Thursday was a drab match and Warrington were the better side of two poor teams. How the mighty have fallen from last year’s Grand Final. A few weeks ago, I suggested that Wigan could and would finish in the Top Four come to the end of the Super 8’s and they had a margin of error of four games to play with. Since then, they have dropped points against Huddersfield and Warrington – which, in hindsight isn’t the end of the world. Dropping points isn’t great to start with, but it’s also important who those points are dropped against and that will very much be the case in the remaining eight Super League games of the year.
The biggest thing in Wigan’s favour for their chances of a Top Four finish is that the Super 8’s mean that in theory, there are only four teams a week picking up points excluding any draws. That means that Wigan, starting in 8th can move up the table over the next month but their margin of error is now reduced, so much so that I think that they can only afford to lose two games out of the next 8 – even then, that might not be enough. A run of 8 wins in a row is not impossible and Leeds themselves are currently on such a run. One other slight advantage, if you can call it that, is that Wigan are likely to avoid trips to Castleford and Leeds in the Super 8’s by finishing 8th, playing them at the DW instead. Away trips to Wakefield, St Helens, Huddersfield and Salford aren’t as daunting as trips to Leeds, Cas and Hull – which look like they might be avoided.
I believe that Wigan are one strong attacking performance away from mounting a challenge and assault on the top four – what better game than Leeds at home to rediscover that early season attacking form that we saw at Salford, against Cronulla and Widnes away. Come on Wigan.