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Match Preview: Castleford (H) - 15.02.08
Posted by Bilko on February 13 2008 - 17:30

Wigan Warriors v Castleford Tigers - Super League XIII Round 2..
Friday 15th February 2008. Kick Off 8:00pm at JJB Stadium.

If you've been browsing the Wigan and Castleford message boards on RLFans.com you'll have noticed theres a lot of fire amongst the supporters ahead of this one.

The fire is stoked by Castleford fans bitterness at their 2006 relegation - during a season in which Wigan were found guilty of breaking the salary cap.

In some respects they do have a point - but the fact is they beat us both times during that season. Maybe it'd be a more valid argument if we've have taken points off them but late that season they had two chances to survive by beating Wakefield and they failed miserably both times. In fact it was the three defeats to Wakefield that ultimately cost them their Super League place.

Other reasons? Well there defence was woeful. It conceded 145 points more than any of their relegation rivals!

Goal Kicking - They kicked just 66 goals throughout that year compared to Wigan's 108. Danny Brough only played 10 matches for them and finished top points scorer despite only scoring 1 try! Goal Kicking was crucial to our survival. How often did a penalty goal prove the difference in that run in? And we didn't even have Super Pat kicking for us!

Anyway onto this season and the 2008 Castleford side looks like it will struggle again. They haven't got an experienced goal kicker and they let their best player - Danny Brough - leave in the off season. In terms of goal kicking at the moment they are putting their hopes in 18 year old Joe Westerman. Great prospect but throwing a kid in so early doesn't always work. We should know with the likes of Luke Robinson and Kevin Brown as major examples.

Last week they built up a nice 12-2 lead but struggled badly second half as Catalans came back to win 21-12. They lacked leadership. Brough would have probably have taken control of that game and won it for them but without him no one really stepped up to the plate and the Dragons won despite being reduced to 12 late on.

Brent Sherwin is the man who Cas brought in to replace Brough but he had an awful debut.

Wigan - well they simply need to improve on defence. We should control this game but more often than not its games against apparent lower opposition - early in the season - that have caught us out - i.e Hull KR twice in 2007.

In the last two seasons our home form has been almost identical.

2006 - Lost 5 of first 6. Won last 8.

2007 - Lost 4 of first 6. Won last 8.

Just emphasises that these early weeks of the season are what will destine our fortunes come late summer. We always finish the season strongly. So a good start will be massive.

We did task one (get off to a winning start) in London last week, task two is perhaps to go the season unbeaten at home. Trent Barrett is certainly thinking about.

He said: "We made a goal that we want to win all our home games. The scoreline doesn't matter so long as we win."

The last time we won our first two league fixtures of the season was 2001 and the second victory came against Castleford with Phil Jones scoring an hatrick at The Jungle. (whatever happened to him?).

A win here will set us on our way nicely in 2008 - and it'll probably be needed with harsh trips to Hull, Warrington, Huddersfield and St Helens to come in four of the following five matches.

20 Man Squads

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

Castleford: ?

Key Absentees

Wigan: Mark Calderwood (broken leg), Karl Pryce (foot)

Castleford: Stuart Donlan (Knee), Ryan Clayton (dislocated shoulder), Kirk Dixon (broken toe), Scott Moore (Suspended)

Match Referee

Ian Smith (Oldham)

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
2nd Wigan Warriors 1 1 0 0 47 28 +19 2
9th Castleford Tigers 1 0 0 1 12 21 -9 0

Head to Head Records

Record P Wigan Draws Opposition Success
All Time 98 61 4 33 64.2
All Time in Wigan 46 33 3 10 75
Super League 24 17 1 6 72.9
SL in Wigan 12 9 0 3 75
At JJB Only 8 6 0 2 75

Wigan Form Guide - Last Six Matches

Date Opposition Competition Result Score
9th February 2008 Harlequins (A) SL13 Round 1 Won 47-28
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

Opposition Form Guide - Last Six Matches

Date Opposition Competition Result Score
9th February 2008 Catalans (H) SL13 Round 1 Lost 12-21
27th January 2008 Hull KR (A) Friendly Lost 10-22
25th January 2008 Dewsbury (A) Friendly Lost 00-60
20th January 2008 Huddersfield (H) Friendly Lost 16-30
26th December 07 Featherstone (H) Friendly Draw 24-24
7th October 2007 Widnes NL1 Grand Final Won 42-10
20th September 07 Widnes NL1 Play Offs Won 26-8

Last 6 Meetings at JJB Stadium

Date Opposition
5th May 2006 Wigan Warriors 24 Castleford Tigers 30
23rd July 2004 Wigan Warriors 48 Castleford Tigers 18
27th June 2003 Wigan Warriors 24 Castleford Tigers 10
29th March 2002 Wigan Warriors 34 Castleford Tigers 12
28th September 2002 Wigan 26 Castleford 14 (Play Off Match)
25th May 2001 Wigan Warriors 54 Castleford Tigers 12

Super League 13 Stats

Top 6 Try Scorers
Wigan
Darrell Goulding 2
Mike McIlorum 2
Harrison Hansen
Iafeta Paleaaesina
Richard Mathers

Castleford
Stuart Donlan
Michael Shenton

Top Goal Kickers
Wigan:
Pat Richards 9
Castleford: Joe Westerman 3

Top Points Scorers
Wigan:
Pat Richards 18 (9 goals)
Castleford: Joe Westerman 6 (3 goals)

Hot

Pat Richards: 100% Goal Kicking Record in 2008
Last Miss: v Hull - Sept 29th 2007
Harrison Hansen
: 5 tries in last 3 matches (including friendlies)
Richard Mathers: 3 tries in last 2 matches  (including friendlies)

Cold

Stuart Fielden: Failed to score in his last 31 matches home or away.
Gareth Hock: Hasn't scored at JJB since September 2006
Harrison Hansen: Hasn't scored at JJB since September 2006
Pat Richards: Hasn't scored a try at JJB in last 5 home matches since June

Ticket Details

Stand ConAdultsiors Concs/Juniors
West Stand Gold £19 N/A
West Stand Silver £18 £14
East Stand Silver £17 £13
East Stand Red £16 £12
South Stand (All Ticket) £15 £11
North Stand (Visitors) £14 £10

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

Media Coverage

TV: No Television
Radio in Wigan: BBC Radio Manchester 95.1FM will have second half commentary after the 7:30 St Helens v Warrington match has concluded.
National Radio: No Coverage
Radio at Match: BBC Radio Manchester 95.1FM will have second half commentary after the 7:30 St Helens v Warrington match has concluded.
Internet: Click Here for Details

Totesport Match Betting

Team Odds
Wigan 1/16 (Fav)
Castleford 8/1
Match Draw 25/1

Best Handicap Match Betting with Totesport

Castleford have a 20 point start at odds of 10/11

First Try Scorer Match Betting with Totesport

Click Here

Weather Forecast

Click Here

Bilko's Statistical prediction.

The stats suggest a Wigan win by 18-20 points.

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