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2003 Match Preview: London (A)
London v Wigan Preview. Posted on Thursday, July 17 2003 @ 17:39:53 BST by Bilko
Wigan travel to London this Friday for the weekends big Sky TV fixture.

 
London Broncos v Wigan Warriors Tetley's Super League Round 19
Friday 18th July 2003. Kick Off 8:00pm at Griffin Park.
Match Introduction
Although London may not have won at Griffin Park since September last year this trip is still going to be difficult for the Warriors.

Over the years there have been some pretty close battles between the sides down in the capital which have contributed to job losses, although I don't think either coach is in danger this time round.

Wigan aren't doing too bad at all. After our worst ever start to a Super League season we've recovered to only be one point worse off that the corresponding stage of the season last year. We are in as good a position in what is meant to have been a consolidation season for us.

Despite shocking home form London are right in the play off mix. They are level with Warrington and Castleford on 17 points in the table but are 8th due to an inferior points difference. However the Broncos have two matches in hand coming up this month which if they win will move them up to 5th.

London did manage to win one "home" match this year but that was played "on the road" in Aberavon. Last time out at home they nearly managed a win but they were denied by a late Hull try which nicked them a draw.

So they've taken just three of a possible twelve points in home matches compared to fourteen out of a possible twenty away from home. 

Earlier in the season London came to the JJB and shocked us with a 34-30 win. If you remember we'd led 16-0 after just 14 minutes and they came back for a deserved win. 

Stuart Raper is vowing revenge for that defeat.

He said: "The players were pretty hurt and disappointed (with that result). It's one we definitely want to get back."

Let's hope they show that attitude on the pitch come Friday Night.

Whilst we have a fairly comfortable victory over Wakefield in the last round, London were hammered 50-8 at Warrington.

Broncos coach Tony Rea is drawing similarities with a similar loss suffered earlier in the season.

They lost 62-16 at St Helens but bounced back with a five match winning run and Rea is hoping for the same to happen again.

Rea said: "We were given quite a wake-up call at St Helens and we turned it into a positive with a string of improved performances,"

"I guess that tells you that we're a team that doesn't stay down for long.

"We've addressed a number of issues this week at training and we know what we need to do.  It's now a case taking that into the game."

The Warriors camp suffered a blow this week when Brett Dallas returned home due to his mother falling seriously ill. 

Obviously you can understand the circumstances but it's a big loss to lose Dallas who'd score five tries in his last two matches.

Paul Johnson is also out following concussion suffered in the early moments of the Wakefield game.

Dave Hodgson replaces Dallas on the wing with Sean O'Loughlin moving from the bench to replace Hodgy in the centres. Danny Tickle returns to the team in place of Johnson after a spell in the Under 21s. 

Craig Smith also makes a welcome return following a one match suspension. I think we are pretty lucky that he only got a one match ban for that high tackle at Huddersfield. Still we won't complain especially with Danny Sculthorpe currently unavailable.

Wigan just need to go to London and perform. This is one of those nights were a top quality performance isn't necessarily needed. We just need a good professional job that will give us the two points. If we get a good performance as well it'll be a nice bonus!

Finally how nice of Sky to move this match to Friday denying many fans a chance to get down south. I know it's difficult, I'm lucky to be going myself. If you are going, see you down there either at the ground or in one of the nearby pubs (it has a pub on every corner of the ground - pure genius!) .

Opposition One to Watch

Chris Thorman

North East born 22 year old stand off Chris Thorman is having a very impressive year with the Broncos.

He established himself with the Huddersfield Giants and was part of the side that won last years NFP Grand Final before moving south for this season.

He recently putting in a superb performance for Yorkshire in the Origin Match scoring twenty points equaling the record for points in a roses match.

His goal for the rest of the season is to try and earn Great Britain honours.  

