Opponents: Warrington Wolves
Venue: DW Stadium
A look at the Opposition
Who would have thought it at the start of the season when the fixtures were announced, that this game would be a game in which Wigan could confirm Warrington’s place in the Middle 8’s. Many people’s favourites to win Super League this season, the signing of Kevin Brown for many, being the final piece in the jigsaw for the Wolves. Instead, this game, a repeat of last year’s Grand Final see’s 7th play 9th with five points difference between the two teams!
Warrington can still finish in the top eight but they need to win their last two games of the regular season and hope that Huddersfield lose both of their games. It’s a tough task and an unlikely one. Warrington, also out of the cup at the hands of Wigan, look very much set for preparing for next year, with signings Peta Hiku and Ben Pomeroy now in place – ready to secure their Super League status over the next few months.
An impressive 50-10 victory last week at home to Leigh, yet again ensures that Wigan come up against a team that won their last match. The case that has been the same for the past six weeks, teams seem to get a confidence lifting, moral boosting victory the week before they play Wigan. Warrington’s strengths remain the same as they were in the Grand Final, they are still a very good side. The likes of Daryl Clark, Chris Hill and Stefan Ratchford have not become bad players overnight and as such, Wigan will be in for a tough game again on Thursday evening.
The Warrington Wolves 19 Man Squad:
(Image from http://www.warringtonwolves.co.uk )
Warrington welcome back Ben Currie, a player who has been missing since the same game Sam Tomkin’s got injured in last year at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Wigan 19 Man Squad:
Liam Farrell misses out this week due to a knee injury picked up on Saturday in Perpignan. Liam Marshall returns to the squad, likely to replace Tom Davies on the wing who was yet again, impressive on the wing for Wigan on Saturday.
Thoughts on the Game
Warrington looked good in their victory against Leigh and the return of Ben Currie is a timely boost. Wigan however, looked much better than they have done recently in their victory against Catalan. A real tough encounter for 60 minutes, followed by a clinical 20 minutes ensure Wigan got a much need confidence boosting victory.
Both squads look strong but I do expect Wigan to win, as they must keep their winning run going. The next three games, Warrington, Leeds and Salford in the cup will give us a good understanding of where Wigan will be come the end of the season. The added benefit for Wigan this weekend and perhaps the added pressure to win, is that the top four all play each other. More points will be dropped above Wigan in the table, so another great opportunity to close the gap.
Looking at the 19 man squad, my Wigan line up for Friday would be:
The Wigan Rugby Blog predicts:
Score: Wigan 28 – 12 Warrington
First Try Scorer: Sean O’Loughlin
Last Time Around: