Opponents: Catalan Dragons
Venue: DW Stadium
A look at the Opposition
The third and final game of the Easter period can usually be difficult to predict. Three games in nine games tends to ensure the clubs with the biggest clubs are the most likely to win three out of three – if at all. So far, Wigan are two from two and face a Catalan side going through their usual frustrating season. They have been brilliant at times and poor at others; their early season form was brilliant and I really enjoyed watching their forwards bully sides – with Walsh and Myler performing well behind them. However, the loss of Greg Bird has seemingly resulted in Catalan’s missing a “mongrel” (as Shaun Wane likes to call it) in their pack, and as such, they look much poorer.
This week, the Dragons will be missing Krisnan Inu and Justin Horo – with Da Costa and Perez replacing them in their 19 man squad. For all the talent in the Catalans squad, they look like they are going to fail to make an impact on the Super League again this season.
Last Time Out:
The Catalan Dragons 19 Man Squad:
Gigot, Yaha, Walsh, Myler, Moa, Aiton, Casty, Anderson, Bousquet, Garcia, Bosc, Duport, Simon, Thornley, Albert, Da Costa, Margalet, Belmas, Perez
Wigan 19 Man Squad:
Wigan replace injured Joel Tomkins and suspended Anthony Gelling in the squad with Michael McIlorum and Joe Burgess.
Thoughts on the Game
Wigan’s squad, although missing Tomkins and Gelling, looks to be much stronger than Catalans. Both sides have a good number of youngsters in their squads, but Wigan’s, due to the injuries this season – are more experience. I expect that to make the biggest difference in Sunday’s game and that Wigan will run out comfortable winners over the 80 minutes.
A week before Wigan meet Castleford again, I am hoping for a sleeker Wigan performance with O’Loughlin, McIllorum and Burgess firmly reaffirming their place in the side ahead of that game at Castleford (and then the international break).
The Wigan Rugby Blog predicts:
Score: Wigan 32 – 10 Catalan
First Try Scorer: Liam Forsyth