|Wigan are looking for victory against Castleford that will give them
their longest winning streak of the season.
We've won three in a row previously but not four so thats the aim
against a Cas side that has lost four of their last seven matches.
In fact the Tigers come to the JJB on the back of a three match
losing streak and they will not fancy coming to play a Wigan side
currently on a crest of a wave.
Castleford Coach Graham Steadman knows they face a difficult
He said: "We are under no illusions about the challenge we face.
"We know that we are going to have to contribute from one to 17
and that every player selected is going to have to play to their full
potential for us to get the two points.
"Wigan have won eight of their last nine games and are playing
with a lot of consistency.
"They've now got their senior players back. Andy Farrell was out
for a long time and he's come back a refreshed figure. His leadership
qualities were certainly missed when he was out".
But despite the poor form they can't be underestimated. They could
have easily defeated a good Hull side away from home last week if they
have had more composure in the final minutes.
This fixture will help give an insight into just how much Wigan have
progressed since the beginning of the season.
Back in February the Warriors produced a truly dismal Warriors
performance at "The Jungle" losing
19-10 in a try less defeat. Despite
Castleford only just winning with two tries in the 75th and 79th minute
we really did struggle that day especially after Andy Farrell came off
injured very early on.
The team on paper looked stronger that the line up coach Stuart Raper
has picked for this friday's game. It was certainly a more much
experienced side but it lacked youth, enthusiasm, spirit and will to
win. We now have that in abundance and anything can happen between now
and the Grand Final.
New signing Quentin Pongia makes his debut for Wigan in this game. I
did call him "Harvey Howard in disguise" when first hearing the news of
him signing but on reflection I don't see as we've anything to lose by
giving him a chance.
Paul Johnson also returns which means "Super" Kevin Brown is dropped.
He's been in superb form and to not even be on the bench is for me a bit
harsh. You can't argue with five tries in seven matches from an 18 year
old. Compare that to Johnson's three tries in fourteen matches and I
think my point is made. But to be fair maybe this just goes to show how
good a squad we now have?
Nick Graham switches to back to second row allowing Sean O'Loughlin
to play stand off. Personally I'd rather see Graham stay at Stand Off
with Gareth Hock in the second row and Locky on the bench. I just think
having Graham at half back as worked a treat.
To win this one we've just got to perform well. Castleford are a good
side who always compete but I can't see them stopping us in our current
form. I do believe though that maybe one match soon we'll be brought
back down to earth with a shock loss but I can't see it being this
Opposition One to Watch
21 year old Waine Pryce is the cousin of Bradford's Leon and is a
quick elusive winger who made his Tigers debut in 2000.
He's a product of the Cas
youth system and toured Fiji and Tonga with England "A" last winter.
He has scored 28 tries in
67 appearances for the Tigers including six tries in 15 matches so
far in Super League 8.