Match Preview: Wakefield v Wigan

Opponents: Wakefield

Date: 23/09/17

Venue: Belle Vue

Tickets: https://www.eticketing.co.uk/wiganwarriors/default.aspx

A look at the Opposition

Dead rubber or quarterfinal? We will know by 10pm (or probably slightly after due to the game being on Sky!) whether Wigan and Wakefield will have anything to play for on Sunday!

Salford and Castleford hold the key for Wigan and Wakefield, a win for either of these sides opens the door for Wigan to earn a Super League Semi-final spot – whether Wigan deserve such a place is a debate in itself.

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Wakefield this week confirmed that they will be playing their Super League games at Belle Vue again next year, with (another) proposal passed for the redevelopment of the ground that has been hosting rugby league games since 1895 has been proposed. Wakefield have fond memories from 2016 of playing Wigan, a 62-0 win for Trinity in April 2016 is the type of score line Wigan are likely to need themselves, to qualify for the Semi Final above St Helens.

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Wakefield have surprised everyone this season and a likely 5th or 6th place finish is perhaps doesn’t do their season justice. Shaun Wane earlier this week said that he had voted for Chris Chester as his Coach of the Season (probably owing to the perceived back feeling between Daryl Powell and Shaun Wane!). Chester, with his aide, John Kear have done a wonderful job and you would expect a big performance from Trinity in their final game of the season. The likes of David Fifita, Liam Finn, Scott Grix and Ben Jones-Bishop have caused lots of problems for Super League sides this year and I would expect them to have some joy against what might be a deflated Wigan side come Saturday afternoon.

Team News

The Wakefield 19 Man Squad:

From www.wakefieldtrinity.com :

Chris Chester has named his 19-man squad to take on Wigan Warriors in the final home game of the season this Saturday, kick-off 3.15pm. 

Two changes have been made to the side that faced Hull FC last Thursday night, Dean Hadley comes straight back into the squad after being suspended, he will be joined by Sam Williams. They will replace James Hasson and Tyler Randell who picked up an injury.

The 19-man squad is named below:

Chris Annakin
Tinirau Arona
Joe Arundel
Matty Ashurst
Mason Caton-Brown
Anthony England
David Fifita
Liam Finn
Scott Grix
Dean Hadley
Keegan Hirst
Craig Huby
Ben Jones-Bishop
Danny Kirmond
Reece Lyne
Jacob Miller
Bill Tupou
Sam Williams
Kyle Wood

Wigan 19 Man Squad:

leeds 19 man-3

Wigan are without Joe Burgess (hamstring) and Jack Wells, skipper, Sean O’Loughlin and Joe Bretherton are named in the 19 Man Squad.

Thoughts on the Game

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After last Sunday’s performance, I think most Wigan fans would be forgiven for being pessimistic this week. There seem to be two schools of thought going around social media at the moment.

  • Let’s hope Hull and Saints win so that Wigan’s season is ended and we can put the season to bed, rather than facing a semi-final at Castleford and ultimate disappointment.
  • Or, the “come on Salford and Cas”. Yes, the league season hasn’t been great but with a bit of help on Thursday or Friday, Wigan could be three wins away from being back to back champions.

I don’t know which camp I sit in at the moment, although the slightest hint of a chance for Wigan to make a 5th Grand Final in a row, I will take. I do think the following scenario would sum Wigan’s season up perfectly though, Saints or Hull lose creating an opportunity for Wigan to earn a Semi-Final spot, only to be beaten by Wakefield and miss out.

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Looking at the 19 man squad, my Wigan line up for Friday would be:

  1. Tomkins
  2. Marshall
  3. Gildart
  4. Gelling
  5. Davies
  6. Williams
  7. Leuluai
  8. Sutton
  9. McIlorum
  10. Nuuausala
  11. Farrell
  12. Bateman
  13. O’Loughlin

Sub. Powell

Sub. Tautai

Sub. Isa

Sub. Clubb

 

Prediction

The Wigan Rugby Blog predicts:

Score: Wakefield 22 – 23 Wigan

First Try Scorer: Liam Marshall

 

Don’t forget, you can vote for your Man of the Match after the game at http://www.wiganrugby.blog or on our social media platforms on Twitter and Facebook

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