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Match Preview: Huddersfield (A) - 18th May 2012 at Galpharm Stadium
Posted by cherryandwhite on May 17 2012 - 02:11

Huddersfield Giants v Wigan Warriors - Stobart Super League XVII Round 14.
Friday 18th May 2012. Kick Off 8:00pm at Galpharm Stadium.

Match Preview

Hard to imagine that Huddersfield v Wigan in a league game could be bigger than last week's knockout Challenge Cup match against St Helens but I suppose this game is.

1st v 2nd is what we have and it's obviously a big game for Wigan ahead of another meeting with St Helens at the Magic Weekend, then back to back trips to Leeds and Catalan.

A win here would certainly take the pressure off in the fixtures to follow, but I think the bigger pressure is on Huddersfield. Can they prove they can genuinely compete for the Super League title and/or the Challenge Cup?

I mean here's a fact that should make them genuine title contenders. Since Nathan Brown became their coach in 2009, in Super League regular seasons Huddersfield have only achieved one point less that Leeds, who have won two titles in that period.

Overall in that time frame Wigan are top having amassed 137 points, Saints 130, Warrington 127, Leeds 122 and Huddersfield 121. Looking at that, you cannot argue that Huddersfield have competed consistently against the big boys in terms of points, but yet personally I have never taken them seriously as title contenders and still don't to be honest.

Why? Because I don't think they have produced a performance in all that time to prove they can do it. They've been good at the start of seasons at times and good at the back end of the season at times. I mean they deservedly beat us in Round 1 at Wigan this year but I don't think that meant anything in the grand scheme of things. They've never put a full season together and I'd argue that it is now, this period coming up, the mid season, that is most important for a side that needs to prove itself to itself that it can take the next big step towards winning trophies.

Huddersfield have never, off my memory, had a big mid season away win that has made you sit up and notice, whether in league and cup. I mean last mid season the Giants lost away at Wigan, Warrington and St Helens and miserable failure in all three of those challenges is, for me, why their season eventually wilted into nothingness. They also got humbled out of the cup away at Castleford last mid season as well, whilst Warrington spanked them at home the previous year in that competition.

Some may argue that Leeds proved that you perhaps don't need a big regular season, but they had past history and experience to draw upon - Huddersfield don't have that. But what the Giants do have is favourable mid season fixtures this campaign. If they can beat us on Friday, their fixture list after this game looks pretty good. Salford, Widnes, Hull KR, London, Hull FC, Castleford and Wakefield is a good run of games.

That easy mid season leaves them with St Helens, Catalan, Warrington and Leeds to play in four of the last six rounds, but it's a run of games though that should light up the importance of this match to them. And perhaps to us also?

I mean for us to get two points clear of Huddersfield would be like getting a two game advantage over them in a way with our points difference looking so healthy. Might seem daft to say with 13 games still to play after this one, but  it could well be the difference between chasing and finishing them off for the rest of the season. Could Huddersfield win two more games than us in the remaining 13 matches if we beat them on Friday? Our record of being the most consistent side over the past three and a half years suggests probably not.

So that's another reason it puts pressure on Huddersfield. A loss to Wigan would be a another mid season potential confidence boosting game they'll have failed in, but also it would leave them with a lot of work to do to claw back 1st place. Not only chasing Wigan but also probably Warrington as well. They'd then have a load of tough games around the Challenge Cup climax before possible play off trips away to Wigan or Warrington.

I might be being a bit arse tit trying to make this point but my basic bottom line is that victory and defeat for Huddersfield in this match is going to be such a fine margin towards the difference of anticipation for the rest of their season. Lose and they put pressure on themselves. Win and they face a good run of fixtures with pressure off. Massive difference on one result I think! Particularly for a club, like I said earlier, that needs to prove to they can make the step up to trophy lifting.

As for us, we know how we will perform. and that is very well indeed. We couldn't be in better form as we look for our 9th consecutive victory and we know how much we love playing away from the DW Stadium. We've only lost 6 of our last 45 matches away in all competitions to prove that fact! Four of those six losses have come at Catalan, St Helens, Warrington and Leeds which is no shame. It's very rare that we turn out and have a shocking display. Generally if we get beat, we get beat by better opposition than ourselves.

So it is set up perfectly for a ding-dong battle in front of the tv cameras. This is the litmus test for the Giants though. Their will be no bigger fillet for them than seeing off Wigan this Friday. I'll be going to the Galpharm looking for them to impress me to be honest. Last year we went with a weakened side in March and won 20-6, in a match that was also a winner goes top battle. Huddersfield failed that night. They dominated us for long periods but in the end lost despite us having the likes of Sam Tomkins, Martin Gleeson, Pat Richards, Paul Deacon, Stuart Fielden, Joel Tomkins and Brett Finch all absent.

