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Match Preview: Bradford (H) - 19th August 2011 at DW Stadium
Posted by Bilko on August 18 2011 - 00:28

Wigan Warriors v Bradford Bulls - Engage Super League XVI Round 25.
Friday 19th August 2011. Kick Off 8:00pm at DW Stadium.

Match Preview

So Wigan are left with one more pain in the arse contest to get out the way before the big one at Wembley. This time the opponents are Bradford who, despite massive effort being put in to increase attendances at Odsal by 70%, have endured yet another miserable season.

After Round 24 last season, Bradford had just suffered their 10th defeat in a row, a run of defeats that had seen now England coach Steve McNamara sacked. Despite that awful run of losses they had still amassed a total of 17 points in the league. Fast forward twelve months, and whilst they haven't had a dire run of defeats like that, the fact they have only improved by 1 point says an awful lot I think.

From the outside, it looks like nothing has changed. Brian Potter has come in, but I don't care if Wayne Bennett went in there, you cannot polish turds. Granted they have had a lot of injury problems this year but I look at the whole squad and just see a load of, what I call, "plodders". I mean look at the 19 man squad for Bradford below and try and pick out a player who puts fear into you! I have respect for Andy Lynch, been a good solid prop over the years, but the rest.....pffft!

It perhaps also says a lot about Bradford that their top try scorer this season, Shad Royston, has rejected a new improved contract offer to go and play in France! Not for Catalan though, but in the French Elite League for Pia Donkeys!

I think the Bradford squad is miles off competing for trophies. I mean I've been writing negative previews about them for four seasons now and nothing is improving. I'm not convinced anything can improve until they finally get round to re-developing Odsal or moving to a new stadium. Finance is clearly lacking!

Now Bradford may well just be able to catch Wigan cold here. I doubt it, but we might get caught out with one eye on Wembley. It'd be a week too late for Bradford though, they blew top 8 chances last week with a miserable display at home to Hull KR.

Wigan just need to get out there and get the job done again, like they did last Sunday. Coach Maguire continues to rest players with Andy Coley, Brett Finch and Lee Mossop all sitting out this one. Paul Deacon and Jeff Lima return after being rested last week and we also see a welcome return for Eamon O'Carroll.

Now I hope Eamon is going to get a bit of luck at the back end of this season because he had to sit out a massive total of 79 matches in the past three seasons. His last first team appearance came away at Huddersfield in May 2010 and he has all of a sudden he's gone from a young prop to being 24 years of age. With Ben Cross getting injured last week he could play a role at the back end of the season and that could be the difference between a new contract and not getting one.

All in all I think we look good for an 11th win in a row, even without those rested. Finch is a bit of a loss because he's been all class in recent weeks. More often than not he has been involved in our tries. If Wigan do make it 11 wins on the spin, it'll be the first time they've achieved that since the 1998 season. They never went on to make it 12 in a row that year though because they lost to a certain side from over in Yorkshire! All I'll say is that if you do believe in omens, you should pray for a defeat this Friday!

19 Man Squads

Wigan
IN:l Paul Deacon, Jeff Lima, Eamon O'Carroll, Jack Hughes
OUT:l Andy Coley (rested), Brett Finch (rested), Lee Mossop (rested), Ben Cross (broken arm)
Full 19: Sam Tomkins, Darrell Goulding, George Carmont, Pat Richards, Paul Deacon, Thomas Leuluai, Michael McIlorum, Harrison Hansen, Joel Tomkins, Sean O'Loughlin, Paul Prescott, Jeff Lima, Ryan Hoffman, Eamon O'Carroll, Liam Farrell, Stefan Marsh, Josh Charnley, Jack Hughes, Gareth Hock.

Bradford
IN:l Paul Sykes, John Bateman
OUT:l Elliott Whitehead (suspended), James Donaldson (shoulder)
Full 19: Michael Platt, Paul Sykes, Patrick Ah Van, Brett Kearney, Marc Herbert, Nick Scruton, Andy Lynch, Olivier Elima, Jamie Langley, Bryn Hargreaves, Craig Kopczak, Ian Sibbit, Gareth Raynor, Danny Addy, Shad Royston, Adam O'Brien, Tom Burgess, John Bateman, Ben Jeffries

Match Referee

Ben Thaler (Wakefield) - Age 29
First Pro Game: Leigh 84 York 1 - 1st July 2001
First Super League Game: London 70 Leigh 16 - 29th May 2005
First Wigan Game: Wigan 38 Hull FC 16 - 15th September 2006

Wigan's Record when this referee is appointed

Wigan have Won 18 and Lost 4 (2 draws) from 24 appointments.
This Season: Won 2 and Lost 0 from 2 appointments.