SQUAD NUMBER: 23
Team News
Wigan London
Craig Smith returns from suspension but second rower or centre Paul Johnson is missing with a head injury and winger Brett Dallas is back in Australia on compassionate leave. David Hodgson is set to switch to the wing, with Sean O'Loughlin going to centre and Kevin Brown coming in as a substitute. Danny Tickle returns to the first team after a spell in the Under 21s. New Zealand Warriors-bound Tony Martin returns to the Broncos line-up to face Wigan after missing last week's heavy loss at Warrington. Steve Hall is out with a hamstring injury and Jason Netherton has returned to Leeds after his loan spell. Damian Kennedy comes in to the second row.
Team Sheets
Wigan Team
Shaun Briscoe, Brian Carney, Martin Aspinwall, Sean O'Loughlin, David Hodgson, Nick Graham, Adrian Lam, Terry O'Connor, Terry Newton, Craig Smith, Mick Cassidy, Danny Tickle, Andrew Farrell. Subs: Quentin Pongia, Gareth Hock, Luke Robinson, Kevin Brown
London Team
Dennis Moran, Paul Sykes, Andrew King, Nigel Roy, Tony Martin, Rob Purdham, Chris Thorman, Russell Bawden, Neil Budworth, Steele Retchless, Damian Kennedy, Bill Peden, Jim Dymock. Subs: Richard Marshall, Tommy Gallagher, Rob Jackson, Francis Stephenson
Match Referee
Karl Kirkpatrick (Warrington)
Pre Match Quotes
Wigan London
"We were 16-0 up and should have won. The players were pretty hurt and disappointed. It's one we definitely want to get back. We went there last year when we were under a bit of pressure. It was a good arm wrestle and we went away in the second half. I'm expecting a similar game." Coach Stuart Raper refering to our 30-34 loss at home to London earlier this season.
"We were given quite a wake-up call at St Helens (earlier in the season) and we turned it into a positive with a string of improved performances. I guess that tells you that we’re a team that doesn’t stay down for long. We’ve addressed a number of issues this week at training and we know what we need to do. It’s now a case taking that into tomorrow night." London Coach Tony Rea.
Current League Positions
  Team P W D L F A Diff Pts Form
3 Wigan Warriors 18 11 1 6 475 388 +87 23 W1
8 London Broncos 16 8 1 7 370 405 -35 17 L1
Opposition Form (Last 6) - London Broncos
Date Opposition Competition Result

Score

Match Report
13/07/03 Warrington (A) SL8 Round 18 Lost 8-50 Click Here
05/07/03 Hull FC (H) SL8 Round 17 Draw 20-20 Click Here
28/06/03 Halifax (A) SL8 Round 16 Won 50-16 Click Here
15/06/03 Castleford (A) SL8 Round 14 Won 28-16 Click Here
08/06/03 Widnes (Aberavon) SL8 Round 13 Won 40-18 Click Here
01/06/03 Bradford (A) SL8 Round 12 Won 22-12 Click Here

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

Super League 8 Stats
Top Try Scorers
Wigan:
David Hodgson 10
London: Dennis Moran 13

Top Goal Kickers
Wigan:
Andy Farrell 54
London: Chris Thorman 34

Top Points Scorers
Wigan:
Andy Farrell 129
London: Tony Martin 102
Previous Super League Meetings in Bradford
Date

Result

Match Report

Att

17th Aug 1996 London 13 Wigan 34 No Report

---

4th July 1997 London 38 Wigan 12 Click Here

7811

7th Aug 1998 London 15 Wigan 18 Click Here

7963

28th May 1999 London 12 Wigan 30 Click Here

3373

25th June 2000 London 12 Wigan 16 Click Here

4351

29th April 2001 London 20 Wigan 12 Click Here

5101

9th Mar 2002

London 6 Wigan 32

Click Here

4284

SL Record in games in London: Wigan 5 London 2
Overall Super League Record: Wigan 12 London 3 (1 draw)

Matchday Weather

From bbci.

sunny intervals Sunny Intervals
Wind: 10mph from the South West.
Temps: Max: 23°C Low: 13°C

Ticket & Ground Details
Standing: Adults: £10.00 Concessions: £3
Seating: Adults: £15.00 Concessions: £5
Away fans normally congregate in the Ealing Road terrace although it isn't a segregated ground.
Click for Griffin Park Ground Guide.
Media Coverage
TV: The Match is live on Sky Sports 2 the usual commentary team of Eddie Hemmings, Mike Stephenson and Phil Clarke.
Radio:   95.1 BBC GMR will have almost full match commentary, taking reports from Saints v Huddersfield during the game. 
Net:  BBC London will have full match commentary online in Real Audio. Click the "listen live online" link on it's website @ http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/sport/rugby/broncos.shtml.  
Opposition Views
Other Links
Official Website
Broncos Forum
Prediction
London 18 Wigan 22
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