|If Warrington fans think their club is in the play offs on merit
they are kidding themselves!
All Warrington getting into the play offs shows is the complete
inconsistency of the Super League fixture system.
From Rounds 1 to 22 in the season each side plays the other home
and away. Then from Rounds 23 to 28 each club is given an extra six
fixtures which are determined by the clubs final league position the
previous year. So if you finish in the top six your extra six
fixtures will be mostly against top six sides. Vice versa if you
finish in the bottom six.
I think it's ridiculous that a team can benefit from easier
fixtures due to being, well let's be honest, crap the previous
Warrington played London, Widnes, Leeds, Halifax, Huddersfield
and Wakefield for their extra six fixtures. Whilst Hull, who
Warrington pipped to the post in the top 6 race, played Bradford,
Saints, Wakefield, Castleford, Wigan and Leeds. Looking at the
difference in opposition is it any wonder that the Wolves made the
Whilst Hull had to face the top four sides, Warrington faced the
bottom four! How fair is that?
To put it in perspective during the regular season Warrington
failed to beat any of the top four sides, only taking 1 point off St
Helens in a home draw. So if they'd have had Hull's fixtures they'd
have been no where near the top 6!
That just highlights that these extra fixtures are unfair and in
my opinion Super League should just promote Salford and Leigh,
giving us a 14 team league and a 26 round home and away fixture
list. That's the only fair way to do it.
Still Warrington can only beat who they are given to play and
despite my argument above they will be difficult opposition for us
You only have to look back at our two regular season meetings for
proof of that.
We won by
a point at the JJB back in May and
two points at Wilderspool just last
month. We came back from behind to win on both occasions and it
could be argued that we were lucky to do so.
But that narrow win at Wilderspool was the beginning of our
current eight match unbeaten run and coach Mike Gregory is pleased
with our progression under his management.
He said: “I have been very pleased with the results,
especially against the opposition we have faced, we have beaten and
drawn with all the top six, I don’t think anyone will really want to
play us. In saying that you can probably say the same about Bradford
or Leeds, it’s all about what we can do on the day. If Warrington
come up short we will get them but I am sure with Paul Cullen they
will be right for this game, it could well be an epic. It will be
physical, both teams can play a bit of football but with home
advantage we will be favourites, but we have to be ready and
Greg says no team will want to face us but I don't think the Wire
fans will be thinking that. This is a massive occasion for those
fans who have been starved of success for a long, long time. They
will come to the JJB in great numbers and that will only lift Paul
Cullen's side. Us Wigan fans need to be in good voice ourselves, the
lads deserve our support so lets give them some noise!
Wigan welcome back Terry Newton and Quentin Pongia after they
missed the league game last week at Castleford, both with dead legs,
whilst Danny Tickle and Sean O'Loughlin have both recovered from
ankle knocks picked up at the Jungle.
Luke Robinson is undeservedly dropped from the starting line up
but I suppose at this stage of the season we'd better go with Lam's
experience from the start. Having Robbo on what is a pretty strong
bench is a asset for us.
Warrington have Lee Briers in their 20 man squad but is he 100%
fit? He's been out for ten weeks with a broken left wrist!
This will be a close one, but I think our big game experience
will see us come through in the end. For me our strong bench, which
includes Paul Johnson and Terry O'Connor, will be the difference.
Opposition One to
I remember last year, when we went to Wilderspool on the
August Bank Holiday Monday, that some Wigan fans sarcastically
chanted Appo's name when he scored against us in a 40-18 win but
23 tries in 28 Super League appearance this season shows he is a
He has also been responsible for goal kicking recently but
whether Lee Briers return will see him relinquish that role
remains to be seen.
SL 8: 28 Apps, 23 Tries, 60 Goals, 0 Drop Goals = 212 Points.
SQUAD NUMBER: 5