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Match Preview: Widnes (H) - 25th June 2012 at DW Stadium
Posted by cherryandwhite on June 23 2012 - 17:54

Wigan Warriors v Widnes Vikings - Stobart Super League XVII Round 18.
Monday 25th June 2012. Kick Off 8:00pm at DW Stadium.

Match Preview

Well for those of you, like me, who didn't make the trip out to France, its been a long 25 days between matches and it almost feels like we are restarting the season.

To be honest though I think this could prove to be a very timely break. We mastered a difficult run of away fixtures with great aplomb and now we have the chance to really press home our three point lead with easier games to come over the next few weeks.

That's the theory anyway but I think fans might just need to not expect too much over the coming weeks. Prior to the Exiles break we clearly fired in top gear with some classy displays but it is pointless and energy wasting to do that against teams like Widnes for example. We probably won't need to fire anywhere near top gear to beat them. If we do fire well, great, but no point peaking for this if we flat for energy in the cup semi final! Don't get me wrong, I expect a good win, but I can't say I'll be fussed if we don't get the 60+ points win that many are predicting or expecting.

Now we have of course been bitten on the bum by Widnes already this season but as much as the world and his wife can go on about their 37-36 win back in March but we all know that wouldn't have happened if Sam Tomkins and a few others had been on the pitch. Also, it conveniently gets glossed over that we did actually lead 36-18 that day with a team that included four raw young debutants.

Looking back now in hindsight, I think we benefited so much for that long term. It gave the new young players a very, very valuable lesson, that I think they have deeply benefited from. I mean when you list that team now, it doesn't look that weak......

Matty Russell, Anthony Gelling, Darrell Goulding, Jack Hughes, Josh Charnley, Brett Finch, Joe Mellor, Jeff Lima, Mike McIlorum, Lee Mossop, Harrison Hansen, Gareth Hock, Chris Tuson. Bench: Eric Lauaki, Ben Flower, Logan Tomkins, Tom Spencer.

That was the team that played back in March at Stobart Stadium. Sam Tomkins and Sean O'Loughlin are obviously big inputs but it's not much different from the team that has been performing brilliantly in recent times and that will turn out for us on Monday. In some areas, second row for example, that was a stronger line up that what won at both Leeds and Catalan.

Anyway, onto this Monday and well everyone is expecting us to just simply pump Widnes by a heavy score. Easy to see why. Widnes have been embarrassingly pathetic away from home this season. Their average losing score on the road is 54-8 and they've had over 60 put on them away to Huddersfield, Catalan, St Helens and Warrington (Magic Weekend).

Barrie McDermott was waxing lyrical on Sky's Red Button show on Friday about Widnes improved displays against Huddersfield, Catalan and St Helens (in the cup) in recent times, but all those performances have been at Stobart Stadium Barrie, on the ridiculous i-pitch. Away, like I said, they've been pathetic, producing displays that shows up how poor a 14 team Super League is at the bottom end.

Having said that, I do think they have improved a little. I think Paul McShane has been an excellent signing from Leeds and, had they not conceded a late score to London, they could easily have been coming here on the back of two wins in a row and four points clear of bottom of the table.

Wigan obviously need to cover the injury to Thomas Leuluai that occurred in the England v Exiles match and it looks clear that Sean O'Loughlin will be the man to switch to Stand Off.

I can't say I'm that keen on it, but I can certainly see the logic. We are strong for cover in his loose forward position and he will do a job at Stand Off. I'd be more worried if we had a big, taxing, run of fixtures coming up but we should be able to cope against the likes of Widnes, Bradford and Wakefield.

Worth noting that Lockers has started 44 games previously for Wigan at Stand Off. Yep, I'm staggered to find out it's that many as well to be honest. Very staggered, but that's the bare facts. Granted most of those came in 2003 and 2004, but that did include the run 13 games that led to the amicable Grand Final defeat to Bradford in 2003.

The three point cushion gives us breathing space to try things out in replacing Tommy. I think we all agree that we've plenty of options, but none of us really know which is the best choice. O'Loughlin is the safe choice and to start with, like I said, I can see the logic. We also have the option of recalling Matty Russell and playing him at full back with Sam switching to the halves, but the club don't seem keen on moving Sam from Full Back and Waney has already spoke of his intentions to rest Sam around the forthcoming second England v Exiles match.

Other choices include recalling Joe Mellor who will actually play for Widnes against us on Monday, despite being on loan from us. Sam Powell might be fit soon from his broken leg to try out or a bit younger we have two excellent half back prospects in Ryan Hampshire and George Williams. The latter two would be big gambles but ten minutes here or there off the bench wouldn't be a bad option, particularly now 12 interchanges has been reduced to 10.

