A full-back up the road might be stealing the majority of the headlines, but make no mistake – Wigan and Sam Tomkins will have a say on the destination of silverware this season.
In the weekend after his long speculated move to Catalans was announced, Tomkins was in inspired form to help the Warriors ease past Warrington 38-10 at Magic Weekend and in doing so end their opponents’ 10 match winning run.
After his snub by England at the World Cup, Tomkins seems to have a steely focus to his game and that was none more evident than in the win at St James’ Park.
His delight in glory and also his frustration in one of his very few errors – drilling a late kick dead in goal rather than in touch despite Wigan’s heavy advantage – are signs of a man on a mission.
It may not have come together over 80 minutes for Wigan as yet, yesterday excepted, with their fans sometimes frustrated at lacklustre first half displays compared to those after the break – they have won all 15 of their second halves this season – but that in turn makes them even more ominous. They sit second in the table and haven’t yet hit top form as we approach the half way stage of the season.
Though Castleford are bubbling away quietly in the top four, Hull are still there or thereabouts but with injuries mounting up and Warrington have been on their run, Wigan and St Helens must be the favourites for glory on all fronts at the moment.
And with the Warriors and Tomkins having decided to go in different directions at the end of this year, both will be desperate to make sure it’s them that pick up at least one trophy after “only” picking up a World Club Challenge gong last season.
Tomkins told Sky Sports after the match: “That was one of our best performances of the season.
“We knew we’d have to come up with something like that and the scoreline flatters us a little bit.
“The score would suggest it was an easy game it definitely wasn’t that.
“We pride ourselves on defence and we know with Warrington that that’s been their biggest improvement this year and that they’d be tough to break down.
“We’ve got Warrington again in a couple of weeks in the Challenge Cup, so we’ll take confidence from this, there won’t be too many pats on the back but we can be happy with that.
“I want to leave on a high and that’s a massive deal to me. I love this club, I’ve never made a secret of that, and I would love to leave with some silverware.”