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Match Preview: Leeds (H) - 11th February 2012 at DW Stadium
Posted by cherryandwhite on February 10 2012 - 02:18

Wigan Warriors v Leeds Rhinos - Stobart Super League XVII Round 2.
Saturday 11th February 2012. Kick Off 5:45pm at DW Stadium.

Match Preview

Well, last week did not go to plan did it? It now puts huge pressure on us going into this Leeds game and the last thing we needed was a suspension to Liam Farrell and more importantly an injury in the centres to George Carmont, the one position we really couldn't afford to get an injury.

Plenty of panic around after that one defeat but personally I couldn't be more calm. I'd be calm even if we lose on Saturday to be honest. Why? Well I bring up this point again that I made in my Season Preview back on January 11th......

"I feel we may have to have a patient twelve months before (Shaun Wane) can really be judged. Why? Well I just think our squad has too many questions and not enough answers this time round."

I think we're already seeing that proven and clearly, looking at the 19 man squad, coach Wane has decided that Anthony Gelling isn't ready for action, so that leaves us with a bigger hole to fill in the centres. Jack Hughes looks likely to fill in, but its a gamble with it being an alien role for him. But like I said last week, we need to experiment with the youngsters to improve our squad depth, so maybe now is the best time to do that?

The loss last week, on top of the injury/suspensions, will have many predicting a Leeds win here but Wigan can compete. I'll say again, perhaps it was good that we only lost narrowly to Huddersfield considering that pretty much all our key players were way off the pace? Sam Tomkins, Brett Finch, Thomas Leuluai, Mike McIlorum and Sean O'Loughlin might has well have sat in deckchairs for 80 minutes because they, uncharacteristically, made very little impact on the game. Ok, Sam scored a try but for his high standards, he was quiet and O'Loughlin was missing some bad tackles, totally not like him at all.

You simply cannot have the spine of your team all off key. I mean if Leeds turn up here on Saturday with Brent Webb, Danny McGuire, Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield all putting in quiet, ineffective performances - would you still back Leeds to win? I'd give them no chance!

Last week all pointed towards Wane having got his pre season match preparation totally wrong. Under Madge the boys always reacted well to defeats, so this week should tell us an awful lot. I expect a big reaction and will take that even if we lose again.

I mentioned likely that Jack Hughes will come in, in place of Carmont, but the other hole to fill is replacing the Ginger Pearl, Liam Farrell, who was outstanding against the Giants. What a shame he picked up a ban. The 19 man squad suggests it'll be Tom Spencer to get the nod for a debut. He's had an excellent pre season and has took his chance well because I think fellow reserve prop Dom Crosby who have been ahead of him had he not been injured this pre season.

I've said before, Spencer came out the shadows somewhat when Crosby went out on dual-reg to Widnes last year and had an excellent second half of the Under 20s season. He also had experience of touring South Africa with a BARLA Under 18s side in 2010.

The fact Greg Burke is in the 19 shows that Wane is going to have a hell of a lot of faith in the youngsters in our academy and that opportunities are their for them to aim for. I like Burke a lot but I'm not sure I'd make him quite ready for the first team but he's similar to Farrell in many respects because he has an elusive bit of pace on him. I don't expect him to figure here at all but the fact he has made a 19 man squad must be a huge boost of confidence for him.

So, my summation of this preview is that I wouldn't be surprised if we won. I don't expect it though, but I'm looking at our performance here. I want to see a re-action to last week and I want to see the key men up the spine of the side performing better than they did in the opener. It shouldn't happen, but you can excuse a bit of rustiness in Round 1, not so much in Round 2!

The stats suggest though that this will be an away win. In the last ten years almost half of the victories that the clubs have achieved between them have been away from home, that's seven away wins each. So it is a fixture that favours the travelling side. However, Wigan have won four of the last six meetings here at the DW! So let's hope its a Cherry and White night of celebration on Saturday Night and we're not left regretting going the match instead of watching that brilliant programme "Take me Out" on (sh)ITV ;-).