The league fixture list coming up for us is perfect to try things out. You'd never wish injury on any player but if the gods have decided that it was Tommy's turn for a lengthy injury, then he couldn't have timed it any better. Better now after a run of Saints (twice), Huddersfield, Catalan and Leeds than before it! It's for that reason that I'm not too worried about Tommy's injury. He is for me the most underrated player in the game, both domestically and particularly internationally, for what he has achieved, but he is still a bit of an enigma in my eyes. I mean he does brilliant and classy work yet I still don't, and never have, seen him as vital to our cause as a scrum half! He's always been a hooker playing at seven for me and thus because we have McIlorum, we can cover that loss. (Note: I'm probably making no sense at all in this paragraph lol but I know what I mean in my own head haha!)

Anyway, enough rambling from me. I'm just glad to have the rugby back after missing out on France. Bring on Monday Night! But please, no more Monday Games thank you Sky. Doesn't half bugger my weekly website routine!

19 Man Squads

Wigan
IN:l Paul Prescott, Jeff Lima Tom Spencer
OUT:l Thomas Leuluai, Jeff Lima, Gil Dudson
Fulll19:l

Sam Tomkins, Josh Charnley, Darrell Goulding, George Carmont, Brett Finch, Paul Prescott, Michael McIlorum, Lee Mossop, Gareth Hock, Sean O'Loughlin, Liam Farrell, Chris Tuson, Epalahame Lauaki, Anthony Gelling, Jack Hughes, Logan Tomkins, Tom Spencer, Dom Crosby, Rhodri Lloyd.

Widnes
IN:l Shaun Briscoe, Danny Craven, Alex Gerrard, Joe Mellor
OUT:l Sione Kite, Macgraff Leuluai, Alex Owens, Tom Gilmore
Fulll19:l

Shaun Briscoe, Paddy Flynn, Chris Dean, Willie Isa, Patrick Ah-Van, Rhys Hanbury, Ben Cross, Ben Davies, Frank Winterstein, Hep Cahill, Jon Clarke, Steve Pickersgill, Cameron Phelps, Dave Allen, Kurt Haggerty, Danny Craven, Alex Gerrard, Joe Mellor, Paul McShane.

Match Referee

Thierry Alibert (France) - Age 41
First Pro Game: Northern Ford Premiership Match - 2001
First Super League Game: Leeds 46 Huddersfield 8 - 11th July 2008
First Wigan Game: Harlequins 18 Wigan 24 - 28th February 2009

Wigan's Record when this referee is appointed

Wigan have Won 13 and Lost 3 from 16 appointments.
This Season: Won 2 and Lost 0 from 2 appointment.

Video Referee

James Child

Current Super League XVII League Positions

  Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1st Wigan Warriors 17 14 0 3 626 267 +359 28
14th Widnes Vikings 17 3 0 14 261 758 -497 6

