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Match Preview: Harlequins (A) - 09.02.2008 @ Twickenham Stoop
Posted by Bilko on February 06 2008 - 20:48

Harlequins v Wigan Warriors - Super League XIII Round 1..
Saturday 9th February 2008. Kick Off 3:00pm at Twickenham Stoop.

Like I said in the season preview it is imperative that we get off to a winning start in Super League 13. We have an evil set of fixtures after the opening two rounds so a good start is a must.

Harlequins and Castleford are in the bookies eyes the two rank outsiders this year so we have got to take advantage of that.

Quins Away is always a difficult match but for me there seems to be a distinct lack of quality in there squad in terms of fire power.

Last years top try scorer for Quins was Paul Sykes with 13 - he has now left the club to join Bradford. Second to him were Jon Wells and Matt Gafa who both scored 7.

Quins in total scored 88 tries in Super League last season compared to Wigan's 102. Wigan were no mean shakes in attack themselves but whilst we have clearly strengthened, with two new centres, Harlequins have let their clear top try and points scorer leave!

Clearly the Londoners are going to have to rely on big defence and team spirit to win them matches because I just can't see the attacking threat. Possibly it could come in the form of Rikki Sherrife who scored 6 tries in 10 appearances last season but after that I can't see any quality.

Perhaps my thoughts were highlighted two weeks a go when, at close to full strength, they went down heavily to lower league opposition with a 28-6 loss away at Celtic Crusaders. Ok it's pre season and it doesn't really matter but I'd find any defeat to lower division opposition at bit of an embarrassment.

For us, after a dreadful start at Warrington we have looked good during the last two pre season matches and those three tough matches will put us in good stead here I think.

We have two players who'll start here in Darrell Goulding and Liam Colbon who have the opportunity to stake their claim for a starting spot when Mark Calderwood and Karl Pryce return. Who says either of those should walk into the team when they return. If both were fit I think Colbon deserves to start ahead of Calderwood ahead - he did more for me back of last year than Calderwood has done over two years. Point I'm making is that Goulding and Colbon have experience now and both proved pretty useful last season. Noble has created competition for places and the stature of a player should count for nothing! I hope Colbon and Goulding play so well they make selection difficult for Noble when all are fit. I mean from having woefully weak centres last season we look very strong there now in my opinion.

Overall I would be bitterly disappointed if we began with defeat here. I don't care how tough we've found it in recent years down in London, we need a winning start. Last time we won away in a round 1 fixture was 2000 and we ended up finishing top of the table! Not saying we'll do that but it'd be nice to not have to look at the table after 3 weeks and see us near the bottom and playing catch up!

20 Man Squads

Wigan: Richard Mathers, Darrell Goulding, George Carmont, Pat Richards, Trent Barrett, Thomas Leuluai, Stuart Fielden, Mickey Higham, Iafeta Paleaaesina, Phil Bailey, Sean O’Loughlin, Liam Colbon, Andy Coley, Harrison Hansen, Michael McIlorum, Paul Prescott, Joel Tomkins, Eamon O’Carroll, Thomas Coyle, Shaun Ainscough.

Harlequins: Matt Gafa, Jon Grayshon, Gareth Haggerty, Daniel Heckenberg, Scott Hill, David Howell, Joe Mbu, Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Mark McLinden, Danny Orr, Henry Paul, Rob Purdham, Chad Randall, Julien Rinaldi, Rikki Sheriffe, Karl Temata, Joe Walsh, Danny Ward, Jon Wells, Michael Worrincy.

Key Absentees

Wigan: Karl Pryce, Mark Calderwood (both injured), Gareth Hock (Suspended)

Harlequins Key Absentees: Chris Melling

Match Referee

Gareth Hewer (Whitehaven) - This Ref has never previously took charge of a competitive Wigan Match although he did officiate the friendly against Widnes a fortnight ago. He has previously took charge of only 4 Super League matches.

Video Referee

This match is not televised so no video replays are in force.

