Opponents: Catalans Dragons
Venue: Stade Gilbert Brutus
A look at the Opposition
A poor season for the Dragons so far and they look destined for the middle 8’s come July, however, a win on Monday against Huddersfield is just the tonic they needed in anticipation of the visit of the Warriors.
A lot of the build-up to this game is around the impending move of Sam Tomkins to the Dragons from 2019 onwards, a move that, as the days go by, looks more and more likely to happen.Embed from Getty Images
Putting their 2019 recruitment drive to one side, the Dragons have some fantastic talent in their squad and if they start to perform as a collective, they should be a top-eight side. The likes of Greg Bird, Michael McIlorum, David Mead to mention only three shows their quality.
Talking about McIlorum, what a strange day it is going to be for him. McIlorum, being the shy and retiring type, will naturally let the game pass him by … Expect a big game from Micky Mac and probably some big hits reserved for some of his former teammates in true Micky Mac style!Embed from Getty Images
This week, Shaun Wane has the unenvious task of trying to get 17 players from perhaps 21 or so players, that could have a case to play on Saturday. Dan Sarginson returned to the side with a good, steady performance on Monday. Ganson, Woods showed their potential whilst Gabe Hamlin had a barnstorming debut and Liam Marshall scored four tries – how do you get these in the side?! Well, Tom Davies is rested, Ganson and Woods miss out on the 19 man squad.
Thoughts on the Game
Wigan need to put the Sam Tomkins rumours behind them this week and ensure that they keep pace with St Helens at the top of the table and quell any resurgence from the Dragons. Wigan have enough quality to continue their impressive run in the South of France which, will naturally be a physical battle – as it always seems to be against the Dragons.
Expect flashpoints involving the likes of Greg Bird and Micky Mac, the Dragons will want to disrupt the flow of the game and to get their home fans involved in the game as much as they can.Embed from Getty Images
Wigan have more than enough to win the game and the impressive form of Sam Tomkins and George Williams, who have both been assist machines over the past few weeks will probably be too much for the Catalans defence to deal with at times.
I expect Wigan to come out on top and perhaps their second half form will tell again, Wigan have scored more and conceded less in the second half of games this year than any other side in Super League. Perhaps credit must be given to Mark Bitcon and the conditioning staff for that impressive stat!
Looking at the 19 man squad, my Wigan line up for Sunday would be the same as last week:
I/C. T. Tautai
I/C. R. Sutton
I/C. S. O’Loughlin
I/C. G. Hamlin
The Wigan Rugby Blog predicts:
Score: Catalans 6 – 32 Wigan
First Try Scorer: S. Tomkins
Don’t forget, you can vote for your Man of the Match after the game at www.wiganrugbyfans.com