Written by John Davidson
Jackson Hastings says Wigan will have to be at their best when they take on undefeated Hull FC in Super League this Thursday.
The Black & Whites are sitting in third spot on the table with three wins and a draw from four matches. Brett Hodgson’s side are one of three teams who have yet to lose this year, along with the Warriors.
Hastings’ outfit meet Hull FC at the DW Stadium on Thursday, the first of two consecutive encounters with a Challenge Cup quarter-final against the same opponent at Headingley to come on May 8.
“It’s interesting, I’ve never played the same team twice in two weeks,” the halfback told Everything Rugby League.
“They’re a really good team. They’re always there or thereabouts. They’re big, athletic, physical. They’ve got a great little pack there who work really hard.
“Obviously Danny Houghton breaking the record last week, you’ve got to tip your cap to someone making 85 tackles. It’s a pretty phenomenal feat.
“People like him and Scott Taylor who work really hard in the middle, then you’ve got your big boppers like Ligi Sao, Chris Satae and Manu Ma’u who cart the ball in hard.
“So we’re going to have to be physical one on one and then on the edge they’ve got some big centres and wingers, and creative halves and we all know what Jake Connor’s like at the back.
“He’s a very skillful individual and he’s started the season really well – he just looks like he’s fully focused on his footy too. A Jake Connor-fully focused is always going to be hard to handle and we know what we have to do to try and get the result.
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“It’s one thing to say we’ve got to stop their forwards but we have to go out there and do it too. I really admire the way they’re playing, they play a really good brand of footy, they’re unbeaten too.”
“It’s another big contest for us and hopefully we can take another step in the right direction and be proud of our performance.”
Wigan have accounted for Leigh, Wakefield, Leeds and Castleford so far this season.
Hastings has bagged one try, three try assists and is averaging 77 metres per game after three matches.
The playmaker says he is comfortable with his own form but wants to do better.
“I’m never fully satisfied,” he admitted.
“No matter what I do I’m my harshest critic. You sort of look back on games and I always see opportunities that I’ve missed or options that I took wrong rather than right.
“I’m at a stage of my career where I want to be well-rounded, I want to be respected by my teammates doing the little things. I’m comfortable where I’m at, but comfortable’s not good enough.
“I want to improve and keep getting better every week. Hopefully the team does the same thing.”
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