So can the Giants do a number on us? If they do I will sit up and take notice. If they don't, I'll be writing their title chances off again to be honest, and putting my money on Wigan seeing out the league leaders shield, no matter what happens in the three games following this one.

19 Man Squads

Wigan
IN:l Dom Crosby
OUT:l Paul Prescott
Fulll19:l

Sam Tomkins, Josh Charnley, Darrell Goulding, George Carmont, Brett Finch, Thomas Leuluai, Michael McIlorum, Lee Mossop, Harrison Hansen, Gareth Hock, Sean O'Loughlin, Jeff Lima, Liam Farrell, Chris Tuson, Epalahame Lauaki, Gil Dudson, Anthony Gelling, Jack Hughes, Dom Crosby

Huddersfield
IN:l David Fa'alogo
OUT:l Luke O'Donnell
Fulll19:l

Scott Grix, Michael Lawrence, Leroy Cudjoe, Lee Gilmour, Jermaine McGillvary, Kevin Brown, Danny Brough, Eorl Crabtree, Luke Robinson, Keith Mason, David Fa?alogo, David Faiumu, Larne Patrick, Dale Ferguson, Joe Wardle, Jason Chan, Luke George, Greg Eden, Scott Moore

Match Referee

Ben Thaler (Wakefield) - Age 30
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 19 and Lost 4 (2 draws) from 25 appointments.
This Season: Won 1 and Lost 0 from 1 appointment.

Video Referee

Ian Smith (Oldham)

Current Super League XVII League Positions

  Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1st Wigan Warriors 13 10 0 3 466 217 +249 20
2nd Huddersfield Giants 13 10 0 3 371 203 +168 20