19 Man Squads

Wigan
IN:l Joe Mellor, Jack Hughes, Greg Burke
OUT:l George Carmont, Liam Farrell, Sam Powell
Fulll19:l

Sam Tomkins, Josh Charnley, Darrell Goulding, Pat Richards, Brett Finch, Thomas Leuluai, Michael McIlorum, Lee Mossop, Harrison Hansen, Gareth Hock, Sean O'Loughlin, Jeff Lima, Chris Tuson, Epalahame Lauaki, Ben Flower, Joe Mellor, Jack Hughes, Greg Burke, Tom Spencer.

Leeds
IN:l

(No Changes)

OUT:l

(No Changes)

Fulll19:l

Brent Webb, Kallum Watkins, Zak Hardaker, Ryan Hall, Danny McGuire, Rob Burrow, Kylie Leuluai, Paul McShane, Jamie Peacock, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Carl Ablett, Kevin Sinfield, Lee Smith, Brett Delaney, Ryan Bailey, Chris Clarkson, Weller Hauraki, Darrell Griffin, Richard Moore.

Match Referee

Thierry Alibert (France) - Age 41
First Pro Game: Northern Ford Premiership Match - 2001
First Super League Game: Leeds 46 Huddersfield 8 - 11th July 2008
First Wigan Game: Harlequins 18 Wigan 24 - 28th February 2009

Wigan's Record when this referee is appointed

Wigan have Won 11 and Lost 3 from 14 appointments.
This Season: First Appointment

Video Referee

Richard Silverwood

Current Super League XVII League Positions

  Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
2nd Leeds Rhinos 1 1 0 0 34 16 +18 2
9th Wigan Warriors 1 0 0 1 16 20 -4 0

Super League Era Head to Head Record including Play Offs

Overall Played 49 Wigan 27 Wins Leeds 18 Wins 4 Draws
At Wigan Played 23 Wigan 13 Wins Leeds 9 Wins 1 Draw

Super League Era - Average Final Score

Overall Since 1996 Wigan Warriors 22 Leeds Rhinos 21
At Wigan Since 1996 Wigan Warriors 24 Leeds Rhinos 17
Overall Last Five Years Wigan Warriors 20 Leeds Rhinos 20
At Wigan Last Five Years Wigan Warriors 23 Leeds Rhinos 17

Last Six Meetings at DW Stadium

Date Opposition Report
1st July 2011 Wigan Warriors 26 Leeds Rhinos 24 Click Here
12th Sept 2010 Wigan 26 Leeds 27 (Play Off) Click Here
26th March 2010 Wigan Warriors 24 Leeds Rhinos 04 Click Here
24th July 2009 Wigan Warriors 28 Leeds Rhinos 10 Click Here
22nd Aug 2008 Wigan Warriors 16 Leeds Rhinos 52 Click Here
4th July 2008 Wigan Warriors 23 Leeds Rhinos 22 Click Here

Ticket Details

Stand ConAdultsiors Concs/Juniors
West Stand Gold ?23 ?17
West Stand Blue ?22 ?16
East Stand Silver ?21 ?15
East Stand Red ?20 ?14
South Stand ?19 ?13
North Stand (Visitors) ?19 ?13

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

UK TV Coverage

Live Coverage Saturday 5:30pm
Replay Saturday 11:00pm
Replay Sunday 4:00am
Replay Sunday 10:00am
Replay Sunday 3:00pm
Replay Monday 9:00am
Free to Air Highlights Monday 11:35pm -

Radio Commentary

Wish FM (102.4FM) - Full uninterrupted match commentary from 5:30pm with commentary from Graham Lovett and Mick Cassidy.

BBC Radio Manchester (95.1FM) - Commentary from 5:30pm from Trevor Hunt.

BBC 5 Live Sports Extra (DAB Digital) - National Radio Commentary from 5:45pm with Dave Woods, Stuart Pyke and summariser Ian Millward.

Bilko's Statistical prediction.

The stats suggest a Leeds Win by 22 Points.

Weather Forecast

Cold with the temperature around freezing point.

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