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2003 Match Preview: Castleford (H)
Wigan v Castleford Preview. Posted on Thursday, June 26 2003 @ 23:31:21 BST by Bilko
Wigan welcome Castleford to the JJB for a match that will see Quentin Pongia make his Warriors debut.


 
Wigan Warriors v Castleford Tigers Tetley's Super League Round 16
Friday 27th June 2003. Kick Off 8:00pm at JJB Stadium.
Match Introduction
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 challenge.

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 week. 

Opposition One to Watch

Waine Pryce

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.

SQUAD NUMBER: 2
Team News
Wigan Castleford
New signing Quentin Pongia is set to make his Wigan debut after being named on the bench for the visit of Castleford.  Paul Johnson returns at centre after missing two games with a hamstring injury allowing Sean O'Loughlin to revert to stand-off and Nick Graham to rejoin the pack. Hooker and first-choice goalkicker Wayne Bartrim is the Tigers' main concern after hurting his hip taking a shot at the posts at Hull last week. Fellow hooker Wayne Godwin could return after a broken nose. Andy Lynch should be fit despite a blow to the face at Hull.
Team Sheets
Wigan Team
Shaun Briscoe, Brian Carney, Martin Aspinwall, Paul Johnson, David Hodgson, Sean O'Loughlin, Adrian Lam, Craig Smith, Terry Newton, Terry O'Connor, Mick Cassidy, Nick Graham, Andy Farrell
Subs: Danny Sculthorpe, Quentin Pongia, Luke Robinson, Gareth Hock
Castleford Team
TBC
Match Referee
Ronnie Laughton (Barnsley)
Pre Match Quotes
Wigan Castleford
"I will be jumping out of my skin if he wants me to play on Friday, I am here to play not to sit on the sidelines."
New signing Quentin Pongia
"Results haven't gone our way in recent weeks but the performances certainly haven't been too far off. We are have been working harder at one or two aspects of our game and we are looking to put that right in the finishing."
Cas Coach Graham Steadman.
Current League Positions
  Team P W D L F A Diff Pts Form
4 Wigan Warriors 15 9 1 5 389 334 +55 19 W3
5 Castleford Tigers 15 7 1 7 328 318 +10 15 L3
Opposition Form (Last 6) - Castleford Tigers
Date Opposition Competition Result

Score

Match Report
20/06/03 Hull (A) SL8 Round 15 Lost 14-22 Click Here
15/06/03 London (H) SL8 Round 14 Lost 16-28 Click Here
07/06/03 Leeds (A) SL8 Round 13 Lost 26-39 Click Here
30/05/03 Huddersfield (H) SL8 Round 12 Won 32-18 Click Here
24/05/03 Warrington (A) SL8 Round 11 Won 32-16 Click Here
18/05/03 Widnes (H) SL8 Round 10 Won 40-2 Click Here

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

Super League 8 Stats
Top Try Scorers
Wigan:
David Hodgson 8
Castleford: Michael Eagar 8

Top Goal Kickers
Wigan:
Andy Farrell 39
Castleford: Wayne Bartrim 53

Top Points Scorers
Wigan:
Andy Farrell 95
Castleford: Wayne Bartrim 110
Previous Super League Meetings in Bradford
Date

Result

Match Report

Att

5th July 1996 Wigan 26 Castleford 25 No Report

---

23rd May 1997 Wigan 48 Castleford 8 Click Here

7664

5th Apr 1998 Wigan 18 Castleford 4 Click Here

10290

25th Apr 1999 Wigan 8 Castleford 24 Click Here

8856

19th Sept 1999 Play Off Match
Wigan 10 Castleford 14
Click Here

13374

24th Apr 2000 Wigan 30 Castleford 16 Click Here

10098

25th May 2001

Wigan 52 Castleford 12

Click Here

10190

29th Mar 2002

Wigan 34 Castleford 12

Click Here

10761

28th Sept 2002

Play Off Match
Wigan 26 Castleford 14

Click Here

8381

SL Record in games at Wigan: Wigan 7 Castleford 2
SL Record at JJB Stadium: Wigan 4 Castleford 1
Overall Super League Record: Wigan 13 Castleford 3 (1 draw)

Matchday Weather

From bbci.

thunderstorm Warm but Thunder Storms/Showers
Wind: 7mph from the South West.
Temps: Max: 22°C Low: 11°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: No TV coverage.
Radio:   95.1 BBC GMR will carry reports during commentary of Bradford v St Helens. 
Net:  No Online Coverage. 
Opposition Views
Other Links
Official Website
Cas Forum
Prediction
Wigan 30 Castleford 16
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