Riddell finally at home in England - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Riddell finally at home in England

By Adam Hipkiss 11/06/2009 12:26:04 PM Comments (0)

Wigan hooker Mark Riddell insists he has finally adapted to life in Super League - and he's ready to prove it by helping the Warriors move up the table.

The former St George and Parramatta star made a slow start to his English adventure but his man-of-the-match performance inspired Wigan to a 34-18 win over Salford last weekend.

That win moved Brian Noble's men up to seventh but Riddell is convinced their recent results haven't reflected their improved performances.

And with a trip to rock-bottom Celtic Crusaders this weekend Riddell believes now is the time to put the record straight.

"We've been playing a lot better than our results have suggested," he said.

"We lost to Hull KR and Warrington but we had the opportunities to win those games.

"We've just fallen short quite a few times this season but we've got quality in our side and if we can string a run of wins together then we will be knocking on the door of the top four.

"I've taken some time to adjust to the game over here but I'm really enjoying the competition and I'm looking forward to the second half of the season.

"It's a fast-paced game over here, which is different to back home, and it's a really close competition - you've got to turn up week in, week out to win games."

With captain Sean O'Loughlin injured as well as Gareth Hock and Sam Tomkins on England duty against France, Noble will be forced into several changes in South Wales.

Celtic coach John Dixon will take a head count before he names his squad for the clash, with Aled James, Ryan O'Hara, David Tangata-Toa and Luke Dyer all carrying knocks from the defeat at Harlequins.

High-flying Huddersfield coach Nathan Brown has received a huge boost ahead of the Giants trip to Leeds Rhinos.

On-loan Wests utility man Liam Fulton is ready to make his return after six weeks out with a knee injury as Brown's boys bid to move above the champions.

"We're keen to see him playing at the earliest possible opportunity and no-one has really seen what he can do yet," said the former St George coach.

"He has something different to offer us and we're really looking forward to seeing him back on the field."

Former New Zealand coach Brian McClennan expects to have Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Rob Burrow back in the Leeds squad after they recovered from knocks picked-up in the defeat at Catalans.

Leaders St Helens will again put their faith in several youngsters for the clash with Castleford as key players James Roby and James Graham are on England duty.

Hull star Shaun Berrigan will face Wakefield this weekend but has revealed he has delayed an operation on his knee in a bid to help his side turnaround their season.

Across the city Hull KR full-back Ben Cockayne will miss the visit of Harlequins after he picked up a one-match ban for a grapple tackle in the defeat to Huddersfield.

Fixtures

Friday

Hull KR v Harlequins RL, St Helens v Castleford

Saturday

Celtic Crusaders v Wigan, Wakefield v Hull

Sunday

Leeds v Huddersfield, Warrington v Bradford

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