The Scene

Date: Thursday 1st October

Venue: DW Stadium

Kick-off: 8pm

Teams:

Wigan Warriors 19 man squad:

John Bateman, Matt Bowen, Joe Burgess, Josh Charnley, Tony Clubb, Dom Crosby, Connor Farrell, Liam Farrell, Ben Flower, Oliver Gildart, Dom Manfredi, Michael McIlorum, Lee Mossop, Sean O’Loughlin, Larne Patrick, Sam Powell, Matty Smith, Joel Tomkins, George Williams

Huddersfield Giants 19 man squad:

Scott Grix, Jermaine McGillvary, Leroy Cudjoe, Joe Wardle, Aaron Murphy, Danny Brough, Luke Robinson, Eorl Crabtree, Craig Huby, Brett Ferres, Jack Hughes, Chris Bailey, Michael Lawrence, Craig Kopczak, Ukuma Ta’ai, Jodie Broughton, Jamie Ellis, Jake Connor, Oliver Roberts

Last 10 meetings:

Wigan 30-22 Huddersfield (SLS8-R1, 6/8/15)

Huddersfield 18-32 Wigan (SLR17, 7/6/15)

Wigan 24-16 Huddersfield (SLR2, 13/2/15)

Wigan 57-4 Huddersfield (SLQPO, 18/9/14)

Huddersfield 31-22 Wigan (SLR15, 29/5/14)

Wigan 8-24 Huddersfield (SLR1, 7/2/14)

Huddersfield 8-22 Wigan (SLQPO, 12/9/13)

Wigan 12-30 Huddersfield (SLR24, 9/8/13)

Huddersfield 22-10 Wigan (SLR3, 16/2/13)

Huddersfield 12-32 Wigan (SLR14, 18/5/12)

Preview

The semi-finals of the Super League play-offs begin on Thursday night as Wigan Warriors host Huddersfield Giants at the DW Stadium, with a place in the Grand Final at Old Trafford up for grabs.

Wigan have won their last four games against Huddersfield, including a 57-4 victory in last year’s qualifying play-off. They also knocked the Giants out of the same round in 2013 with a 22-8 triumph at the John Smiths Stadium.

The Giants last won at the DW Stadium in the first round of the 2014 season as they pulled off a 22-8 upset victory, however Wigan have won their last seven games at home. Hull KR were the last side to turn over the Warriors on their own patch, winning 16-12 just two weeks after they were flogged 60-0 and dumped out of the Challenge Cup by the same opponents.

Both sides go into this contest in great form as they have won five of their seven Super 8s fixtures with Wigan cruising to a 47-12 victory at home to Castleford last week.

Huddersfield were part of one of the most exciting moments of the season in their previous outing, however they were on the wrong end of a last minute winner as Ryan Hall sealed the League Leader’s Shield and a 20-16 victory for Leeds Rhinos.

Jermaine McGillvary has been in brilliant form of late as he has scored in each of his last seven appearances, racking up 13 tries in that period to hit the top of the scoring charts with 27 overall. His battle with Wigan Warriors youngster Dom Manfredi will be an interesting one as he crossed four times last week and has 20 tries of his own this season.

The battle in the halves will be an important one too as arguably two of the best halfbacks in the competition Danny Brough and Matty Smith go head-to-head. Brough will be partnered by Jamie Ellis who has scored five in his last five appearances in a season in which he has made a great impression on the Giants fans. George Williams will play alongside Smith and the Wigan youngster has proven he can make the step-up and fill the boots of Blake Green in what has been an impressive season for him.

This looks set to be a close contest between two of the Super League’s form teams and it is not to be missed. Huddersfield will be looking to end their poor run against the Warriors and if they can they will book a place in their first ever Grand Final. Wigan, however, will be desperate to erase the memories of their last visit to Old Trafford by returning this year and lifting the trophy once again.

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My name is Sean Hayes. I am from Widnes, England. I am currently studying journalism at Salford University. Aspiring sports journalist and rugby league fanatic whether it is watching, playing or writing about the greatest game! Follow me on twitter @SHayesNBL