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Match Preview: St Helens (N) - 27th May 2012 @ Etihad Stadium, Manchester City FC
Posted by cherryandwhite on May 25 2012 - 14:11

St Helens v Wigan Warriors - Stobart Super League XVII R15 (Magic Weekend).
Sunday 27th May 2012. Kick Off 6:00pm at Etihad Stadium (Eastlands), Manchester.

Match Preview

Here we are, the fifth annual "Magic Weekend" and the third different venue but same old rubbish fixture list. Not only are we meeting Saints for the third time in eight weeks, but it's a bit of a pisser we face our rivals yet again when our the other top four sides play 10th, 13th and 14th. I mean Warrington and Catalan are literally on a "bye week" for me this weekend. They will have to play with their legs tied together to lose to Widnes and London respectively.

Anyway, our opponents St Helens are proving to be a bit of an enigma at the moment. I mean in two games against Wigan so far this season they have looked dreadful, yet take those two defeats out the equation and they are on an eight match winning streak.

So have Saints played really badly in the two derbies so far, or have Wigan just been too damn good? I suppose we will find out the answer on Sunday Night.

I must admit I was impressed with Saints second half display last Monday against Leeds. I've been having a laugh for weeks with my #bargeoversaints hash tag on twitter but all of a sudden they looked to have a deep threat and that is something Wigan must be wary of. It all came right up the middle though, still highlighting the lack of pace they have out wide.

For Wigan, well if we are on our game, we'll be tough to beat. Simple as that really. We showed all our class in seeing off Huddersfield last week and, to be honest, I can't see us turning up with the wrong attitude here.

I mean coach Shaun Wane was quoted this week saying: "One day we'll attack at our best and defend at our best and butcher somebody. I hope it's this weekend!!" - Ominous language. Hard to see how Wigan will not come out fired up!

Our worry though is clearly goal kicking. Josh was way off last week and we were lucky that Huddersfield never made us sweat on those misses. Reportedly him and Sam Tomkins will have a goal kicking contest in training on Friday to decide Sunday's goal kicker but for me thats a bit pointless. Kicking at an empty Orrell training ground is one thing, doing it in front of a huge crowd is quite another. I think we should give Sam a go this game and see how he goes. He's had 6 attempts this year and kicked 4 and on Charnley's display last week, he can't do any worse surely. Saints however will have Jonny Lomax back kicking for them.

One thing is for sure, if Saints win this one it won't avenge the Cup Defeat. James Roby said after the cup tie "We want our revenge and this means turning them over at Manchester.". But it won't change much at all. St Helens players and fans will still be sat at home watching on July 14th-15th weekend when the Cup Semis are playing and that'll be crap. We've been there and it's rubbish to sit through your rivals playing in the Cup Semi Final or Final when you are out. It's been a long time since they've had to do it but it won't be good and any Magic Weekend victory will be long since forgotten by then.

So all in all this will be an interesting game. Are Saints capable of raising their game to Wigan's level - both physically and in a motivation sense? Wigan just need to try and keep this roll on momentum we have going with trips to Leeds and Catalan to follow. I've said all along that we need to finish top or near top after the France trip and that will be the case so long as we win on Sunday. Bring it on!

19 Man Squads

IN:l Logan Tomkins
OUT:l Jack Hughes

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, Logan Tomkins, Dom Crosby

St Helens
IN:l Ade Gardner, Andrew Dixon
OUT:l Mark Flanagan, Tom Makinson

Paul Wellens, 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, Anthony Laffranchi, Paul Clough, Gary Wheeler, Shaun Magennis, Andrew Dixon, Josh Jones.

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 20 and Lost 4 (2 draws) from 26 appointments.
This Season: Won 2 and Lost 0 from 2 appointments.

Video Referee

Ian Smith (Oldham)

Current Super League XVII League Positions

  Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1st Wigan Warriors 14 11 0 3 498 229 +269 22
6th St Helens 14 8 1 5 407 247 +160 17

