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Match Preview: St Helens (A) - 6th April 2012 at Langtree Park
Posted by cherryandwhite on April 05 2012 - 03:42

St Helens v Wigan Warriors - Stobart Super League XVII Round 10.
Good Friday 6th April 2012
. Kick Off 2:45pm at Langtree Park.

Match Preview

I've not wrote a match preview since before the Catalan game and to be honest I've sat back with a bit of frustration at some of our supporters. Mainly at those getting on the back of Shaun Wane. Now granted the Widnes game was a bit of a cock up but I can't believe how some fans are just lacking patience.

It's those in particular who are choosing to compare his efforts already to those of Michael Maguire. Now long term, do that by all means, but not right now. It just isn't fair to compare the guy to Madge because he in his two years had a ton of experience to call upon. I'll list them - Martin Gleeson, Mark Riddell, Andy Coley, Paul Deacon, Phil Bailey, Ryan Hoffman and Stuart Fielden. Their is no overnight substitute for experience, unless you'd rather the club had not offered long term contracts to the likes of Sam Tomkins, Josh Charnley, Liam Farrell, Lee Mossop etc, etc? This is the salary cap world we play in now, you just have to accept it.

So for all that, I don't think Wane's doing too bad. Ok defensive standards have slipped a little bit in the past three weeks but let's look at the flip side. We've scored 37 points more than anyone in attack!

Personally, I really am not worried about how we are going. I think we are really, really close to it all clicking in a match and I really hope its going to come this Friday! I accept that the defence has slipped, but I also think we've improved in other areas. Our pack for example looks far more competitive to me than it ever did under Madge and like I said the attack looks more potent. Eventually, I'm convinced we will balance the two out but seriously some fans need to have a bit of patience, it will all come together I'm convinced!

Now of course its been documented that we do have a few injuries on Friday. Lee Mossop and Liam Farrell in particular are big absences on top of Ben Flower and Eric Lauaki. But look at the Saints squad below. What the hell are you fearing there??? Granted they have two excellent results against Leeds and Warrington but I can't help feeling that a lot of their last two weeks was doing to the opposition as much as them.

I mean for me Leeds were a total joke when they went to Saints. It looked clear to me that they went in to Langtree Park having prepared for facing the Saints side that played at Bradford with zero heart and zero pride in the shirt. Forget the red hair thing, it was plain bad coaching. Whilst I do think some might be getting carried away with Saints last two performances, you should never go into their ground expecting them not to perform. I think Leeds went in with a cocky attitude thinking they'd just roll them over.

Then Warrington last week. Having seen them at Wigan the week before, they didn't look much cop. Sadly we beat ourselves against them but it wasn't really a surprise to see Saints turn them over. Granted I haven't seen any footage but a loss for Warrington had been coming and to be honest they could quite easily have lost themselves the five in a row that Saints did recently. Warrington certainly got away with it at Wigan, and probably at home to Wakefield too, whilst I didn't they weren't that impressive when Sky televised them at Bradford either.

So what I'm saying in a round about way is that I don't think St Helens have proved anything yet. This is the big test for them and you know what. Looking at the two squads listed below, I'm quietly confident and it perhaps says a lot that we can lose Farrell, Mossop, Lauaki and Flower from our pack and yet I'm still confident we will compete very well. Yes our bench might end up looking a bit weak, but I don't think the Saints bench is much cop either. Last week their bench was Shaun Magennis, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Mark Flanagan and Paul Clough. Again, I haven't seen the game but they scored three tries early and then once the interchanges started to come in..........pretty ordinary against a Warrington side making errors for fun?

Obviously, on the evidence of the last two weeks, the first twenty minutes looks like being key, but for me we can't afford to put all our eggs into that basket. I'd leave Jeff Lima on the interchange. He has been doing superbly off the bench so I don't really see the point in changing that. I've no doubt Saints tactics will be to blow us away early and thus I understand that the start is important but we will need a boost later in the game also. For that reason I'd stick Harrison Hansen up to prop and use maybe Jack Hughes, a good does a job pro, in the back row then maybe bring off Hughes for Lima twenty in and revert Hansen back to second row? I'm convinced Lima could do a good sixty minutes coming on from twenty in.

My main hope for this game is that we can have Pat Richards and Sam Tomkins fit. Even if only 70% really, we need them on the park, particularly Pat's goal kicking. If our 19 man squad is a fully fit 19 man squad then I'm quietly confident of victory here. I've seen too many Shaun Wane coached teams over the years, academy and first team assistant, to know that we will be fired up for this game and that's where I draw my confidence from. Might be a bit foolish, but we shall see! Whatever happens, all us fans can do is shout our hearts out even louder! BRING IT ON!

19 Man Squads

Wigan
IN:l Pat Richards, Gil Dudson, Anthony Gelling, Logan Tomkins, Tom Spencer
OUT:l Lee Mossop, Sean O'Loughlin, Liam Farrell, Ben Flower, Matthew Russell
Fulll19:l

Sam Tomkins, Josh Charnley, Darrell Goulding, George Carmont, Pat Richards, Brett Finch, Thomas Leuluai, Paul Prescott, Michael McIlorum, Harrison Hansen, Gareth Hock, Jeff Lima, Chris Tuson, Gil Dudson, Anthony Gelling, Joe Mellor, Jack Hughes, Logan Tomkins, Tom Spencer

St Helens
IN:l Tommy Makinson, Josh Jones
OUT:l Anthony Laffranchi, Gary Wheeler, Paul Wellens
Fulll19:l

Ade Gardner, Michael Shenton, Sia Soliola, Francis Meli, Lance Hohaia, Jonny Lomax, Josh Perry, James Roby, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Tony Puletua, Jon Wilkin, Chris Flannery, Mark Flanagan, Paul Clough, Shaun Magennis, Andrew Dixon, Tommy Makinson, Josh Jones, (A.N Other).