Current Super League XIII League Positions

  Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
5th Harlequins 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 0
11th Wigan Warriors 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 0

Head to Head Records

Record P Wigan Draws Opposition Success
All Time 36 23 2 11 66.6%
All Time in London 19 10 1 8 55.2%
Super League 27 17 2 8 66.6%
SL in London 14 8 1 5 60.7%
at The Stoop Only 7 3 1 3 50%

Wigan Form Guide - Last Six Matches

Date Opposition Competition Result Score
27th January 2008 Widnes (A) Friendly Won 42-18
20th January 2008 Bradford (A) Friendly Won 28-16
13th January 2008 Warrington (A) Friendly Lost 22-30
5th October 2007 Leeds (A) SL12 Play Offs Lost 06-36
29th Sept 2007 Hull FC (A) SL12 Play Offs Won 21-18
21st Sept 2007 Bradford (A) SL12 Play Offs Won 31-30

Opposition Form Guide - Last Six Matches

Date Opposition Competition Result Score
26th January 2008 Celtic Crusaders (A) Friendly Lost 06-28
22nd January 2008 London Skolars (N) Friendly Won 56-00
15th Sept 2007 Catalans (A) SL12 Round 27 Lost 14-30
8th Sept 2007 Salford (H) SL12 Round 26 Won 22-16
31st Aug 2007 St Helens (A) SL12 Round 25 Lost 10-32
18th Aug 2007 Wigan (H) SL12 Round 24 Draw 16-16
12th Aug 2007 Wakefield (A) SL12 Round 23 Lost 14-28

Last 6 Meetings at Twickenham Stoop

Date Opposition
18th August 2007 Harlequins 16 Wigan Warriors 16
2nd June 2007 Harlequins 18 Wigan Warriors 8
10th Sept 2007 Harlequins 31 Wigan Warriors 30
1st July 2007 Harlequins 24 Wigan Warriors 26
12th March 2006 London 34 Wigan 20 (Griffin Park)
12th Sept 2005 London 22 Wigan 26 (Griffin Park)

Super League 13 Stats

Top 6 Try Scorers
Wigan
No Tries Yet

Harlequins
No Tries Yet

Top Goal Kickers
Wigan:
No Goals Yet
Harlequins: No Goals Yet

Top Points Scorers
Wigan:
No Points Yet
Harlequins: No Points Yet

Hot

Pat Richards: 100% Goal Kicking Record in Pre Season
Last Miss: v Hull - Sept 29th 2007
Harrison Hansen
: 4 tries in 3 Pre Seasons Appearances

Cold

Stuart Fielden: Failed to score in last 31 matches home or away.
Last Try: 24th February 2007 @ Bradford
Iafeta Paleaaesina: Failed to score in last 27 away trips
Last Away Try: 13th May 2006 @ Wakefield
Phil Bailey: Failed to score in last 13 away trips
Last Away Try: 27th April 2007 @ Salford

Ticket Details

East Stand (Unreserved Sideline Seating)
Adults & Over 60s £10
Students & Juniors £5

Media Coverage

TV: No Television
Radio in Wigan: The match is lead commentary BBC Radio Manchester 95.1FM but with many inserts from a local football venues (Commentator: Phil Kinsella)
National Radio: No Coverage
Radio at Match: No Local Commentary
Internet: BBC Radio London broadcasts Quins matches online - (Click Here for Uninterrupted Commentary - Real Player) - Link will work close to kick off.

Best Match Betting with Oddschecker.com

Team Odds Betting Firm
Wigan 2/5 (Fav)
Harlequins 5/2
Match Draw 33/1

Best Handicap Match Betting with Oddschecker.com

Harlequins have a 8 point start at odds of 10/11 with

First Try Scorer Match Betting - Best Odds given with Oddschecker.com

Click Here

Weather Forecast

Click Here

Bilko's Statistical prediction.

The stats suggest nothing until a game has been played. :D

Comments
LittleWarrior1991 on February 10 2008 - 12:58
WoooooooooooooooooHoooooooooooooooooo.....Thats All I Can Say! What An Amazing Game! Wigan Till I Die!!
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