Opponents: Warrington Wolves
Venue: Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington
A look at the Opposition
Warrington looked much much better than they have this season in the game against Wigan at Magic Weekend, but again, since then their form has dropped off. They have shown however, that they do have the ability to raise their game for the bigger occasions especially the World Club Challenge game against Brisbane. So, underestimate Warrington at your peril.
Warrington have chopped and changed their side over the past the few weeks owing to injuries and this week they will be missing captain, Chris Hill due to suspension. Warrington do bring Atkns, Gidley and and Kevin Brown back into their side for what should be an interesting cup tie.
Warrington have lost their past five games in a row and come into the game with similar form to Wigan.
The Warrington Wolves 19 Man Squad:
Ryan Atkins, Kevin Brown, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Will Dagger, Brad Dwyer, Kurt Gidley, Jack Hughes, Benjamin Jullien, George King, Tom Lineham, Declan Patton, Joe Philbin, Stefan Ratchford, Andre Savelio, Ashton Sims, Morgan Smith, Joe Westerman, Sam Wilde
Wigan 19 Man Squad:
SIX players are back for Wigan and what a squad this is. Sam Tomkins is back, John Bateman is back – this is starting to look like a full-strength side!
Thoughts on the Game
A must win game for both sides, I don’t think it’s too much saying that it is season defining for both sides. I think the game all depends on how well the six returning players blend back into the Wigan side, an axis of McIlorum, O’Loughlin, Leuluai, Williams and Tomkins is mouth-watering and should provide lots of opportunities for Wigan’s outside backs. However, will their attacking movement be as slick as it can be? Perhaps the attacking form of Wigan is not something to be concerned about, at the moment, since the return of Leuluai, they have been scoring plenty of points. However, there biggest issue is leadership and defence. Bringing O’Loughlin, Bateman, Farrell and Tomkins back into the side should improve the defence and the leadership of the side.
This has to be the season that galvanises Wigan’s season and I expect a strong Wigan win.
Looking at the 19 man squad, my Wigan line up for Saturday would be:
That looks like a pretty good side…
The Wigan Rugby Blog predicts:
Score: Warrington 10 – 36 Wigan
First Try Scorer: Sam Tomkins
This Season’s Games: