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Match Preview: Barrow (H) - Challenge Cup Round 4 - 08.05.2011 at DW Stadium
Posted by Bilko on May 05 2011 - 23:12

Wigan Warriors v Barrow Raiders - Carnegie Challenge Cup Round 4.
Sunday 8th May 2011. Kick Off 3:00pm at DW Stadium.

Match Preview

It seems well longer ago now you know, but just three years ago to the weekend I, along with 3,813 other fans, sat inside the then JJB Stadium on a Monday Night witnessing  the debut of a certain Sam Tomkins. It could not have gone any better for the lad. Wigan beat Whitehaven 106-8 and he scored five tries, including a hatrick in just 12 minutes.

Now you'd have to go through old newspaper cuttings with a fine toothcomb to discover if that really was the fastest hatrick in Wigan Rugby League history, but it certainly matched the 12 minute hatrick scored by Attie Van Heerden when Wigan claimed their record victory in beating Flimby and Fothergill United 116-0 in the 1924 Challenge Cup.

Amazingly, despite that 5 try debut, Sam Tomkins never made the first team again in that 2008 season - even though Wigan won just 4 of 13 matches between June and the play offs beginning in September. Seem's daft now doesn't it? Either way, what a three year's for the lad. He's now not only a Grand Final winner and England international but also seemingly the most hated player in Super League by opposition supporters.

Why do I bring that up? Well Sam made his debut in a Challenge Cup tie at home against non Super League opposition, just like Lee Mossop did a month earlier that year against SM Pia. It's the first time since then that we've played lower division opposition at home in the cup and I'm hoping we will see another kid get a chance. Surely this is a perfect opportunity to give Dom Crosby a debut considering he's been 18/19th man so often in recent week? Perhaps it's also an opportunity to test out Logan Tomkins or Joe Mellor? (Edit: Since I wrote this Crosby has been omitted from the squad - see down page)

Of course, it was just two years ago that we last met Barrow in the Challenge Cup. Us Wigan fans certainly enjoyed our trip up to Craven Park on a lovely sunny day but on the field it was a massive sweat in winning 32-20. With 12 minutes to go, Wigan only led 24-20 before late tries from Karl Pryce and Sam Tomkins sealed the victory.

Barrow went on to win the Championship Grand Final that season but this year they haven't quite reached those standards. They made an early, group stage, exit from the Northern Rail Cup which saw then coach Bitter Schofield depart after just five games in charge. Replacing him was Nigel Wright who made 1,492 appearances (that's 36 appearances on the pitch and 1,456 appearances on the treatment table)  for Wigan between August 1993 and September 1997.

Wright himself was struggling early in his Barrow coaching career, with them winning just one of his first five matches in charge, but a narrow loss at league leaders Leigh on Good Friday backed up by victories over Widnes on Easter Monday and Halifax last Sunday, I would suggest, equals a pretty successful Easter.

They are however apparently struggling with injuries ahead of the trip to Wigan on Sunday. Gary Broadbent, Richard Fletcher, James Coyle (all knee) and James Nixon (broken leg) are all absent, whilst Ben Davies and Jack Hughes (on loan/dual reg forwards from Wigan) won't play and neither will Adam Walker, a dual-reg forward from Huddersfield. So they are looking pretty lightweight in the pack.

The Barrow North West Evening News reports that whilst they, just about, have 18 players to pick from, the club are searching for any potential signings ahead of the game, which they can still do until 2pm on Friday. Not likely they will sign anyone but that really highlights how desperate they are.

So, considering Barrow are struggling for players it seems even more of an opportunity to give a couple of youngsters a chance. Either way I can only see a huge Wigan victory on Sunday. I know Barrow in 2009, and Sheffield last yearm both did themselves very proud against us but I think their is a huge difference these days between a Challenge Cup tie against lower league opposition at home, to one away.

It's very rare that a Super League side struggles at home against a non Super League side, although Barrow did beat Castleford away 34-28 in the Cup last year. Maybe I am under-estimating them too much, but I did witness a Wigan Reserve side beat Barrow's 1st Team pretty convincing in pre season, so on the evidence seen that day, I really can't see Barrow giving us too many problems. But we shall see!

19 Man Squad

Wigan
IN:l Jack Hughes
OUT:l Dom Crosby

Full 19: Sam Tomkins, Darrell Goulding, George Carmont, Pat Richards, Paul Deacon, Thomas Leuluai, Michael McIlorum, Andy Coley, Joel Tomkins, Sean O'Loughlin, Paul Prescott, Jeff Lima, Ryan Hoffman, Brett Finch, Lee Mossop, Liam Farrell, Chris Tuson, Josh Charnley, Jack Hughes.

