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Match Preview: Huddersfield (H) - 25th June 2011 at DW Stadium
Posted by Bilko on June 24 2011 - 00:29

Wigan Warriors v Huddersfield Giants - Engage Super League XVI Round 19.
Saturday 25th June 2011. Kick Off 5:45pm at DW Stadium.

Match Preview

Well Wigan's home form over recent times has been a contentious subject for a while now after 8 home losses suffered in 13 matches between April last year and April this year.

But since we nicked the Good Friday derby against St Helens, we've put both Harlequins and Hull KR to the sword in comfortable fashion and we are going to need to make this place a fortress between now and the end of the season with 7 of our last 10 league games at the DW. It's a run in similar to 2006 when we had 8 of our last 12 games at home and back then we won all those home games to help secure "the great escape" from relegation.

For all our home form worries, would you believe that it still ranks 4th best in the league currently and it's a better home record than Warrington have. Huddersfield and Castleford are 1st and 2nd for home records with St Helens having a record that equals ours (note: Figures based on Points per game percentage).

The thing is though - Huddersfield have played 9 home games already, whilst we have only played six at home so far and thus I think this is a bigger test for Huddersfield than for us. They've done well this year to maintain a near top of the table position but should they lose on Saturday their away from home record will drop to just a 50% record - that's way behind us and Wire who's away form is nearer 80%.

This is also Huddersfield's first trip into Lancashire this season. Their next away game after us is Warrington, so for them I think this is the time to prove they are serious title contenders.

They can moan about the loss of Danny Brough if they wish, but it's in that kind of adversity that you should be showing your trophy winning credentials. Just like when we went to Huddersfield in March. We had no Sam Tomkins, Pat Richards, Paul Deacon, Stuart Fielden, Joel Tomkins or Brett Finch that night, and we only used three substitutes, but boy did we did deep to earn ourselves a great 20-6 victory.

It can be easy to just point at the play offs and say that's when the title is won but I genuinely don't think Wigan won the title in October last year. They won it in February when they won at Warrington, in April when they won at St Helens, by bouncing back to win every single time we lost a game and also in going most of the season unbeaten away from home. That belief we built up meant that when we lost to Leeds in that first play off game, rather than the belief fall out of their arses (which probably would have happened under Brian Noble), it almost didn't matter! I still think Huddersfield need to prove themselves they can win the league, or Challenge Cup, by coming away to Wigan and/or Warrington and winning!

In fairness to Huddersfield, they have improved greatly against the bigger teams this year. Last season the only big game they won in the regular season was at Wigan in August and that came at a time when we were six clear at the top of the table with three games to play. Although they did a good job on us that day, the fact we weren't exactly desperate for the victory played it's part I thought.

Although we went to the Galpharm and won they have managed to beat Warrington both at home and in Cardiff whilst also beating St Helens at home and claiming a big win away at Leeds. But like I said I think the biggest test for them is coming to Wigan and Warrington and upsetting at least one of our apple carts. Let's see if they can do it!

For Wigan, well I've got to be honest, I was pleased to see Brett Finch step up and control a game last week. More of that please! That is exactly the missing link in attack that we've needed, even whilst winning the league last year, and it was just very simple stuff. A simple kicking game were he just dabbed it in the in goal and that, along with great discipline, ensured that Saints time and time and time again failed to make the half way line with their sets of six. I think we will have to see that kind of kicking game from him if we are to claim trophies again this year.

Now then, 10 paragraphs and I haven't even mentioned Gareth Hock yet. I've got to say that I find it amazing that some opposition fans on message boards and twitter think it's a down right disgrace that we are giving "drug cheat" Hock a second chance. What has it got to do with them? If he'd have used performance enhancing drugs, like Terry Newton bless him, he wouldn't deserve a second chance but last time I checked cocaine was just a stimulant that gives you a temporary buzz between the ears.

Now personally if people want to take drugs that's their business but for a professional performer in any sport to do it these days has to be a complete prat and that's exactly what Hock was for doing it. But how can anyone say he hasn't paid a massive price for his error? He's had to sit out for two long years why his Wigan team have won a league championship. Surely that is punishment enough?

