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CherryandWhite.co.uk Match Preview: Warrington (A) - Challenge Cup Quarter Final 23.07.11 at HJ Stadium
Posted by Bilko on July 21 2011 - 14:53

Warrington Wolves v Wigan Warriors - Carnegie Challenge Cup Quarter Final.
Saturday 23rd July 2011. Kick Off 4:30pm at Halliwell Jones Stadium.

Match Preview

Well then. A dull, boring match to look forward to on Saturday eh? Hmmm, my belly isn't agreeing with that. This is a huge game. League Champions against the Cup Holders - it doesn't get any bigger than that, and it's only a Quarter Final!

When Saturday comes round 61 days will have passed since the draw was made and very little has changed in those two months. Both sides have won 7 league games since that draw with Wigan's game in hand nudging them one point clear at the top of the table.

Now it is fair to say that Warrington have produced some superb rugby league this season but Wigan should not be in fear going into the Halliwell Jones Stadium. Our old hoo-doo at the venue has been crushed by Michael Maguire who has won three out of three trips to the place since he came in. Granted two of them were in pre season games but they were certainly full bloodied "friendlies".

Wigan should also look at their away record under Maguire. I think it actually suits us to play this game away from home because in 35 matches away from the DW since he took over, we've lost just three. That is a phenomenal record that he, and his team, should be proud of. Especially when you consider that two of those three defeats came to tries scored, by Bradford and Leeds respectively, in the final two minutes of each contest. So we know how to win games away from home.

It is fair to say that Warrington did a proper job on Wigan when they visited us in March. The won 24-6 at the DW and deserved their victory but let me list who we can call upon this Saturday, who didn't play on that night........

Pat Richards, Paul Deacon, Joel Tomkins, Gareth Hock, Ben Cross.

........plus back then we had a non match fit Brett Finch who was forced into making a difficult debut because of those absences.

So their are five players (plus a fully fit Finch) who are pretty much added to our team this weekend who didn't play last March. Massive difference. Pat is immediate fire power and goal kicking. Deacon is your tactical kicking threat, we saw a fully fit Finch totally dominate St Helens away last month and Hock and Cross are a huge boost to the pack. Particularly Hock is he repeats his form from last week's contest against Wakefield. (Edit: Although looking at the 19 he's going to have to make a difficult decision on who to omit in the pack. Cross might not even make it? It say's a lot about our squad depth.)

I haven't even mentioned Stuart Fielden yet. Now coach Michael Maguire is saying he is knocking on the door to play but I'm pleased that he has decided not to risk him. We should be confident of winning without Stuart, but if we get past this massive game, what a boost it'll be to get Stuart back. I mean our squad (touch wood) is pretty full fit at the moment with Stuart and Eamon O'Carroll back in training.

Those returns, plus the recent additions of Hock and Cross, should give us a real shot at winning the league and cup double this year BUT this game is key. Get past this game and I think we have the squad to go on and win both trophies. In my opinion no one comes close to having the squad depth we have, especially if Warrington is out of the way in terms of the cup.

Now for Wigan to win they clearly have to stifle Warrington's clinical attack. We can't afford to gift them too many penalties because they will kill us. They have scored an average of 38.5 points per game in Super League this season. That is an amazing 35 tries more than us and ours is the second best attack (29.8 points per game).

So that's 35 extra tries scored and yet that hasn't got them top of the table! Staggering really isn't it? I think that actually say's more about Wigan than Warrington. Ok we haven't been as pleasing on the eye as them at times but we must be doing other things right if a team that has scored 35 tries more than us can still be below us in the table.

In fact Warrington's hammering of teams has probably helped us because we've been coming off the park disappointed with 48-6, 38-6, 40-6 and 54-6 type victories that we've racked up in the last couple of months. You could argue also that Warrington's determination to rack up the points has come back to haunt them when they've gotten into tight matches.

I mean, the other week on the message board I was talking about  "champion qualities" and highlighted how Wigan have nicked points from losing positions so often this season. Ok they chucked points to St Helens in Cardiff and at Castleford away but I pointed to nine points we've arguably plucked from the jaw's of defeat.

Hull (H) - They were doing a cracking job on us. 12-8 down with 13 to play and down to 12 men. We nicked a 14-12 win.

Hudds (A) - Not really a rescue effort but to go there without Sam Tomkins, Pat Richards, Paul Deacon, Stuart Fielden, Joel Tomkins and Brett Finch and claim 2 points was a huge effort. Huddersfield battered us that night but we somehow defended them out for ages. Amazing win!

Leeds (A) - The opposite of Cas (A). 22-4 down with 20 to go. Even 22-14 down with 2 minutes and 10 seconds left we earned a point from nothing.

Saints (H) - 56 seconds away from defeat we scored a try to claim the win.

Leeds (H) - Bit of luck for sure but had to come from behind and hang on to win 26-24.

Theirs 9 big points we've earned and if you took those points away we'd be sat in 6th place in the table right now. Compare that to Warrington when they have gotten into tight games. They have not had the same kind of success and had they done so, they would be well clear at the top of the table right now and I'd admit that would be a fairer reflection on the season. Ok they did nick a late win over Hull KR  but Catalan, Hull and Salford have been able to frustrate them, at home, and claim close wins. So that's perhaps a chink in their armour?

At the end of the day I'm not sure all that I've written above will count for much. This will be an all out full bloodied cup tie and it will come down to which team holds their nerve most. Who'll make the least errors, who'll concede the least penalties, who'll have the best kicking game and who'll convert the most pressure. The side that wastes more of it's opportunities will lose!

If Wigan do have an edge, I actually think it comes in the pack. I know Fielden might not play for us but Adrian Morley is a huge loss for Warrington. They may well make up for him physically but mentally not seeing Morley charging in will prove a boost for Wigan.