Match Referee

Tim Roby (Leyland) - Age 21
First Pro Game: Hunslet 0 Workington 50 - 27th July 2008
First Super League Game: Wakefield 52 Harlequins 32 - 10th April 2011
First Wigan Game: First Appointment

Wigan's Record when this referee is appointed

First Time refereeing a Wigan game.

Video Referee

Not Applicable for this Fixture

Challenge Cup Head to Head Records

Overall Played 8 Wigan 6 Wins Barrow 2 Wins 0 Draws
At Wigan Played 2 Wigan 2 Wins Barrow 0 Wins 0 Draws

Full List of Previous Challenge Cup Ties

Date Round -
1923-1924 Semi Final Wigan 30 Barrow 5 (at Salford)
1931-1932 Round 2 Wigan 34 Barrow 2
1934-1935 Quarter Final Barrow 13 Wigan 4
1945-1946 Quarter Final Barrow 3 Wigan 13
1948-1949 Quarter Final Barrow 8 Wigan 7
1950-1951 Final Wigan 10 Barrow 0 (at Wembley)
1964-1965 Round 1 Wigan 16 Barrow 0
2009 Round 4 Barrow 20 Wigan 32

Wigan Form Guide - Last Six Matches - Won 4 Drawn 1 Lost 1

Date Opposition Competition Result Score
1st May Crusaders (A) SL 16 Round 13 Won 48-16
25th April Wakefield (A) SL 16 Round 12 Won 26-00
22nd April St Helens (H) SL 16 Round 11 Won 28-24
15th April Hull KR (A)

SL 16 Round 10

Won 28-16
8th April Catalan (H) SL 16 Round 9 Lost 28-47
1st April Leeds (A) SL 16 Round 8 Draw 22-22

Barrow Form Guide - Last Six Matches - Won 3 Lost 3

Date Opposition Competition Result Score
1st May Halifax (A) Co-Op Champ R8 Won 43-25
25th April Widnes (H) Co-Op Champ R7 Won 30-12
22nd April Leigh (A) Co-Op Champ R6 Lost 24-26
14th April Featherstone (A) Co-Op Champ R5 Lost 12-48
2nd April Batley (H) Co-Op Champ R4 Lost 22-30
27th March York (A) Co-Op Champ R3 Won 42-16

Last Six Wigan v Barrow Meetings in Wigan

Date Opposition
26th Aug 1990 Wigan 70 Barrow 8 (Lancashire Cup R1)
15th Oct 1989 Wigan 62 Barrow 6 (Stones Bitter Champ.)
3rd Sept 1986 Wigan 18 Barrow 6 (Stones Bitter Champ.)
14th Oct 1984 Wigan 40 Barrow 24 (Slalom Lager Champ.)
24th Oct 1982 Wigan 19 Barrow 05 (Slalom Lager Champ.)
3rd Jan 1982 Wigan 15 Barrow 18 (Slalom Lager Champ.)*

* Was also the last Barrow victory against Wigan either home or away.

Try Scoring Hot Streaks

  • Josh Charnley has scored 6 tries in his last 4 appearances.
  • Pat Richards has scored 4 tries in his last 3 appearances.
  • Sam Tomkins has scored 3 tries in his last 2 appearances.

Try Scoring Cold Streaks

  • Andy Coley has not scored in 22 matches since Catalan (A) - July 4th 2010.
  • Paul Deacon has not scored in 21 matches since Salford (A) - Apr 11th 2010.
  • Jeff Lima has never scored in 10 Wigan appearances so far.
  • Paul Prescott has never scored in 49 Wigan appearances at DW Stadium.

Ticket Details

Note: Wigan Season Ticket Holders get free admission using their season ticket cards.

Stand ConAdultsiors Concs/Juniors
West Stand Gold £15 £7
West Stand Blue £15 £7
East Stand Silver £15 £7
East Stand Red £15 £7
South Stand £15 £7
North Stand (Visitors) £15 £7

Ticket Hotline: 0871 66 33 552
Click Here for Stadium Seating Map

Local Radio Commentary

102.4 Wish FM will be on air from 2:50pm with full match uninterrupted commentary from Graham Lovett and Andy Gregory.

BBC Radio Manchester (95.1FM) - Will have updates only on the match with their main commentary game being Hunslet v Salford at South Leeds Stadium. They also have updates on Warrington v Keighley and Rochdale v Castleford.

Weather Forecast

Potential Thunder Storms are forecast over the weekend.

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