Wigan Warriors will face local rivals and fellow Super League contenders Warrington Wolves during the 2018 Magic Weekend at St James’ Park in Newcastle.Embed from Getty Images
Fans of both Northwest clubs will make the cross-country trip to Tyneside for their second encounter of the season. Their next battle is set to be third on Magic Weekend this year, kicking off at 17:15 BST on Saturday, 19 May which means this directly clashes with football’s FA Cup final at Wembley.
Warriors out for revenge
Wolves defeated Warriors 16-10 at home in February thanks to tries from Tom Lineham and Ryan Atkins and the boot of Bryson Goodwin as the Warrington outfit took advantage of a Wigan side who had just returned from a trip Down Under.
Facing a 16-0 derby deficit at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, the Warriors went down fighting through a Liam Marshall try which Sam Tomkins converted before Tony Clubb also crossed. It’s one of only two Super League defeats Wigan have endured to date this season.
Both teams are guaranteed to kick-off Magic Weekend in the Super League’s top four with Warriors rated a best-price 5/1 chance with the bookmakers to finish the regular season top of the table. They are also long odds-on at 1/12 to maintain a top four berth until the end of the campaign.
If the betting is any indicator, then Wigan are Grand Final contenders at a top-price of 4/1. You can check out these free bet no deposit offers to back the Warriors this autumn.
Wigan met the Wolves on Magic Weekend last year and the sides drew 24-24 having contested the 2016 Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford. Warriors ran out 12-6 victors then thanks to tries from Oliver Gildart and Josh Charnley, who has returned to Super League this season with Warrington after switching codes and playing for rugby union Premiership outfit Sale Sharks unsuccessfully.
The presence of a Wigan old boy in Wolves ranks adds extra spice to an already fiercely contested derby. Warriors can point to an unbeaten record over the Magic Weekend since it has moved to Newcastle and they had Marshall in inspired form 12 months ago when he crossed for a hat-trick in that rare draw which was secured by Joe Burgess’ last gasp try.Embed from Getty Images
As they prepare to meet again, both Wigan and Warrington are in decent form. Wolves won seven Super League games on the spin after losing at home to leaders St Helens, so Warriors will have to be at their best to record a win on neutral ground.
Gildart’s form, five tries in as many Super League matches in April, highlights just one threat Wigan pose. With 25 tries between him, Marshall and Burgess, the Warriors’ attack is far from reliant on just one man.
Opposite numbers Lineham and Charnley represent clear dangers and mean there is definitely defending to be done come Magic Weekend. Wigan will feel confidence of completing a decade unbeaten at the event, however, with only St Helens ever besting them.