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2003 Match Preview: Bradford (H)
Wigan v Bradford Match Preview Posted on Thursday, May 01 2003 @ 17:52:45 BST by Bilko
The team for Friday's game is expected to be: Radlinski, Carney, Aspinwall, Johnson, Ainscough, O'Loughlin, Lam, O'Connor, M.Smith, C.Smith, Tickle, Sculthorpe, Hock. Subs: Graham, Briscoe, Brown, Allen.

Terry Newton (knee) and Brett Dallas (reoccurrence of his hamstring injury) have both been pulled out of the game.

Wigan Warriors v Bradford Bulls Tetley's Super League Round 8
Friday 2nd May. Kick Off 8:00pm at JJB Stadium.
Match Introduction
This is probably a good time to be facing Bradford. They'll be on a high after their Cup Final victory and that may work in our favour.

Just remember back to last year after our cup win. We visited Wakefield just four days after Murrayfield and it took a late late show for us to beat them. It was

Back in 2001 after Saints had won the cup at Twickenham they travelled to Leeds and lost 72-16.

In 2000 Bradford followed up a Cup Final victory with an 8 all draw at Hull.

1999 Leeds won at Wembley and then lost 62-18 at Knowsley Road against Saints.

Now I won't mention 1998 for obvious reasons but the same pattern follows. Recent history shows that teams after winning the cup do not perform well in their next match. Maybe, just maybe, we can catch Bradford on the hop and shock them.

One thing that isn't in our favour is recent form against the Bulls. We haven't won any of the last six meetings but Coach Stuart Raper said

"Everytime you play a side you can always bring up a record and records are there to be broken. I think when we played Hull here last season, they hadn't won here for a certain amount of years and they did. Records don't bother me one bit, the game is about the eighty minutes ahead of us and not is what behind us. I have the utmost respect for Bradford, they are the Challenge Cup holders, they beat us two weeks ago and they will be full of confidence but it is a good time to play them, it can be very difficult to lift yourself back up after such a high."

"We now have three games in the space of eight days and there is six points to pick up . We will be going all out to get all six to help put us back into a healthy situation in the table, but we have the two top sides who are going to be very tough. We did some things on Good Friday against St.Helens which were very encouraging and we now have to build on that and improve on that."

Our last win against the Bulls came at the JJB on the last day of August in 2001. Brett Dallas and Kris Radlinski scored the tries in a 16-10 victory that included four drop goals shared between the two sides.

Dallas though will not be on the field this Friday Night. He has tweaked his hamstring yet again and will not return. Terry Newton has also picked up a knee injury Hooker which will now require minor surgery.

“It’s so frustrating" said Raper.

"After a good win (against Saints) it looked as though we would get a few of our players back to ease the injury crisis. Now we are back at square one. We will still be going into the game with the same determination we showed against St.Helens and with that kind of spirit anything is possible.”

Our crisis will be eased slightly by new signing Nick Graham who will debut probably from the bench following his signing from Cronulla late last week. Can't say I know much about him personally but fans on a Cronulla Message Board were very complimentary about him.

They say that he is a great tackler and has a decent short kicking game. The proof will be in the pudding but a top tackler would be a great bonus for our depleted side.

Kris Radlinski and Jamie Ainscough also return to boost our back line.

Another piece of good news for the Warriors is that Michael Withers will miss the game for the opposition. He scored a hatrick in the 2001 Grand Final and twice scored two tries in meetings against us last season. So his strike power will be sorely missed by the Bulls outfit.

They will also be missing prop Stuart Fielden who hasn't recovered from his knee injury.

At the end of the day we've just got to give this match our best shot. We need to get the monkey off our backs. We've not beaten them for a while but that run has to end sometime. Let's hope it's this Friday Night. A win would be a huge boost and would set us up nicely for the rest of the season.

Opposition Ones to Watch

James Lowes

Lowes needs 6 points for a career total of 400 for the Bulls.

He is a former man of steel and his form has been one of the main reasons behind the Bulls success during the Super League era.

He was due to retire at the end of last season but Bulls coach Brian Noble persuaded him to play on for one more year.

