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2003 Match Preview: Halton Simms Cross (Cup)
Match Preview: Halton Simms Cross Match Preview Posted on Friday, February 07 2003 @ 14:11:15 GMT by Bilko

Wigan Warriors v Halton Simms Cross Powergen Challenge Cup Round 4
Sunday 9th February 2003. Kick Off 3.00pm at JJB Stadium
Match Introduction
The task facing Simms Cross this Sunday is immense. It they keep the score below 100 it will be a tremendous achievement.

Better lower division sides have been hammered by us in recent years so it looks ominous for the Widnes based side.

Three years a go Whitehaven came to the JJB and got stuffed 98-4. Whilst five years ago both Keighley and Dewsbury were nilled by us away from home, 76-0 and 56-0 respectively.

So if the past is anything to go by Wigan will be going at the amateur outfit with all guns blazing. Team coach Stuart Raper has chosen a very stong line up which certainly suggests that they will.

I personally expected players like Gareth Hock and Dave Allen to get a run out. It seemed like an ideal opportunity to give them a first taste of competitive first team action but Raper has stressed since the draw was made that he "will take it very seriously and I will have to make sure that we do not underestimate them."

Simms Cross play in the North West Counties league. They have two sides. The main side in the Premier Division and an "A" team in Division 5. They train about two nights a week whilst Wigan train professionally several hours a day.

Some talk ahead of the game has been about whether Wigan can beat the club record 116-0 win over Flimby and Fothergill at Central Park in 1924/25. For me that should be the target for this game. Why not go for the record? It will give them something to play for. But having said that I wouldn't like to see Simms Cross suffer that. They may not care, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity which will be enjoyed whatever the result, but I hope they give a good account of themselves and score a try! They'll get the biggest cheer of the afternoon if they do!

Simms Cross played Leigh in Round 3 of last years competition only losing 36-12 (click for report). But according to the guys on our sister site Leythers.co.uk, "Leigh were awful" and still won easily.

This year Simmies have beaten Hensingham 9-4, Walney Central 12-2 and newly professional London Skolars 15-8 to progress to Round 4. They warmed up for Sunday's clash with a tight 14-10 loss against Woolston Rovers in the BARLA GMB Union National Cup last weekend.

Oppostion One to Watch:
Keiron Kavanagh

Now I have to be honest I know absolutely nothing about the Halton Simms Cross players but I shall pick Keiron Kavanagh as my one to watch. He could be Paul Koloi in disguise for all I know but the full back is an RAF technican who has been, and still is, on standby to fly out to the Middle East if military action is taken against Iraq.

"I don't want to sound selfish because I hope we can find a peaceful solution to the Iraqi problem," Kavanagh told The Sun newspaper.

"But it is frustrating being poised to play in a dream cup tie while knowing I could be forced to pull out at any moment."

"Playing Wigan at the JJB Stadium is as big as it gets, when the draw was made, I was gobsmacked.

"Wigan are probably the biggest name in rugby league, while we are an amateur outfit in the North West Counties, about seven divisions below Super League.

"It's a fantastic opportunity for us. Our attitude is that we are going to be remembered for something regardless of the result, and it would be a sickener if I have to miss our big day.

Looks like he won't be called up for war before Sunday so he'll get the opportunity to play in the biggest game of his and his club's life.

Team News
Wigan Simms Cross
Brett Dallas & Terry O'Connor are both expected to miss this game. Terry still has a sore foot which hasn't cleared up from last season whilst Brett isn't quite fit enough to play following surgery. Simmies most experienced player Keith Newton is hoping to be fit after picking up a knock in Round 3 against London Skolars.
Pre Match Quotes
Wigan Simms Cross
"We will take it very seriously and I will have to make sure that we do not underestimate them." Wigan coach Stuart Raper.
"There's not a lot of research you can do into sides such as Simms Cross as we have never played them before.
"They're a completely unknown quantity and there are no videos to look at." Kris Radlinski.
"This is a dream come true for us. All we've got to do is give 100%....our aim is to keep the score down." John Bowles (Simms Cross Captain).
"Our goal on Sunday will be to get some points on the board, obviously Wigan have nilled Super League sides before, so if we can get off the mark, we'll be happy." Coach Chris Middlehurst
Opposition Road to Round 4.
Round 1   Hensingham (A)   W   9-4
Round 2   Walney Central (A)   W   12-2
Round 3   London Skolars (H)   W   15-8
Ticket & Ground Details
North Stand (Visitors): Adults: £12.00 Under 18 yrs: £8.00 Senior Citizens: £8.00
West Stand: Adults: £16.00
East Stand: CLOSED! See site story - Click Here
South Stand: Adults: £12.00 Under 18 yrs: £8.00 Senior Citizens: £8.00
Matchday Weather
From weather.co.uk.

Wind: 14mph from West.
Temps: Max: 4°C Low: 1°C

Media Coverage
TV: No TV Coverage    
Radio: 95.1FM BBC GMR will have coverage from 3pm. Maybe not the main commentary game but at the very least regular updates throughout the afternoon.

Local station 102.4 Wish FM should carry reports in-between music.
Internet: Should be match coverage from GMR online see BBC Manchester Online for details.    
Opposition Views
No websites that I know of.
Easy victory. Just far too much class for the amateurs to handle. 70+ points to nil.
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