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Match Preview: Catalan (H) - 4th March 2012 at DW Stadium
Posted by cherryandwhite on March 02 2012 - 12:03

Wigan Warriors v Catalan Dragons - Stobart Super League XVII Round 5.
Sunday 4th March 2012. Kick Off 3:00pm at DW Stadium.

Match Preview

"Catalan are the real deal" - that seemed to be the conclusion after the dramatic last gasp win at St Helens they got last weekend, but I don't buy it. To me, that win proves nothing. This Sunday will be the real litmus test when they come here to Wigan.

Why don't I buy it? Well, the end result kind of glossed over the fact they trailed 26-8 after an hour. I even tweeted around that time that they looked "vastly over-rated". Yes, that tweet made a mug of me come full time, but being 18 points down with 20 minutes to go is not the sign of a top draw side.

Granted the comeback was superb but I question massively whether that said more about St Helens than it did for Catalan Dragons. Simply because Saints also had a 14-0 lead the week previous at Hull KR but couldn't control that lead either. That is a sign of massive weakness at Saints and leaves you wondering if the loss of James Graham just might be one experienced head to leave too far for those youngsters there.

Anyway, Catalan can obviously prove they are potential title contenders by coming here and beating us, absolutely no doubt about that. Like I said, this is the big test for them but perhaps for us as well? We've had three excellent performances I think since the disappointing opening day defeat to Huddersfield, but ending Catalan's 100% record in good style would be massive, especially considering we play the two winless sides (Widnes and London) after this one.

Worth noting also that Catalan also needed a comeback to beat Castleford two weeks ago at home. They needed to score four of the five second half tries to win that game 28-20, so whilst they are proving strong late in games, they are also being put in losing positions and if we do that, I can't see our defence collapsing.

If you look at the stats down the page, they show that Wigan will need to be up to scratch in the tackle. Catalan make, on average, twice as many offloads per game than we do, so if we can keep that tight, we'll take away a lot of their effectiveness in attack.

I suppose in essence what Catalan have to prove is whether they can defend. It's alright winning games but eventually conceding over 20 points per match will catch up with you. The top sides in Super League have generally conceded about 14 points per match in recent years. Wigan so far this season are conceding just 12 points a game, whereas Catalan are conceding 21, so in that regard they are still way off the mark. We're also scoring 10 points more per game than the French, so they have a lot of making up to do in both attack and defence. If we can keep them down to less than 20 in defence, I can't see them matching it!

So, for all that I've got to be honest, I'm confident for this one. The biggest factor I think will be Shuan Wane using last years 47-28 home humbling at the hands of Catalan as motivation. I still think in hindsight that our players were just caught on the hop that night by rumours, which were confirmed a week later, that Michael Maguire was to depart at the end of that season. It's the only thing that makes sense because that was the stand out uncharacteristic performance of the last two years. Catalan played brilliantly that night, but, perhaps significantly, still conceded 28 to us. We won't defend that poorly again and that's why I'm confident of victory here. If the French do come in and win though, we will all have to sit up and take notice! Interesting afternoon in prospect!

19 Man Squads

Wigan
IN:l Ben Flower
OUT:l Tom Spencer
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, Liam Farrell, Chris Tuson, Epalahame Lauaki, Ben Flower, Anthony Gelling, Joe Mellor, Jack Hughes

Catalan
IN:l Louis Anderson
OUT:l Ben Fisher
Fulll19:l

Clint Greenshields, Damien Blanch, Leon Pryce, Setaimata Sa, Thomas Bosc, Scott Dureau, David Ferriol, Ian Henderson, R?mi Casty, Steve Menzies, Louis Anderson, Gr?gory Mounis, S?bastien Raguin, Jean-Philippe Baile, Daryl Millard, Jamal Fakir, Lopini Paea, Jason Baitieri, Vincent Duport.

Match Referee

Richard Silverwood (Dewsbury) - Age 35
First Pro Game: York 20 Batley 20 - 28th March 1999
First Super League Game: Halifax 30 Salford 18 - 6th May 2001
First Wigan Game: Wakefield 14 Wigan 30 - 1st May 2002

Wigan's Record when this referee is appointed

Wigan have Won 34, Drawn 2 and Lost 14 from 50 appointments.
This Season: Won 0 and Lost 1 from 1 appointment.