Wigan v Huddersfield Player Stat Leaders

- Wigan St Helens League Leader
Top Try Scorer Josh Charnley 18

Francis Meli 8

Josh Charnley 18
Top Goal Scorer Pat Richards 41

Jonny Lomax 27

Danny Brough 57
Top Points Scorer Josh Charnley 122

Jonny Lomax 83

Danny Tickle 144
Top Try Assister Sam Tomkins 15

James Roby 13

Rangi Chase 19
Top Metre Maker Jeff Lima 1751m

James Roby 2109m

James Roby 2109m
Top Ball Carrier (2 Players) 234

James Roby 442

James Roby 442
Top Tackle Buster Sam Tomkins 83

Paul Wellens 32

Sam Tomkins 83
Top Clean Breaker Sam Tomkins 20

James Roby 10

Sam Tomkins 20
Top Offloader Gareth Hock 36

James Roby 19

Gareth Hock 36
Top Attacking Kicker Brett Finch 59

Lance Hohaia 36

Rangi Chase 101
Top DH Runner Mike McIlorum 220

James Roby 402

James Roby 402
Top Tackler Mike McIlorum 417

James Roby 449

Danny Houghton 575
Top Marker Tackler Harrison Hansen 82

Anthony Laffranchi 80

Danny Houghton 102
Worst Miss Tackler Mike McIlorum 27

Iosia Soliola 19

Dave Allen 39
Most Errors G.Hock/B.Finch 16

Jonny Lomax 13

Greg Eden 33
Most Pens Conceded Gareth Hock 16

Iosia Soliola 10

Chris Bailey 18

Wigan v St Helens Team Stats Match Ups

- Wigan Saints League Best League Worst
Total Tries 90


Wigan 90

Widnes 36

Total Tries Against 39


Wigan 39

Widnes 114

Total Points 498


Wigan 498

Widnes 207

Total Points Against 229


Wigan 229

Widnes 640

Total Metres 19749m


St Helens 20843m

Widnes 14875m

Total Ball Carries 3023


St Helens 3262

Widnes 2383

Metres Per Ball Carry 6.53m


Hudd'sfield 7.09m

Wakefield 5.9m

Total Tackle Busts 399


Wigan 399

Widnes 205

Total Clean Breaks 123


Wigan 123

Widnes 45

Total Offloads 132


Salford 209

London 96

Total Attacking Kicks 131


Castleford 190

Salford 108

Total Runs from DH 470


St Helens 640

Leeds 302

Total Tackles 4027


Salford 4462

Catalan 3637

Total Marker Tackles 656


Warrington 674

Catalan 451

Total Missed Tackles 226


Catalan 222

Widnes 464

Total Errors 150


St Helens 137

Warrington 209

Pens Conceded Per Game 105


(2 Teams) 97

Widnes 141

Super League Form Table Last Six Matches

- Team W D L F A Diff Pts Form
1 Wigan Warriors 6 0 0 228 82 +146 12
2 Catalan Dragons 5 0 1 243 126 +117 10
3 St Helens 5 0 1 187 86 +101 10
4 Warrington Wolves 4 0 2 198 122 +76 8
5 Huddersfield Giants 4 0 2 132 91 +41 8
6 Hull FC 4 0 2 124 134 -10 8
7 Bradford Bulls 3 1 2 123 94 +29 7
8 Hull Kingston Rovers 3 0 3 190 140 +50 6
9 Leeds Rhinos 3 0 3 140 127 +13 6
10 Castleford Tigers 3 0 3 134 200 -66 6
11 Wakefield Wildcats 2 0 4 86 192 -106 4
12 London Broncos 1 0 5 114 175 -61 2
13 Salford City Reds 0 1 5 102 160 -58 1
14 Widnes Vikings 0 0 6 68 300 -232 0

Super League Era Head to Head Record including Play Offs

Overall Played 28 Wigan 28 Wins St Helens 26 Wins 4 Draws
At Magic Weekend Played 4 Wigan 1 Win St Helens 2 Wins 1 Draw

Hot & Cold Try Scoring Streak

HOT:l SamlTomkins l 10 Tries in his last 6 appearances.
HOT:l JoshlCharnley l 11 Tries in his last 7 appearances.
HOT:l JoshlCharnley l 10 Tries in 8 away appearances this season.
COLD:l MikelMcIlorum l No Tries in last 17 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 10 appearances since Widnes (A)
COLD:l JacklHughes l No Tries in his last 7 appearances since Catalan (H)

UK TV Coverage

Live Coverage Sunday 6:00pm
Highlights Sunday 10:00pm
Free to Air Highlights Monday 11:35pm

International TV Coverage (All Times Local)

Australia LIVE Monday 3:00am (Sydney) Eurosport HD
USA LIVE Sunday 1:00pm (Eastern) Fox Soccer Plus HD
UAE (Dubai) LIVE Sunday 8:00pm OSN Sports 2 -
Eqypt LIVE Sunday 7:00pm OSN Sports 2 -
Note: OSN Sports is Available across many countries in Middle East/North Africa.

Radio Commentary

102.4 Wish FM - Full Match Commentary.

BBC Radio Manchester (95.1FM) - On air from 2pm with Salford v Huddersfield commentary, then build up to Full Match Commentary of St Helens v Wigan from 6:00pm.

Bilko's Statistical prediction.

The stats suggest a Wigan Win by 8 Points.

Weather Forecast

Sunny and Hot Day Expected.

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