Wigan v Huddersfield Player Stat Leaders

- Wigan Huddersfield League Leader
Top Try Scorer Josh Charnley 16

Luke George 11

Josh Charnley 16
Top Goal Scorer Pat Richards 41

Danny Brough 55

Danny Brough 55
Top Points Scorer Pat Richards 118

Danny Brough 123

Danny Tickle 138
Top Try Assister Sam Tomkins 15

Danny Brough 7

Rangi Chase 19
Top Metre Maker Sam Tomkins 1639m

J.McGillvray 1664m

James Roby 1863m
Top Ball Carrier Sam Tomkins 216

Eorl Crabtree 193

James Roby 398
Top Tackle Buster Sam Tomkins 79

Danny Brough 39

Sam Tomkins 79
Top Clean Breaker Sam Tomkins 19

Greg Eden 14

Sam Tomkins 19
Top Offloader Gareth Hock 34

Jason Chan 15

Gareth Hock 34
Top Attacking Kicker Brett Finch 53

Danny Brough 79

Rangi Chase 101
Top DH Runner Mike McIlorum 191

Luke Robinson 157

James Roby 362
Top Tackler Mike McIlorum 385

Jason Chan 383

Danny Houghton 509
Top Marker Tackler Harrison Hansen 70

Mike Lawrence 68

(2 Players) 89
Worst Miss Tackler Mike McIlorum 22

Scott Grix 21

Dave Allen 39
Most Errors G.Hock/B.Finch 15

Greg Eden 30

Greg Eden 30
Most Pens Conceded Gareth Hock 16

Luke Robinson 14

G.Hock/C.Bailey 16

Wigan v Huddersfield Team Stats Match Ups

- Wigan Hudds League Best League Worst
Total Tries 83

61

Wigan 83

Widnes 30

Total Tries Against 37

32

Huddersfield 32

Widnes 106

Total Points 466

351

Wigan 466

Widnes 173

Total Points Against 217

176

Huddersfield 176

Widnes 598

Total Metres 18205m

17409m

St Helens 19171m

Widnes 13680m

Total Ball Carries 2791

2449

St Helens 2995

Widnes 2216

Metres Per Ball Carry 6.52m

7.10m

Hudd'sfield 7.10m

Wakefield 5.89m

Total Tackle Busts 374

358

Wigan 374

Widnes 185

Total Clean Breaks 113

108

Wigan 113

Widnes 38

Total Offloads 124

98

Salford 200

London 90

Total Attacking Kicks 117

138

Castleford 184

Salford 98

Total Runs from DH 434

374

St Helens 590

Leeds 269

Total Tackles 3754

4052

Salford 4183

Catalan 3361

Total Marker Tackles 604

565

Warrington 634

Catalan 410

Total Missed Tackles 197

219

Wigan 197

Widnes 4264

Total Errors 134

160

St Helens 131

Warrington 203

Pens Conceded Per Game 102

94

Wakefield/Cas 88

Widnes 131

Super League Form Table Last Six Matches

- Team W D L F A Diff Pts Form
1 St Helens 5 0 1 202 74 +128 10
2 Wigan Warriors 5 0 1 216 92 +124 10
3 Catalan Dragons 4 0 2 223 124 +99 8
4 Huddersfield Giants 4 0 2 142 99 +41 8
5 Warrington Wolves 4 0 2 178 150 +28 8
6 Hull FC 4 0 2 152 150 +2 8
7 Hull Kingston Rovers 3 0 3 160 150 +10 6
8 Bradford Bulls 3 0 3 121 112 +9 6
9 Leeds Rhinos 3 0 3 128 142 -14 6
10 Castleford Tigers 3 0 3 150 172 -22 6
11 Wakefield Wildcats 3 0 3 106 172 -66 6
12 Salford City Reds 1 0 5 120 158 -38 2
13 London Broncos 1 0 5 132 199 -67 2
14 Widnes Vikings 1 0 5 72 216 -144 2

Super League Era Head to Head Record including Play Offs

Overall Played 30 Wigan 20 Wins Huddersfield 10 Wins 0 Draws
At Huddersfield Played 14 Wigan 9 Wins Huddersfield 5 Wins 0 Draws

Last Six Meetings at Galpharm Stadium

Date Opposition Report
18th Mar 2011 Huddersfield Giants 06 Wigan Warriors 20 Click Here
16th May 2010 Huddersfield Giants 30 Wigan Warriors 38 Click Here
13th Sept 2009 Huddersfield Giants 48 Wigan Warriors 16 Click Here
16th Mar 2008 Huddersfield Giants 19 Wigan Warriors 20 Click Here
15th Apr 2007 Huddersfield Giants 41 Wigan Warriors 16 Click Here
22nd Apr 2006 Huddersfield Giants 14 Wigan Warriors 46 Click Here

Hot & Cold Try Scoring Streaks

HOT:l SamlTomkins l 9 Tries in his last 5 appearances.
HOT:l JoshlCharnley l 9 Tries in his last 6 appearances.
HOT:l JoshlCharnley l 8 Tries in 7 away appearances this season.
HOT:l AnthonylGelling l 3 Tries in his last 4 appearances.
HOT:l SeanlO'Loughlin l 2 Tries in his last 3 appearances.
COLD:l MikelMcIlorum l No Tries in last 16 away games since Crusaders (A) - 1st May 2010
COLD:l EriclLauaki l Never Scored in 14 Wigan appearances so far
COLD:l HarrisonlHansen l No Tries in his last 9 appearances since Widnes (A)
COLD:l JacklHughes l No Tries in his last 7 appearances since Catalan (H)
COLD:l GeorgelCarmont l No Tries in his last 4 appearances since St Helens (A)

Ticket Details

Stand ConAdultsiors Concessions Under 16s
Pink Link Stand ?21 ?15 ?8

UK TV Coverage

Live Coverage Friday 7:30pm
Post Match Friday 10:00pm
1 Hour Highlights Friday Midnight
Red Button Replay Friday 1:00am
1 Hour Highlights Saturday 6:30am
Red Button Replay Saturday 7:30am
1 Hour Highlights Monday 9:00am
Red Button Replay Monday 10:00am
Free to Air Highlights Monday 11:55pm

International TV Coverage (All Times Local)

Australia LIVE Saturday 5:15am (Sydney) Eurosport HD
UAE (Dubai) LIVE Friday 10:30pm OSN Sports 2 -
Eqypt LIVE Friday 9:30pm OSN Sports 2 -
Russia LIVE Friday 11:00pm NTV Sport -
USA Delay Friday 5:00pm (Eastern) Fox Soccer Plus HD
New Zealand Delay Saturday 6:00pm Maori Television -
Note: Eurosport Australia's coverage is scheduled to join "in progress" at conclusion of Live Tennis.
Note: OSN Sports is Available across many countries in Middle East/North Africa.

Radio Commentary

102.4 Wish FM - Full Match Commentary from 8:00pm.

BBC Radio Manchester (95.1FM) - Main Commentary match whilst also carrying updates on Salford v Bradford.

Bilko's Statistical prediction.

The stats suggest a Wigan Win by 4 Points.

Weather Forecast

Cloudy. Possible Shower.

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