Video Referee

Not in use for this fixture

Current Super League XVII League Positions

  Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
2nd Wigan Warriors 4 3 0 1 136 46 +90 6
4th Catalan Dragons 3 3 0 0 96 64 +32 6

Wigan v Catalan Player Stat Leaders

- Wigan Catalan League Leader
Top Try Scorer Josh Charnley 7

Daryl Millard 4

Josh Charnley 7
Top Goal Scorer Pat Richards 19

Scott Dureau 14

Danny Brough 21
Top Points Scorer Pat Richards 50

Scott Dureau 32

(2 Players) 50
Top Try Assister Sam Tomkins 6

Steve Menzies 4

Rangi Chase 7
Top Metre Maker Sam Tomkins 642m

Ian Henderson 344m

James Roby 657m
Top Ball Carrier Sam Tomkins 96

Ian Henderson 61

James Roby 128
Top Tackle Buster Sam Tomkins 22

Jason Batieri 11

Sam Tomkins 22
Top Clean Breaker Sam Tomkins 7

Thomas Bosc 4

Sam Tomkins 7
Top Offloader Gareth Hock 12

Steve Menzies 9

Gareth Hock 12
Top Attacking Kicker Brett Finch 18

Scott Dureau 21

Rangi Chase 40
Top General Kicker Brett Finch 29

Scott Dureau 31

Rangi Chase 53
Top DH Runner Mike McIlorum 65

Ian Henderson 35

James Roby 113
Top Tackler Harrison Hansen 134

Ian Henderson 128

James Roby 173
Top Marker Tackler Lee Mossop 22

Ian Henderson 24

Anthony Laffranchi 31
Worst Miss Tackler Mike McIlorum 10

V.Duport/T.Bosc 5

Michael Monaghan 14
Most Errors Gareth Hock 6

Daryl Millard 7

Craig Hall 11
Most Pens Conceded L.Mossop/G.Hock 5

(3 Players) 4

(3 Players) 7

Wigan v Catalan Team Stats Match Ups

- Wigan Catalan League Best League Worst
Tries For Per Game 6

5.6

Warrington 7

Widnes 3

Tries Against Per Game 2

4

Wigan 2

Widnes 8

Goals For Per Game 5

4.6

St Helens 6

Wakefield 2

Goals Against Per Game 2

3

(2 Teams) 2

Widnes 6

Points For Per Game 34

24

Warrington 36

Widnes 14

Points Against Per Game 12

21

Wigan 12

Widnes 45

Metres Per Game 1500 Metres

1448 Metres

Wigan 1500m

Wakefield 950m

Carries Per Game 230

226

Wigan 230

Wakefield 154

Metres Per Ball Carry 6.53 Metres

6.6 Metres

Huddersfield 7m

London 5.7m

Tackle Busts Per Game 25

19

Huddersfield 31

Bradford 13

Clean Breaks Per Game 8

7

(3 Teams) 8

London 2

Offloads Per Game 9

18

Warrington 20

London 6

Attacking Kicks Per Game 12

12

Castleford 16

Salford 6

General Kicks Per Game 20

17

Castleford 22

(2 Teams) 13

Runs from DH Per Game 36

34

Bradford 41

Wakefield 18

Tackles Per Game 307

285

Salford 358

Wakefield 237

Marker Tackles Per Game 51

40

Wigan 51

Leeds 34

Miss Tackles Per Game 15

16

Wakefield 12

Widnes 35

Errors Per Game 8

12

Wigan 8

Warrington 18

Pens Conceded Per Game 7

7

Salford 6

London/Hull 10

Super League Era Head to Head Record including Play Offs

Overall Played 13 Wigan 7 Wins Catalan 6 Wins 1 Draw
At Wigan Played 7 Wigan 5 Wins Catalan 2 Wins 0 Draws

Super League Era - Average Final Score

Overall Since 2006 Wigan Warriors 27 Catalan Dragons 24
At Wigan Since 2006 Wigan Warriors 33 Catalan Dragons 18

Last Six Meetings at DW Stadium

Date Opposition Report
25th Sept 2011 Wigan 44 Catalan 0 (Play Offs) Click Here
8th Apr 2011 Wigan Warriors 28 Catalan Dragons 47 Click Here
26th Feb 2010 Wigan Warriors 58 Catalan Dragons 00 Click Here
10th July 2009 Wigan Warriors 24 Catalan Dragons 22 Click Here
11th Apr 2008 Wigan Warriors 24 Catalan Dragons 26 Click Here
15th June 2007 Wigan Warriors 30 Catalan Dragons 00 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) CLOSED CLOSED

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

UK TV Coverage

Highlights Sunday 10:00pm
Highlights Monday 11:35pm -

Radio Commentary

BBC Radio Manchester (95.1FM) - On Air at 2:00pm with Full Match Commentary at 3:00pm from Jack Dearden and Trevor Hunt.

102.4 Wish FM - Updates only with Graham Lovett during commentary of Huddersfield v St Helens.

Bilko's Statistical prediction.

The stats suggest a Wigan Win by 12 Points.

Weather Forecast

Periods of Rain.

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