behind Super League champions St Helens at the top of the table.
Winger Marshall is having an impressive season too, sitting third in the top try scorers list at the start of August after back-to-back hat-tricks.
And the 26-year old says that although Saints remain the team to beat, Wigan have already proved they mean business.
“I still think Saints are the benchmark and have been for three or four years now,” Marshall told the Love Rugby League Podcast.
“They have got on top of us twice in the league so there is still a bit of a gap and catching up to do. But going into the year we did have that underdog mentality to go under the radar.
“People probably wrote us off going into this year and didn’t think we would be the team that we have been, which works in your favour when people don’t expect much of you.
“But with some of the rugby we have been playing and winning the Cup it is tough to stay under the radar. We need to keep that underdog mentality and keep striving to be better. We don’t want to be the team whose season finishes after the Cup final.”
St Helens still the benchmark, says Liam Marshall
Marshall though says that bitter rivals St Helens remain the standard every other side is aspiring to.
“There is a team above us who are the benchmark who we are chasing on and off the field both culturally and as a rugby team,” he continued.
“The level Saints have set for the last few years means that if they lose a couple of games people think it is catastrophic or they have fallen off a cliff.
“It is far from the end of St Helens. They are the team everyone is chasing, and what comes with success is that everyone wants to beat you and is fired up. I have massive respect for them as a team.”