Team News
Wigan Bradford
Hooker Terry Newton has joined Wigan's never-ending list of casualties after picking up a knee injury that requires minor surgery. New signing Nick Graham will be on the bench while full-back Kris Radlinski and three-quarter Jamie Ainscough are both back from injury. But the Warriors still lack six regulars, including winger Brett Dallas has suffered a recurrence of his hamstring injury, and coach Stuart Raper will have at least one 17-year-old on the bench in either Kevin Brown or Dave Allen or possibly both. Bradford have called prop Richard Moore and 20-year-old hooker Aaron Smith, who has yet to play Super League, into their victorious Cup final squad. Prop Stuart Fielden (knee) and full-back Michael Withers (groin) are still missing and back rower Jamie Langley's hopes of a recall have been dashed by a torn calf muscle.
Match Referee
Ian Smith (Oldham)
Pre Match Quotes
Wigan Bradford
"I have the utmost respect for Bradford, they are the Challenge Cup holders, they beat us two weeks ago and they will be full of confidence but it is a good time to play them, it can be very difficult to lift yourself back up after such a high." Stuart Raper
"Wigan have a few people back and their camp will be enthused by their great result against St Helens and we know we are in for a tough game. I am looking for a competent performance this week and if we do that I am confident we can win." Brian Noble
Current League Positions
Pos Team P W D L F A Pts Form
2 Bradford Bulls 6 5 0 1 212 128 10 W5
7 Wigan Warriors 6 3 0 3 135 146 6 W1
Opposition Form (Last 6)
Date Opposition Competition Result Score
26/04/03 Leeds (Cardiff) C.Cup Final Won 22-20
18/04/03 Hull FC (H) SL8 Round 6 Won 48-24
13/04/03 Wigan (N) C.Cup S.Final Won 36-22
06/04/03 Warrington (H) SL8 Round 5 Won 32-8
30/03/03 Widnes (A) SL8 Round 4 Won 26-18
23/03/03 Halifax (H) SL Round 3 Won 62-22

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

Super League 8 Stats
Top Try Scorers
David Hodgson 4
Bradford: Leon Pryce 7

Top Goal Kickers
Danny Tickle 10 (Julian O'Neill 11)
Bradford: Paul Deacon 29

Top Goal Kickers
Danny Tickle 28
Bradford: Paul Deacon 66
Previous Super League Meetings in Wigan
Date Result Match Report


19th April 1996 Wigan 22 Bradford 6 No Report  
11th Apr 1997 Wigan 18 Bradford 22 Click Here 10170
20th Sept 1998 Wigan 38 Bradford 4 Click Here 11181
13th Aug 1999 Wigan 14 Bradford 0 Click Here 10734
7th June 2000 Wigan 12 Bradford 12 Click Here 17365
27th Aug 2000 Wigan 20 Bradford 19 Click Here 17737
7th Oct 2000 Play Off Match
Wigan 40 Bradford 12
Click Here 14620
29th June 2001 Wigan 44 Bradford 30 Click Here 14886
31st Aug 2001 Wigan 16 Bradford 10 Click Here 15052
1st Mar 2002 Wigan 4 Bradford 18 Click Here 14170

SL Record at Central Park/JJB: Wigan 7 Bradford 2 (1 draw)
Overall Super League Record: Wigan 10 Bradford 9 (1 draw) (Includes play offs)

Matchday Weather

From bbci.

Light Rain Light Rain but quite mild.
Wind: 4mph from the East.
Temps: Max: 15°C Low: 7°C

Ticket & Ground Details
North Stand (Visitors): Adults: £12.00 Under 18 yrs: £8.00 Senior Citizens: £8.00
West Stand: Adults: £16.00 No Concessions.
East Stand: Adults: £14.00 Concessions/Juniors/OAP's: £10
South Stand: Adults: £12.00 Concessions/Juniors/OAP's: £8.00
Click for JJB Stadium Ground Guide.
Media Coverage
TV: The Match is Live on Sky Sports 1 with match commentator Eddie Hemmings.
Radio: 95.1 BBC GMR will have some commentary but will focus more on Saints away match at Halifax.
Internet: Live full match commentary from BBC Five Live Sports Extra at bbc.co.uk/fivelive/sportsextra on air from 7:45pm.
Opposition Views
Bradfordbulls.co.uk - Official Site
Redamberandblack.com - Bradford RLfans.com
Bulls Official Forums
Bulls rlfans.com Forum
Wigan 24 Bradford 20
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