Wigan v Leeds Player Stat Leaders

- Wigan Widmes League Leader
Top Try Scorer Josh Charnley 22

Paddy Flynn 7

Josh Charnley 22
Top Goal Scorer Pat Richards 41

Patrick Ah Van 17

Danny Brough 70
Top Points Scorer Josh Charnley 166

Patrick Ah Van 58

Danny Tickle 174
Top Try Assister Sam Tomkins 19

Rhys Hanbury 8

Rangi Chase 24
Top Metre Maker Sam Tomkins 2258m

Hep Cahill 1537m

James Roby 2446m
Top Ball Carrier Mike McIlorum 299

Hep Cahill 225

James Roby 518
Top Tackle Buster Sam Tomkins 106

Paddy Flynn 38

Sam Tomkins 106
Top Clean Breaker Sam Tomkins 26

P.Flynn/P.Ah Van 9

Sam Tomkins 26
Top Offloader Gareth Hock 38

Frank Winterstein 20

Joel Moon 42
Top Attacking Kicker Brett Finch 71

Rhys Hanbury 52

Rangi Chase 123
Top DH Runner Mike McIlorum 275

Jon Clarke 156

James Roby 469
Top Tackler Mike McIlorum 504

Hep Cahill 472

Danny Houghton 692
Top Marker Tackler Mike McIlorum 84

Hep Cahill 65

Danny Houghton 124
Worst Miss Tackler Mike McIlorum 35

Dave Allen 49

Dave Allen 49
Most Errors G.Hock/B.Finch 17

Patrick Ah Van 22

Greg Eden 36
Most Pens Conceded G.Hock/M.McIlorum 17

Steve Pickersgill 22

Steve Pickersgill 22

Wigan v Widnes Team Stats Match Ups

- Wigan Widnes League Best League Worst
Tries 114

45

Wigan 114

Widnes 45

 Tries Against 46

134

Wigan 46

Widnes 134

Points For 626

261

Wigan 626

Widnes 261

Points Against 267

758

Wigan 267

Widnes 758

Metres 24434m

18172m

St Helens 24756m

Widnes 18172m

Ball Carries 3712

2915

St Helens 3858

Widnes 2915

Metres Per Ball Carry 6.55m

6.23m

Hudd'sfield 7.08m

Wakefield 5.98m

Tackle Busts 505

256

Wigan 505

Widnes 256

Clean Breaks 161

61

Wigan 161

Widnes 61

Offloads 153

180

Salford 260

London 116

Attacking Kicks 157

176

Castleford 222

Salford 126

Runs from Dummy Half 572

548

St Helens 741

Salford 405

Tackles 4759

5048

Warrington 5532

Catalan 4511

Marker Tackles 772

680

Warrington 803

Catalan 551

Missed Tackles 260

553

Wigan 260

Widnes 553

Errors 173

207

St Helens 168

Warrington 253

Penalties Conceded 129

175

Castleford 120

Widnes 175

Super League Form Table Last Six Matches

- Team W D L F A Diff Pts Form
1 Wigan Warriors 6 0 0 252 84 +168 12
2 Warrington Wolves 5 0 1 247 83 +164 10
3 Hull Kingston Rovers 5 0 1 235 144 +91 10
4 St Helens 4 1 1 219 90 +129 9
5 Wakefield Wildcats 4 0 2 166 170 -4 8
6 Catalan Dragons 3 0 3 173 174 -1 6
7 Salford City Reds 2 1 3 164 164 - 5
8 Hull FC 2 1 3 138 170 -32 5
9 Bradford Bulls 2 1 3 123 185 -62 5
10 Leeds Rhinos 2 0 4 145 214 -69 4
11 Castleford Tigers 2 0 4 146 244 -98 4
12 Huddersfield Giants 1 0 5 134 173 -39 2
13 London Broncos 1 0 5 102 177 -75 2
14. Widnes Vikings 1 0 5 100 258 -158 2

Super League Era Head to Head Record including Play Offs

Overall Played 11 Wigan 8 Wins Widnes 3 Wins 0 Draws
At DW Stadium Played 4 Wigan 3 Wins Widnes 1 Wins 0 Draws

Last Six Meetings in Wigan

Date Opposition Report
29th April 2005 Wigan Warriors 23 Widnes Vikings 22 Click Here
7th May 2005 Wigan Warriors 26 Widnes Vikings 08 Click Here
29th Feb 2004 Wigan 38 Widnes 12 (Challenge Cup R4) Click Here
26th July 2003 Wigan Warriors 18 Widnes Vikings 24 Click Here
26th July 2002 Wigan Warriors 38 Widnes Vikings 08 Click Here
18th Sept 1994 Wigan 46 Widnes 12 -

Hot & Cold Try Scoring Streaks

HOT:l JoshlCharnley l 6 Tries in his last 4 appearances.
HOT:l GeorgelCarmont l 6 Tries in his last 4 appearances.
HOT:l SamlTomkins l 6 Tries in his last 6 appearances.
HOT:l AnthonylGelling 2 2 Tries in his last 2 appearances.
COLD:l EriclLauaki l Never Scored in 16 Wigan appearances so far

Ticket Details

Stand ConAdultsiors Concessions
West Stand Gold ?22 ?16
West Stand Blue ?22 ?15
East Stand Silver ?20 ?14
East Stand Red ?19 ?13
South Stand ?18 ?12
North Stand (Visitors) ?19 ?13
Western Terrace ?20 ?13

UK TV Coverage

Live Coverage Monday 7:30pm
Free to Air Highlights Monday 11:05pm
Replay Monday Midnight
Replay Tuesday 11:00am
Replay Tuesday 1:30pm

International TV Coverage (All Times Local)

Australia LIVE Monday 5:00am (Sydney) Eurosport HD
UAE (Dubai) LIVE Monday 10:30pm OSN Sports 1 HD
Eqypt LIVE Monday 9:30pm OSN Sports 1 HD
USA LIVE Monday 3:00pm (Eastern) Fox Soccer Plus HD
Note: OSN Sports is Available across many countries in Middle East/North Africa.

Radio Commentary

102.4 Wish FM - On Air from 7:00pm with build up then Full Match Uninterrupted Commentary from Mark Wilson and summarising from injured Wigan player Stuart Fielden.

BBC Radio Manchester (95.1FM) - On Air from 7:00pm with Full Match Uninterrupted Commentary from Jack Dearden and Trevor Hunt.

Bilko's Statistical prediction.

The stats suggest a Wigan Win by 50 Points.

Weather Forecast

Drier but cool.

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