Video Referee

Richard Silverwood

Current Super League XVI League Positions

  Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1st Wigan Warriors 24 18 3 3 738 371 +367 39
9th Bradford Bulls 24 8 2 14 496 716 -220 18

Wigan v Leeds Player Stat Leaders

- Wigan Bradford League Leader
Top Try Scorer Sam Tomkins 24

Shad Royston 9

Sam Tomkins 24
Top Goal Scorer Pat Richards 86

Patrick Ah Van 76

Brett Hodgson 121
Top Points Scorer Pat Richards 236

Patrick Ah Van 184

Brett Hodgson 308
Top Try Assister Sam Tomkins 15

Marc Herbert 18

(2 Players) 23
Top Metre Maker Sam Tomkins 3394m

Andy Lynch 3001m

James Roby 4682m
Top Ball Carrier Sam Tomkins 445

Andy Lynch 449

James Roby 720
Top Tackle Buster Sam Tomkins 150

Ah Van/Kearney 40

Sam Tomkins 150
Top Clean Breaker Sam Tomkins 35

Elliott Whitehead 10

Sam Tomkins 35
Top Offloader George Carmont 28

Andy Lynch 47

Chris Bailey 57
Top Attacking Kicker Brett Finch 83

Marc Herbert 94

Rangi Chase 170
Top General Kicker Sam Tomkins 123

Marc Herbert 179

Danny Brough 247
Top DH Runner Mike McIlorum 299

Matt Diskin 279

James Roby 720
Top Tackler Sean O'Loughlin 701

Andy Lynch 659

Danny Houghton 965
Top Marker Tackler Mossop/Farrell 114

Olivier Elima 115

Danny Houghton 175
Worst Miss Tackler Mike McIlorum 39

Elliott Whitehead 80

Elliott Whitehead 80
Most Errors Josh Charnley 31

Elliott Whitehead 35

Luke Gale 42
Most Pens Conceded Sean O'Loughlin 23

Elliott Whitehead 19

Michael Witt 28

Super League Era Head to Head Record including Play Offs

Overall Played 42 Wigan 23 Wins Bradford 18 Wins 1 Draw
At Wigan Played 20 Wigan 15 Wins Bradford 4 Wins 1 Draw

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 6 0 0 295 104 +191 12
2 Wigan Warriors 6 0 0 220 86 +134 12
4 Hull Kingston Rovers 5 0 1 223 86 +137 10
3 St Helens 5 0 1 207 105 +102 10
5 Catalan Dragons 4 0 2 200 168 +32 8
6 Hull FC 3 0 3 174 113 +61 6
7 Leeds Rhinos 3 0 3 160 104 +54 6
8 Crusaders 2 0 4 163 144 +19 4
9 Huddersfield Giants 2 0 4 120 167 -47 4
10 Bradford Bulls 2 0 4 128 178 -50 4
11 Salford City Reds 2 0 4 112 191 -79 4
12 Castleford Tigers 2 0 4 122 232 -111 4
13 Harlequins 0 0 6 82 212 -130 0
14 Wakefield Wildcats 0 0 6 62 322 -260 0

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

Date Opposition Competition Result Score
14th August Salford (H) SL 16 Round 24 Won 52-18
6th August St Helens (N) Challenge Cup SF Won 18-12
29th July Hull FC (A) SL 16 Round 23 Won 30-16
23rd July Warrington (A) Challenge Cup QF Won 44-24
15th July Wakefield (H) SL 16 Round 22 Won 48-06
9th July Harlequins (A) SL 16 Round 21 Won 38-06

Wigan 2011 League Home Record
Played 11: Won 9 and Lost 2 (Ranked: Second Best in League) - 81.8% Win Rate.

Bradford Form Guide - Last Six Matches - Won 2 Lost 4

Date Opposition Competition Result Score
14th August Hull KR (H) SL 16 Round 24 Lost 08-34
31st July Warrington (A) SL 16 Round 23 Lost 06-64
17th July Huddersfield (H) SL 16 Round 22 Won 36-00
10th July Castleford (A) SL 16 Round 21 Lost 30-34
2nd July Catalan (H) SL 16 Round 20 Lost 28-34
24th June Leeds (A) SL 16 Round 19 Won 18-12

Bradford 2011 League Away from Home Record
Played 12: Won 3 Drawn 1 Lost 8 (Ranked: 4th Worst in League) - 29.1% Win Rate.

Last Six Meetings at DW Stadium

Date Opposition Report
3rd Sept 2010 Wigan Warriors 34 Bradford Bulls 12 Click Here
7th Mar 2009 Wigan Warriors 44 Bradford Bulls 10 Click Here
1st Mar 2008 Wigan Warriors 28 Bradford Bulls 14 Click Here
6th July 2007 Wigan Warriors 25 Bradford Bulls 18 Click Here
1st Sept 2006 Wigan Warriors 38 Bradford Bulls 16 Click Here
25th Feb 2005 Wigan Warriors 27 Bradford Bulls 28 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 £18 £12
North Stand (Visitors) £18 £12

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

UK TV Coverage

Live Coverage Friday 7:30pm
Replay Late Fri 1:00am
Replay Saturday 8:00am
Highlights Sunday 3:15pm -
Replay Monday 9:00am

Radio Commentary

102.4 Wish FM - Full uninterrupted match commentary from 8pm after the "Ger'rum On Side" pre match show from 7pm.

BBC Radio Manchester (95.1FM) - Main Commentary Match whilst also updating on Salford v Huddersfield.

Bilko's Statistical prediction.

The stats suggest a Wigan Win by 24 Points.

Weather Forecast

Dry Night Expected.

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