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2003 Match Preview: Wakefield (A)
Match Preview: Wakefield Match Preview. Posted on Friday, March 21 2003 @ 16:59:02 GMT by Bilko
Wigan look to move further up the Super League table as they travel to Wakefield on Sunday (kick off 3:30).

Click Read More for full match preview.

Wakefield Wildcats v Wigan Warriors Tetley's Super League VIII Round 3
Sunday 23rd March 2003. Kick Off 3.30pm at Belle Vue.
Match Introduction
Sunday sees a return to Super League action for Wigan as they travel to Belle Vue for a match against the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats.

Ahead of this game Stuart Raper said in his pre match press call that he will be "swapping a few players around, including giving Sean (O'Loughlin) a run at stand-off".

It seems Raper has finally lost patience with O'Neill who has for me been doing very little at Stand Off. He played off the bench against Swinton last week and is expected to do so again this Sunday so is that a sign of him being out of favour?

Locky will move to Stand Off with Paul Johnson expected to play Loose Forward. Wouldn't be surprised to see Gareth Hock get a run out in that position as well during the afternoon.

During the winter Wakefield have completely re-arranged their playing squad with eleven players leaving and ten coming in.

They signed three Australian front rowers, Michael Korkidas, Dallas Hood and Clinton O'Brien, who will beef up their pack whilst winger Jon Wells is an excellent signing from Castleford.

Over the years Wakefield has been a very happy hunting ground for the Warriors. We've visited Wakefield five times since they entered Super League in 1999 and won the lot so you'd expect a Wigan win on Sunday.

But when you've had an inconsistent start to a season the last place you want to visit is Belle Vue.

Despite be threatened with relegation in all of their four super league campaigns to date they do manage to compete with the big sides especially in there our back yard.

Back in 1999 they beat Saints 23-22 at home and then repeated the feat by beating them 32-16 in 2000.

In 2001 they beat Bradford at Belle Vue, 16-12, just a month after losing to them 38-0 in the Cup. Later in that year Wigan themselves just managed to avoid a shock defeat when Andy Farrell and Paul Johnson scored late tries to spare our blushes in a 29-23 win.

Last year we scraped a victory again. Wakefield led after an hour but three tries in the last 15 minutes gave us an 30-14 win. It was touch and go in that match as it was just two weeks a go when they gave Bradford a fright before being beaten in front of 20,000 fans at Odsal.

So despite having a 100% winning record against the Wildcats in Super League we cannot underestimate them. They can compete, especially at home. They may be minnows in Super League but they go down fighting!

We've got to hit them from the off or they could shock us!

Opposition One to Watch

Gareth Ellis

Centre Gareth Ellis scored twice against us in the corresponding fixture last year so we need to avoid a repeat of that. He scored 7 tries in total last season in 23 appearances.

He's started this season in hot form scoring 4 tries in 4 appearances so far.

Team News
Wigan Wakefield
International forwards Andy Farrell, Mick Cassidy and Terry O'Connor are still missing but Danny Tickle has recovered from a wrist injury and is included in an 18-strong squad. Luke Robinson is the player in the squad not expected to make the starting 17. Australian centre Matt Seers is poised to end a three-match absence after recovering from a broken hand while forwards Troy Slattery and Clinton O'Brien are also added to a 19-man squad.
Match Referee
Steve Ganson (St Helens)
Pre Match Quotes
Wigan Wakefield
"We've enjoyed an excellent week together preparing for this game. The players have been very positive and we've all been up-beat. I've got a few more options and while the squad remains basically the same, I am thinking of swapping a few players around, including giving Sean (O'Loughlin) a run at stand-off" Coach Stuart Raper
"We had a hard game at Bradford with a few injuries, but luckily the week off has allowed these to fully recover and we are looking forward to seeing Wigan at Belle Vue on Sunday." Wakey joint coach Shane McNally.
Current League Positions
Pos Team P W D L F A Pts Form
5 Wigan Warriors 2 1 0 1 43 41 4 W1
11 Wakefield Wildcats 2 0 0 2 24 50 0 L2
Opposition Form (Last 6)
Date Opposition Competition Result Score
09/03/03 Bradford (A) SL8 Round 2 Lost 10-22
02/03/03 Widnes (H) C.Cup Round 5 Lost 12-22
23/02/03 Hull (H) SL8 Round 1 Lost 14-28
08/02/03 Castleford (H) C.Cup Round 4 Won 20-18
31/01/03 Halifax (A) Friendly Drew 26-26
24/01/03 Leeds (H) Friendly Won 38-24

Wigan Form (Last 6 all comps most recent game first): WWWLWW

Super League 8 Stats
Top Try Scorers
Jamie Ainscough, Martin Aspinwall, Brett Dallas, David Hodgson, Sean O'Loughlin & Danny Sculthorpe all 1.
Wakefield: Gareth Ellis, Paul Handforth, Ben Jeffries & Adrian Vowles all 1

Top Goal Kickers
Julian O'Neill 8
Wakefield: Ian Knott 3
Previous Super League Meetings at Belle Vue
Date Result Match Report


5th April 1999 Wakefield 22 Wigan 52 Click Here 6104
12th Sept 1999 Wakefield 24 Wigan 60 Click Here 4279
6th Aug 2000 Wakefield 06 Wigan 56 Click Here 3650
15th July 2001 Wakefield 23 Wigan 29 Click Here 4011
1st May 2002 Wakefield 14 Wigan 30 Click Here 3842

SL Record at Belle Vue: Wigan 5 Wakefield 0
Overall Super League Record: Wigan 8 Wakefield 0

Matchday Weather

From weather.co.uk.

Sunny Sunny
Wind: 3mph from the South East.
Temps: Max: 15°C Low: 0°C

Ticket & Ground Details
Ground: Adults: £11 Children: £6 Concessions: £6
East Stand Wing: Adults: £13 Children: £6 Concessions: £7
East Stand Centre: All tickets £13. No concessions.

Click Here for Belle Vue Ground Guide & Directions.
Media Coverage
TV: No TV Coverage    
Radio: 95.1 BBC GMR will have us as their main match commentary game with Trevor Hunt at Belle Vue. At the ground 92.4 BBC Radio Leeds may have commentary as well because no other West Yorkshire super league sides are in action on Sunday afternoon.
Internet: Live coverage from BBC GMR at bbc.co.uk/manchester.
Opposition Views
trinitywildcats.co.uk - Official Site
Trinzine - Unofficial Site
Trinityrl.co.uk - Unofficial Site
Official Message Board
RLFans.com Message Board
Wakefield 22 Wigan 30
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