The biggest key could perhaps be getting ahead. I don't think you want to be chasing down an over two score lead in this tie. I will die though if this goes to Golden Point. It could be that close and I recall going through 9 minutes of it for an academy play off game a couple of years ago and believe me it was tough to watch, and that was only an Under 18s game! Just get the win Wigan, anyway you want, and then I can sod off for a week on holiday with a semi final to return to! Bring it on!

19 Man Squads

IN:l Thomas Leuluai, Paul Prescott, Ryan Hoffman
OUT:l Stuart Fielden, Liam Farrell, Chris Tuson

Full 19: Sam Tomkins, 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, Stefan Marsh, Josh Charnley, Gareth Hock, Ben Cross.

IN:l Mike Cooper, David Solomona
OUT:l Rhys Williams, Rhys Evans

Full 19: Brett Hodgson, Matt King, Chris Bridge, Joel Monaghan, Lee Briers, Richie Myler, Michael Monaghan, Garreth Carvell, Louis Anderson, Ben Westwood, Ben Harrison, Mick Higham, Jon Clarke, Paul Wood, Simon Grix, Mike Cooper, Matty Blythe, Ryan Atkins, David Solomona.

Match Referee

Richard Silverwood (Dewsbury) - Age 35
First Pro Game: York v Batley - March 28th 1999
First Super League Game: Halifax 30 Salford 18 - May 6th 2001
First Wigan Game: Wakefield 14 Wigan 30 - May 1st 2002

Wigan's Record when this referee is appointed

Wigan have Won 31, Drawn 2 and Lost 13 from 46 appointments.
This Season: Won 1, Drawn 2, Lost 1 from 4 appointments.

Video Referee

Ian Smith

Challenge Cup Head to Head Records

Overall Played 19 Wigan 10 Wins Warrington 8 Wins 1 Draw
At Warrington Played 7 Wigan 2 Wins Warrington 4 Wins 1 Draw

Full List of Previous Challenge Cup Ties

Date Round Home Team Away Team
1903-1904 Round 2 Warrington 03 Wigan 00
1904-1905 Quarter Final Warrington 13 Wigan 00
1910-1911 Round 2 Wigan 21 Warrington 12
1929-1930 Quarter Final Wigan 16 Warrington 05
1930-1931 Round 1 Warrington 15 Wigan 02
1932-1933 Quarter Final Wigan 07 Warrington 09
1935-1936 Quarter Final Warrington 05 Wigan 02
1947-1948 Quarter Final Warrington 10 Wigan 13
1950-1951 Semi Final Wigan 03 Warrington 02 (At Swinton)
1966-1967 Round 1 Warrington 19 Wigan 19
1966-1967 R1 Replay Wigan 20 Warrington 03
1973-1974 Quarter Final Wigan 06 Warrington 10
1974-1975 Round 2 Wigan 17 Warrington 24
1984-1985 Round 2 Warrington 14 Wigan 24
1988-1989 Semi Final Wigan 13 Warrington 06 (At Man City FC)
1989-1990 Final Wigan 36 Warrington 14 (At Wembley)
1991-1992 Round 2 Wigan 14 Warrington 00
2004 Semi Final Wigan 30 Warrington 18 (At Widnes)
2009 Semi Final Warrington 39 Wigan 26 (At Widnes)

Wigan Form Guide - Last Six Matches - Won 6 Lost 0

Date Opposition Competition Result Score
15th July Wakefield (H) SL 16 Round 22 Won 48-06
9th July Harlequins (A) SL 16 Round 21 Won 38-06
5th July Castleford (H) SL 16 Round 3 Won 28-16
1st July Leeds (H) SL 16 Round 20 Won 26-24
25th June Huddersfield (H)

SL 16 Round 19

Won 46-12
17th June St Helens (A) SL 16 Round 18 Won 32-10

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

Date Opposition Competition Result Score
16th July Harlequins (A) SL 16 Round 22 Won 54-24
8th July Huddersfield (H) SL 16 Round 21 Won 28-16
1st July Castleford (A) SL 16 Round 20 Won 48-18
24th June St Helens (H) SL 16 Round 19 Won 35-28
19th June Hull KR (A) SL 16 Round 18 Won 46-16
12th June Salford (H) SL 16 Round 17 Lost 16-18

Last Six Meetings at Halliwell Jones Stadium

Date Opposition Report
2nd Feb 2011 Warrington 18 Wigan 24 (Pre Season) Click Here
20th Feb 2010 Warrington Wolves 20 Wigan Warriors 22 Click Here
27th Jan 2010 Warrington 12 Wigan 20 (Pre Season) Click Here
22nd May 2009 Warrington Wolves 16 Wigan Warriors 08 Click Here
8th Mar 2008 Warrington Wolves 32 Wigan Warriors 20 Click Here
5th Aug 2007 Warrington Wolves 43 Wigan Warriors 24 Click Here

Ticket Details

Match is SOLD OUT

UK TV Coverage

Live Coverage Saturday 4:15pm

Presenter: Mark Chapman. Commentary: Dave Woods & John Kear.

International TV Coverage

Egypt Delay Sunday 10:00am OSN Sports 3
Dubai Delay Sunday 12noon OSN Sports 3
Australia Delay Late Sunday Midnight Channel Nine

Radio Commentary

102.4 Wish FM - Full Match Commentary with coverage beginning at 3:00pm. Commentary team will be Mark Wilson and Chris Tuson.

BBC Radio Manchester 95.1FM/DAB - will also have full match commentary with coverage beginning at 4:00pm

BBC Radio 5 Live - National Radio Commentary on 909 medium wave & DAB Digital Radio

Weather Forecast

Cloudy but dry. Perhaps the odd shower.

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