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Challenge Cup Match Preview: North Wales Crusaders (H) - 15th April 2012 at DW Stadium.
Posted by cherryandwhite on April 13 2012 - 15:00

Wigan Warriors v North Wales Crusaders - Carnegie Challenge Cup Round 4.
Sunday 15th April 2012. Kick Off 3:00pm at DW Stadium.

Match Preview

Well the draw was certainly kind to Wigan as they get to launch their defence of the Challenge Cup with a home tie against Championship One opposition.

Of course it only seven months ago that we welcomed the previous incarnation of the "Crusaders" for a Super League match here at DW Stadium but this new incarnation is a far cry from the side that lost 42-10 on that night.

Its a shame really that they were such a mess off the field, because on the field I think they did well. First season was tough but making the play offs in 2010 was massive and despite being low in the table last year, I don't recall them getting hammered too often. Even in the Four Nations last year I didn't think Wales disgraced themselves at all. They competed as good as could of been expected.

The sheer fact that Wigan took on three of their players - Ben Flower, "Henderson" Gil Dudson and impressive academy prospect Rhodri Lloyd - highlights how well they did. It's just a shame really that the RFL rushed them into Super League far too soon. Had they waited until this current licensing round I think we would have had a really strong and viable Welsh outfit now on a par maybe with how Catalan Dragons inwere when they started in France.

Now this Crusaders side have been relegated, effectively twice, they are almost back to square one but I hope the development of talent in North and South Wales continues. I mean, Wrexham was always a cracking trip on the two occasions we visited and their support, albeit small in number, always proved passionate and I'm sure they'll show it in the North corner of the East Stand on Sunday.

Shaun Wane has chosen to rest Brett Finch, Harrison Hansen and Jeff Lima for this contest which I think is absolutely spot on myself. Finch has played every game this season whilst Hansen literally battered himself last week so if anyone deserves a rest it's him. In Lee Mossop's absence, Jeff Lima's involvement is even more imperative for me so I think rested him is wise also.

The key to resting those though is that we don't go too far like we did against Widnes. Keep Sam and Tommy out on the park and we have more than enough to beat this Welsh side. Then once the game is won you can wrap those two up in cotton wool on the bench and do a bit of experimenting hopefully in the later stages of the game.

Wane has the luxury of welcoming back Liam Farrell but Sean O'Loughlin won't be risked ahead of our league trip to the unbeaten at home Hull FC. He also has Matty Russell replacing Anthony Gelling (no idea what's up with Gelling) whilst adding Ryan King and Dom Crosby to the 19.

It'll be interesting to see who he omits from the 19 in the end. I'd like to see both King (winger) and Crosby (prop forward) get a game. Both would have been given a run out in pre season at least I'm sure this year but for injuries, however its hard to pick who you would leave out to play these two.

Whatever the team I can't say I'm too worried about the opposition. I'd back them to be spirited enough to claim perhaps a try or two but we will have too much class for them. We just need to do a professional job to get ourselves in the hat for the Round 5 Draw which is on Monday at 3:00pm.

19 Man Squad

Wigan
IN:l Liam Farrell, Matty Russell, Ryan King, Dom Crosby
OUT:l Brett Finch, Harrison Hansen, Jeff Lima, Anthony Gelling
Fulll19:l

Sam Tomkins, Josh Charnley, Darrell Goulding, George Carmont, Thomas Leuluai, Paul Prescott, Michael McIlorum, Gareth Hock, Liam Farrell, Chris Tuson, Epalahame Lauaki, Gil Dudson, Joe Mellor, Jack Hughes, Matty Russell, Logan Tomkins, Ryan King, Tom Spencer, Dom Crosby.

North Wales
Fulll19:l

Tommy Johnson, Adam Walsh, Sam Broadbent, Leon Brennan, Rob Massam, Billy Sheen, Jamie Durbin, Jonny Walker, Lee Hudson, Owain Brown, Jamie Clarke, Jono Smith, Iwan Brown, Owain Griffiths, Chris Tyrer, Mark Harmon, Simon Stevens, Chris Lunt, Chris Kinsey.

Match Referee

George Stokes (Wigan)
First Pro Game: Barrow 62 Hunslet Warriors 0 - 7th March 2010
First Super League Game: Yet to Referee at Super League Level
First Wigan Game: First Appointment

Wigan's Record when this referee is appointed

First Time with this referee.

Video Referee

Not Applicable for this Fixture

Challenge Cup Head to Head Records

First Challenge Cup Meeting.

Full List of Previous Challenge Cup Ties

No Previous Meetings.

Ticket Details

Stand ConAdultsiors Concs/Juniors
West Stand ?15 ?10
East Stand ?15 ?10
South Stand CLOSED CLOSED
North Stand (Visitors) CLOSED CLOSED

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

Local Radio Commentary

102.4 Wish FM - On Air from 2:50pm with Full Match Uninterrupted Commentary.

BBC Radio Manchester (95.1FM) - Will have part commentary whilst also covering Salford's trip to Whitehaven.

Weather Forecast

Bright Day expected but not that warm for it.

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