Match Referee

Phil Bentham (Warrington) - Age 40
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: 2011 Challenge Cup Final - Wigan 28 Leeds 24

Wigan's Record when this referee is appointed

Wigan have Won 11, Drawn 1 and Lost 17 from 29 appointments.
This Season: First Appointment.

Video Referee

James Child

Current Super League XVII League Positions

  Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
4th Wigan Warriors 9 6 0 3 310 167 +143 12
7th St Helens 9 4 1 4 248 177 +71 9

Wigan v St Helens Player Stat Leaders

- Wigan St Helens League Leader
Top Try Scorer Josh Charnley 10

Francis Meli 5

J.Charnley/L.George 10
Top Goal Scorer Pat Richards 34

Jamie Foster 18

Scott Dureau 38
Top Points Scorer Pat Richards 92

Jamie Foster 44

Danny Tickle 100
Top Try Assister Sam Tomkins 10

Jonny Lomax 7

Rangi Chase 15
Top Metre Maker Sam Tomkins 1237m

James Roby 1090m

Sam Tomkins 1237m
Top Ball Carrier Mike McIlorum 155

James Roby 225

Danny Houghton 229
Top Tackle Buster Sam Tomkins 53

Paul Wellens 21

Sam Tomkins 53
Top Clean Breaker Sam Tomkins 14

A.Gardner/J.Roby 5

Sam Tomkins 14
Top Offloader Gareth Hock 25

James Roby 13

Gareth Hock 25
Top Attacking Kicker Brett Finch 32

Lee Gaskell 26

Rangi Chase 87
Top General Kicker Brett Finch 64

Lee Gaskell 52

Rangi Chase 113
Top DH Runner Mike McIlorum 145

James Roby 201

James Roby 201
Top Tackler Harrison Hansen 252

Jon Wilkin 293

Rhys Lovegrove 359
Top Marker Tackler Harrison Hansen 44

Jon Wilkin 63

Rhys Lovegrove 78
Worst Miss Tackler Mike McIlorum 17

Lance Hohaia 13

Dave Allen 26
Most Errors Gareth Hock 12

Jonny Lomax 11

Greg Eden 21
Most Pens Conceded Gareth Hock 13

(2 Players) 8

G.Hock/C.Bailey 13

Wigan v St Helens Team Stats Match Ups

- Wigan St Helens League Best League Worst
Tries 54

44

Wigan 54

Widnes 25

Tries Against 28

30

Hull 27

Widnes 72

Points 310

248

Wigan 310

Widnes 145

Points Against 167

177

Hull 134

Widnes 416

Metres 12565 Metres

12814 Metres

St Helens 12814m

Widnes 9821m

Carries 1915

2034

St Helens 2034

Widnes 1572

Metres per Ball Carry 6.56 Metres

6.29 Metres

Hudd'field 6.98m

Wakefield 5.87m

Tackle Busts 242

216

Wigan 242

Bradford 131

Clean Breaks 70

50

Huddersfield 74

Widnes 28

Offloads 92

86

Salford 132

London 66

Attacking Kicks 80

97

Castleford 130

Salford 63

General Kicks 151

199

St Helens 199

Catalans 115

Runs from DH 320

377

Castleford 400

Leeds 187

Tackles 2561

2783

Huddersfield 2910

Catalan 2226

Marker Tackles 409

388

Warrington 460

Leeds 279

Missed Tackles 135

152

Catalan 119

Widnes 286

Errors

93

90

Warrington 150

Hull 88

Penalties Conceded

75

69

Leeds 57

Widnes 87

Super League Era Head to Head Record including Play Offs

Overall Played 57 Wigan 27 Wins St Helens 26 Wins 4 Draws
At St Helens Played 23 Wigan 9 Wins St Helens 12 Wins 2 Draws

Ticket Details

Match is SOLD OUT.

UK TV Coverage

LIVE COVERAGE Good Friday 2:30pm
Highlights Good Friday 11:00pm
Highlights Easter Sat 4:00am
Highlights Easter Sat 6:30am
Highlights Easter Sun 12:35pm

International TV Coverage (All Times Local)

Australia LIVE Good Friday 11:45pm Eurosport HD
Middle East LIVE Good Friday 4:30pm (UAE) OSN Sports 1 HD
USA Delay Good Friday 7pm (Eastern) Fox Soccer Plus -
Russia Delay Good Friday 9:25pm NTV Sport -

Radio Commentary

BBC Radio Manchester (95.1FM) - On Air from 12noon with commentary on Leigh v Swinton in the Championship before building up to full match commentary of St Helens and Wigan from 2:45pm.

102.4 Wish FM - Will be on air from 2:00pm leading to full match commentary from 2:45pm. Commentary team will be Mark Wilson, Mike Bennett and Mick Cassidy.

Bilko's Statistical prediction.

The stats suggest a Wigan Win by 8 Points.

Weather Forecast

Showers expected to pass before kick off. Temp of about 9 degrees.

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