FORMER Huddersfield Giants star Stephen Wild is determined to prove his moaning days are behind him – by leading Salford City Reds to a shock Super League victory over Huddersfield at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
The ex-Great Britain back-row forward was often the butt of his old Galpharm teammates’ jokes because of his constant whingeing.
But Wild is aiming to convince everyone those days are behind him after assuming the captaincy of the City Reds, and he’d love to have the last laugh during Magic Weekend, even though he admits beating the Giants isn’t going to be easy.
“If we’re going to win on Sunday, we’re going to have to produce our best performance of the season so far, it’s as simple as that,” said Wild, who was the first Giants player to be named in the Super League Dream Team in 1997.
“Huddersfield may face us after losing their last two Super League games, but I feel that makes them even make dangerous.
“Those defeats were against quality sides in Wigan and Catalan, and I know how desperate they’ll be to get back to winning ways against us.
“If they get back to their very best form, we know we’ll be put under an incredible amount of pressure, because they’ve got quality right across the board.
“That’s the Giants side we’re preparing to face, and that’s why we know we’re going to be at our very best to stand any realistic chance of beating them.
“But we did beat them at our place last season, although I didn’t do my reputation any good that day, to be honest.
“As I’m sure some fans know, I’ve got a bit of a reputation as a moaner, and I was guilty of letting in Kev Brown for a try, which meant I was far from happy.
“That did lighten the mood a bit of the Giants boys after what was a bitterly disappointing defeat for them, but I don’t expect to be moaning this weekend.”
Wild admits there are a number of reasons for that.
First and foremost, it’s down to being handed the captaincy and, secondly, it would be an ideal way to silence his former teammates.
“The captaincy has changed me,” added Wild, who was a member of the leadership group during his time at the Giants under Nathan Brown.
“It’s made me more responsible and mature, and I accept it’s not right for the captain to be moaning all the time. To be honest, I used to do the moaning as a bit of a joke.
“But I know the Giants boys will be doing what they can to get me moaning on Sunday. The banter will be flying around big time.
“And I’m also expecting Leroy (Cudjoe) to come after me after I gave him a bit of a dig when they beat us on Good Friday!
“I do know, though, that if we do play to our potential and the Giants aren’t at their best we could get the win. We do genuinely feel we’re not that far away.
“If we do win, then there’s no way I’ll be moaning this time!”