Wakefield Trinity play host to the Wigan Warriors this Easter Monday. Wigan will be looking to get rid of their demons from this fixture last season, when Wakefield ran out 62-0 winners. With both having played just three days prior, on Good Friday, it’ll be interesting to see how the teams will go.
LAST TIME OUT
Wakefield come into this game on the back of a 42-24 defeat, away at the Super League leaders, Castleford Tigers. It was Wakefield who got off with the best start, as David Fifita powered his way over for the games first try after just two-minutes. Then came the Tigers onslaught as they ran in for 24 unanswered points, with tries from Ben Roberts, Jake Webster, Oliver Holmes and Greg Millington to give them a 24-6 lead after 30 minutes. Ben Tupou would pull one back for Wakefield, but that was soon cancelled out with back-to-back tries from Greg Millington and Jake Webster which have the Tigers a 36-12 lead at halftime. Wakefield were much better in the second half, and went on and won the half, which was credit to them. David Fifita would go over for his second of the game to give Trinity some sort of hope, with 25 minutes to go. But that was all ended when Greg Eden went over to extend the Tigers lead to 42-18. Wakefield had most of the chances in the second half, and it was only some stupid errors that cost them scoring more points. Ben Jones-Bishop would score quite remarkably in the corner for a late consolation try, as Wakefield would go on to lose 42-24 against the high-flying Castleford.
Wigan go into this game on the back of a 29-18 win against their closest rivals, St Helens on Good Friday. Kyle Amor was sent off for Saints after just 13-minutes, and that would spoil the game. After a penalty-goal from Mark Percival, Wigan would get the first try of the game through the returning Joe Burgess. A Morgan Escaré penalty-goal would send Wigan 8-2 up at halftime. Saints got the first try of the second half through Ryan Morgan to put some real pressure on the Warriors. However, Wigan hit back quickly through Liam Marshall, which was followed up with an Escaré drop-goal which gave Wigan a 15-8 lead. Saints would go over again with the impressive Regan Grace on his Saints debut, to give the travelling support some hope. Then Wigan would score three tries in seven-minutes through Liam Farrell, Liam Marshall and Joe Burgess to kill the game off and give Wigan a 29-12 lead with just over 10-minutes to go. The second Liam Marshall try was one to be applauded, a sensational effort in the corner from the young winger, who’s Wigan’s top try scorer this season, with eight tries. Saints scored a late consolation through Tommy Makinson, but Wigan would hold on, and win their eighth consecutive Good Friday game.
Wigan will be looking to rectify the woeful 62-0 drubbing in this fixture last season, and they’ll be going into it with a much stronger and healthier squad.
George Williams signed a new 4-year deal this week, and having done so, he can start to fully focus on his game, rather than where his future lies. Against Saints, he seemed to be close to his best again, and his partner Thomas Leuluai, was just as influential. Wakefield will have a mixture of Jacob Miller, Liam Finn and Sam Williams in the halves, who are all dangerous players.
With Joe Burgess getting a rest for this one, it looks like Liam Marshall and Tom Davies will continue out wide for Wigan. Marshall is now Wigan’s top scorer with eight tries this season, and I’m sure he’ll be on the scoresheet again. Tom Davies, while not scoring as much as Marshall, is certainly not looking out of place in the Wigan side, putting in some great performances.
As for Wakefield, the ever-impressive Tom Johnstone will be on the wing, and Wigan will have to work hard to keep him quiet this Easter Monday. Ben Jones-Bishop has been Wakefield’s best player this season scoring seven tries, and looking a real when he gets the ball near an opponents line. Wigan will have it tough on Monday, having to deal with him and Tom Johnstone on either wing.
Wigan will be full of confidence following their Good Friday win over St Helens, and getting their first win in five attempts. Meanwhile, Wakefield will be down after losing out in their derby match with Castleford. I think Wigan will have too much for Trinity on the day.
Wigan Warriors by 16
The Warriors make two changes with Nick Gregson and Romain Navarrete coming in for Joe Burgess and Michael McIlorum.
Wakefield make two changes with Bill Tupou and Joe Arundel who took knocks to their heads miss out and have been replaced by Max Jowitt and Ashley Gibson.
Wigan Warriors: Joe Bretherton, Tom Davies, Morgan Escaré, Liam Farrell, Ben Flower, Liam Forsyth, Anthony Gelling, Nick Gregson, Willie Isa, Tommy Leuluai, Liam Marshall, Romain Navarrete, Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Sean O’Loughlin, Sam Powell, Ryan Sutton, Taulima Tautai, Joel Tomkins and George Williams.
Wakefield Trinity: Mitch Allgood, Tinirau Arona, Matty Ashurst, Mason Caton-Brown, Anthony England, David Fifita, Liam Finn, Ashley Gibson, Scott Grix, Dean Hadley, Keegan Hirst, Craig Huby, Tom Johnstone, Ben Jones-Bishop, Max Jowitt, Danny Kirmond, Jacob Miller, Sam Williams and Kyle Wood
Referee: Jack Smith
Venue: Belle Vue, Wakefield
Date/Time: Monday 17th April 2017 – 14:45pm GMT