Wigan Warriors host Wakefield on Friday night at the DW Stadium. Wigan will be looking for some revenge from their humiliating 62-0 loss at Wakefield earlier in the season. Wigan have been in a fine run of form these pat few weeks and I’m sure they’ll be looking to continue it here against Wakefield.
LAST TIME OUT
Wigan come into his game on the back of a fantastic 26-6 win in Catalan. It was a superb performance from the Warriors, one which was their best of the season. Wigan’s defence was solid from start to finish, they defended their line strongly, with Catalan having all the ball in the opening 10 minutes, but only coming out of a huge spell of pressure 2-0 up through a Richard penalty. Wigan had Mossop sent to the sin-bin after in the 19th minute, and Wigan’s response was to score back to back tries through Sarginson and Sutton. As Mossop re-entered the field, Wigan led 12-2. Wigan gained control of the game, and were the next to score through a stunning solo try from young Gildart. Smith added a penalty to give Wigan a 20-2 lead at halftime. Catalan caught Wigan cold early in the second half as Horo went over for their first and only try of the game. Manfredi would score the last try of the game to seal an impressive 26-6 win for Wigan.
Wakefield come into this game on the back of a tough 44-32 home loss to St Helens. In this crazy, 14 try game. Tries through Percival, Richards and 2 from Lomax gave the Saints a 22-16 lead at halftime. Wakefield scorers in the first half where Johnstone and 2 from Miller, but it wasn’t enough to give them a lead. Saints restored their 2 score advantage early int he second half as Morgan Knowles went over for the first try of the second half. Miller then completed his hat-trick and got Wakefield back in the game, they where always that 1 try behind. Wakefield looked to set up and exciting finish as Jones-Bishop int over tin the corner, reducing the scores to just 32-34. However, 2 late tries from Turner and Fleming saw Saints finally pull away from the battling Wakefield, and seal a great 44-32 win.
I feel like I keep repeating myself each week within this section. However, I do feel its the biggest battle of every game, and that is the battle of the forwards. Wigan where superb last week and have been for a while now, and that is mainly due to the efforts of their forward pack, which has been real influential. While Mossop will be missing through suspension, I still feel there is enough power in that forward pack to overpower Wakefield and win that battle early on to take control of the game.
The battle between both sets of halves will be an interesting one in this game. Finn and Mellor have been Wakefield’s shining stars this season, clicking really well together and coming up with 10 tries and 25 assists between them. On the other side, Smith and Williams have finally had a good run of games together and really starting to show the form they did last season. They have chipped in with 4 tries and 15 assists between them. But since they’ve only played less than half the season together, it’s not a bad return.
Wigan are in such a good place right now. They’ve slowly started to get their best players, playing near to their full potential. Smith and Williams are clicking in the halves and their defence is solid as a rock. This week they have some added incentive to win, as they will want to try and wipe that 62-0 defeat from their memories. I can’t see anything other than a big Wigan win.
Wigan Warriors by 28
Wigan Warriors 19-man Squad: Joe Bretherton, Josh Charnley, Macauley Davies, Ben Flower, Oliver Gildart, Jack Higginson, Willie Isa, Dom Manfredi, Sean O’Loughlin, Sam Powell, Dan Sarginson, Jake Shorrocks, Matty Smith, Kyle Shelford, Ryan Sutton, Taulima Tautai, Lewis Tierney, Sam Tomkins and George Williams.
Wakefield Wildcats 19-man Squad: Chris Anakin, Tinirau Arona, Joe Arundel, Matty Ashurst, James Batchelor, Jordan Crowther, David Fifita, Liam Finn, Craig Hall, Ben Jones-Bishop, Max Jowitt, Reece Lyne, Jacob Miller, Jonny Molloy, Scott Moore, Mikey Sio, Bill Tupou, Anthony Walker, Jason Walton.
Referee: James Child
Venue: The DW Stadium, Wigan
Date/Time: Friday 8th July 2016 – 20:00pm GMT