At the end of the day the only fans who should feel cheated by Hock are us Wigan fans. Who knows but back in 2009 he may have been the difference in the Challenge Cup Semi Final defeat to Warrington or the play off semi final defeat to St Helens? Maybe we've have gone on to win at least one trophy that year if he hadn't have been a prat?

The thing that annoys me most is that these fans who criticise us for retaining Hock but yet probably won't bat an eyelid when Martin Aspinwall (in prison for being convicted of a criminal offence for the second time this year) returns to playing for Castleford. Hock hasn't done anything close to as bad as Aspinwall but yet will have served, in terms of his playing career, a much harsher sentence. I think it's time to give him a break! Yes he was a complete idiot but he has more than served his punish I feel when you compare like for like.

One thing is for sure, Wigan fans are behind him all the way! He's one of our own and that makes a difference. I'm not expecting too much on Saturday to be honest but I hope he has a great game and is willing to pay back us Wigan fans with some top performances over the next few months and years. One thing is for sure, his return will boost the atmosphere and I think we need that! Atmosphere is going to be key if we are to have a big end to the hope campaign. Let's hope we can get on a roll with a big win on Saturday to back up the excellent derby display last week!

19 Man Squads

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

Huddersfield
IN:l (Unchanged)
OUT:l (Unchanged)
Full 19: Scott Grix, Michael Lawrence, Leroy Cudjoe, Lee Gilmour, David Hodgson, Kevin Brown, Eorl Crabtree, Luke Robinson, Darrell Griffin, David Fa'alogo, David Faiumu, Shaun Lunt, Keith Mason, Danny Kirmond, Larne Patrick, Graeme Horne, Jermaine McGillvary, Joe Wardle, Dale Ferguson.

Match Referee

Phil Bentham (Warrington) - Age 39
First Pro Game: Sheffield 34 London Skolars 6 - 22nd February 2004
First Super League Game: Wakefield 30 Hull 32 - 11th September 2005
First Wigan Game: Wigan 36 Huddersfield 20 - 24th February 2006
Finals Officiated: None.

Wigan's Record when this referee is appointed

Wigan have Won 9, Drawn 1 and Lost 15 from 25 appointments.
This Season: Won 2, Drawn 1 and Lost 0 from 3 appointments.

Video Referee

Steve Ganson (St Helens)

Current Super League XVI League Positions

  Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
2nd Huddersfield Giants 18 13 0 5 495 290 +205 26
3rd Wigan Warriors 17 11 3 3 472 273 +199 25

Wigan v Huddersfield Player Stat Leaders

- Wigan Huddersfield League Leader
Top Try Scorer Sam Tomkins 13

Jermaine McGillvary 10

Welham/Yeaman 17
Top Goal Scorer Pat Richards 48

Danny Brough 67

Brett Hodgson 92
Top Points Scorer Pat Richards 136

Danny Brough 163

Brett Hodgson 228
Top Try Assister Sam Tomkins 8

Danny Brough 10

Daniel Holdsworth 20
Top Metre Maker Sam Tomkins 2360m

J.McGillvary 2237m

James Roby 3609m
Top Ball Carrier Sam Tomkins 316

Scott Grix 265

James Roby 663
Top Tackle Buster Sam Tomkins 92

Scott Grix 63

Sam Tomkins 92
Top Clean Breaker Sam Tomkins 22

Jermaine McGillvary 17

Sam Tomkins 22
Top Offloader George Carmont 20

David Faiumu 42

Chris Bailey 46
Top Attacking Kicker Brett Finch 54

Danny Brough 124

Rangi Chase 137
Top General Kicker Sam Tomkins 93

Danny Brough 210

Danny Brough 210
Top DH Runner Mike McIlorum 219

Luke Robinson 166

James Roby 552
Top Tackler Sean O'Loughlin 511

Lee Gilmour 427

James Roby 738
Top Marker Tackler Liam Farrell 85

Faiumu/Crabtree 58

C.Fitzgibbon 135
Worst Miss Tackler Mike McIlorum 29

Jermaine McGillvary 24

Elliott Whitehead 58
Most Errors Josh Charnley 23

Kevin Brown 23

Luke Gale 30
Most Pens Conceded Sean O'Loughlin 18

Lee Gilmour 12

Michael Witt 22

Super League Era Head to Head Record including Play Offs

Overall Played 27 Wigan 18 Wins Huddersfield 9 Wins 0 Draws
At Wigan Played 13 Wigan 9 Wins Huddersfield 4 Wins 0 Draws

