Rugby League

From the Nou Camp to Anfield – Oliver Gildart relishes Super League’s big stages

Going from the Nou Camp to Anfield in the space of a week sounds more Champions League than Super League.

But that’s exactly what Oliver Gildart and Wigan will do when they run out for Magic Weekend in Liverpool on Saturday.

The Warriors are still licking their wounds from a disappointing 33-16 defeat to Catalans in their historic Barcelona clash last Saturday.

But they get a rapid chance for redemption against a Warrington team that has already beaten them twice this season, including knocking them out of the Challenge Cup.

Gildart said: “I feel very privileged the position I’m in at the minute.

“Going from Nou Camp to Anfield is pretty insane, and hopefully Super League can take games elsewhere every year.

“I’d change Magic Weekend every season to be honest so we get the chance to play at more stadiums like this – Anfield is an iconic ground.

“Barcelona was unbelievable and something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

“We didn’t get the result but I was lucky enough to score.

“That was the only positive I took out of the game but it was a really good weekend and as a player something I’ll never forget.”

The Nou Camp defeat came on the back of three straight Super League wins and the narrow cup loss at Warrington, when Wigan’s stuttering season had appeared to be turning around.

Gildart admitted: “I didn’t see that coming.

“We got beat by Warrington the week before in the cup but we showed signs of the old Wigan.

“First half in Barcelona it was close and the game was there to be won, but it wasn’t to be and fair play to Catalans I thought they played well.

“It wasn’t the result we wanted, it was very disappointing.

“We were on a big stage and as a player you want to play in those kind of games, but you want a result as well.

“We weren’t good enough in the second half and let the game get away from us.”

Now Gildart wants to respond in what is a 20th clash between the clubs since the start of the 2015 season.

He added: “Warrington is the toughest game you play in all year – it’s very physical and very demanding on your body.

“But it brings out the best in you, I’d like to think personally anyway, and for Wigan as well – we always seem to rise to the occasion.”

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