Super League Form Table - Last Six League Matches Only

- Team W D L F A Diff Sequence (Most Recent on Left) Pts
1 Warrington Wolves 5 0 1 280 70 +210 10
2 Wigan Warriors 4 1 1 208 80 +128 9
3 Huddersfield Giants 4 0 2 164 102 +62 8
4 Leeds Rhinos 4 0 2 156 117 +39 8
5 Catalan Dragons 4 0 2 132 122 +10 8
6 Hull FC 3 1 2 152 104 +48 7
7 Salford City Reds 3 0 3 124 119 +5 6
8 St Helens 2 2 2 136 138 -2 6
9 Bradford Bulls 2 1 3 118 176 -58 5
10 Castleford Tigers 2 1 3 117 204 -87 5
11 Hull Kingston Rovers 2 0 4 123 184 -61 4
12 Wakefield Wildcats 2 0 4 105 173 -68 4
13 Crusaders 1 0 5 124 185 -64 2
14 Harlequins 1 0 5 108 234 -126 2

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

Date Opposition Competition Result Score
17th June St Helens (A) SL 16 Round 18 Won 32-10
12th June Castleford (A) SL 16 Round 17 Draw 22-22
4th June Catalan (A) SL 16 Round 16 Lost 12-20
30th May Hull KR (H) SL 16 Round 15 Won 40-06
22nd May Bradford (A) Challenge Cup R5 Won 26-22
13th May Harlequins (H)

SL 16 Round 14

Won 54-06

Wigan 2011 League Home Record
Played 6: Won 4 and Lost 2 (Ranked: 4th Best in League) - 66.6% Win Rate.

Huddersfield Form Guide - Last Six Matches - Won 5 Lost 1

Date Opposition Competition Result Score
18th June Catalan (H) SL 16 Round 18 Won 28-20
12th June Wakefield (A) SL 16 Round 17 Lost 10-13
5th June Castleford (H) SL 16 Round 16 Won 40-18
29th May Hull FC (A) SL 16 Round 15 Won 34-20
22nd May Catalans (H) Challenge Cup R5 Won 30-16
14th May St Helens (H) SL 16 Round 14 Won 40-18

Huddersfield 2011 League Away from Home Record
Played 9: Won 5 and Lost 4 (Ranked: Sixth Best in League) - 55.5% Win Rate.

Last Six Meetings at DW Stadium

Date Opposition Report
15th August 2010 Wigan Warriors 16 Huddersfield Giants 18 Click Here
27th March 2009 Wigan Warriors 08 Huddersfield Giants 22 Click Here
25th July 2008 Wigan Warriors 04 Huddersfield Giants 34 Click Here
10th August 2007 Wigan Warriors 20 Huddersfield Giants 12 Click Here
18th August 2006 Wigan Warriors 14 Huddersfield Giants 10 Click Here
24th Feb 2006 Wigan Warriors 36 Huddersfield Giants 20 Click Here

Ticket Details

Stand ConAdultsiors Concs/Juniors
West Stand Gold £22 £16
West Stand Blue £21 £15
East Stand Silver £20 £14
East Stand Red £19 £13
South Stand SOLD OUT SOLD OUT
North Stand (Visitors) £18 £12

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

UK TV Coverage

LIVE Saturday 5:30pm
Highlights Late Sat 1:30am
Highlights Sunday 7:30am
Highlights Sunday 10:55pm -
Highlights Monday 4:30pm

Radio Commentary

102.4 Wish FM - Full uninterrupted match commentary with the commentary team of Graham Lovett and Andy Gregory.

BBC Radio Manchester (95.1FM) - On air from 5pm to 8pm for Full Match Commentary.

Bilko's Statistical prediction.

The stats suggest a Draw.

Weather Forecast

Weather looks poor with heavy rain forecast.

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