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Match Preview: St Helens (A) 21.03.08 @ Knowsley Road
Posted by Bilko on March 18 2008 - 22:57

St Helens v Wigan Warriors. Engage Super League XIII Round 7.
Good Friday 21st March 2008. Kick Off 2:30pm at Knowsley Road.

Well Wigan, despite not looking that impressive for much of this season, go into a derby clash with Saints above them in the table for the first time since August 2004.

Its been ten years since we last beat St Helens at Knowsley Road on a Good Friday - current Saints player Lee Gilmour was one of our try scorers along with Kris Radlinski, Jason Robinson, Gary Connolly, Tony Smith and Paul Johnson.

Home advantage is often the key to Good Friday success. Last years Saints victory at the JJB was the first time a home side had lost an Easter clash since Saints won the last one held at Central Park 14-12 in 1999.

Its also been four and half years since Wigan last tasted victory at Knowsley Road. A 28-4 success was best remembered for a Quentin Pongia kick which Brian Carney finished off. We did claim a 21-21 draw on Good Friday 2004 but its been 4 defeats on the bounce since.

Overall though we've won 7 of 16 Super League derbies at Saints. Just less than 50% - can't see too many Super League clubs having a record as good as that!

Some would have you believe St Helens have struggled this season so far. After two tight "got away with it" victories over Wakefield and Hull FC at home and defeats away at Hull KR and Catalans - questions have been asked. When you look into it though they've actually started this season better than last year when they won 3 and lost 3 of their opening six.

For Wigan - 2nd in the table, 2nd best attack in the league, reasonable defensive effort - it all looks great but the reality is far from that.

We all know they got away with it big style last week at Huddersfield and key man Trent Barrett has been anonymous so far this season. But the thing is we are winning matches despite being no where near the form we saw at the back end of last season.

Also the big let off at Hudds last week will do us good going into this. I feel a 20-19 win where we robbed them blind is better than giving them a 50-0 hammering. We'll be kept on our toes and we know we'll have to improve.

So how can we beat Saints? Well first thing is to have the belief. I think that's been missing for a while - especially away from home.

We've got to perform in attack. If we try to beat them defensively we'll fail. Saints for some reason have the 3rd worst defence in the league so far this year - in fact they've conceded 59 points in the last two matches at home alone. If they concede 30 to us I can't see us letting in that many.

The absence of Keiron Cunningham is a bitter blow. He has been a fantastic player for Saints for about 13 years now and still remains the player that gets them going forward. They are also missing key forwards Nick Fozzard and Jason Cayless. Hopefully - and I am thinking in hope rather than expectation - we can win the forwards battle. You never know with our pack though.

On our part Gareth Hock's absence is a blow but Harrison Hansen has very well this year so he will slot in nicely. Joel Tomkins I expect will replace Harrison on the bench - not so sure about Joel, bit of a weak link for mine.

Anyway all talk is meaningless. Just bring the game on - this is the longest dragging week ever!

Key Absentees

Wigan: Richard Mathers (2nd Match of 3 game suspension), Gareth Hock (broken hand), Paul Prescott (medial ligaments), Karl Pryce (foot).

St Helens: Nick Fozzard (knee), Keiron Cunningham (torn quadricep), Jason Cayless (knee), Paul Sculthorpe (old age).

Match Referee

Richard Silverwood (Dewsbury) - Age 31
First Pro Game: York v Batley, March 28th, 1999
First Super League Game: Halifax v Salford, May 6th, 2001

2008 Record with this Referee

Match Result Pens
Awarded
Pens
Against
Sin
Bins
Red
Cards
Bradford (H) Won 28-14 9 10 Leuluai None

Video Referee

Steve Ganson (St Helens)

Current Super League XIII League Positions

  Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
2nd Wigan Warriors 6 4 0 2 165 133 +32 8
4th St Helens 6 4 0 2 148 145 +3 8

Head to Head Records

Record P Wigan Saints Draws Success
All Time 212 125 78 9 61%
All Time at Saints 103 55 44 5 55.8%
Super League 41 22 19 2 56%
SL at Saints 16 7 8 1 46.8%

Wigan Form Guide - Last Six Matches

Date Opposition Competition Result Score
16th March 2008 Huddersfield (A) SL13 Round 6 Won 20-19
8th March 2008 Warrington (A) SL13 Round 5 Lost 20-32
1st March 2008 Bradford (H) SL13 Round 4 Won 28-14
22nd February 2008 Hull FC (A) SL13 Round 3 Lost 22-24
15th February 2008 Castleford (H) SL13 Round 2 Won 28-16
9th February 2008 Harlequins (A) SL13 Round 1 Won 47-28

Opposition Form Guide - Last Six Matches

Date Opposition Competition Result Score
15th March 2008 Catalans (A) SL13 Round 6 Lost 10-24
7th March 2008 Hull FC (H) SL13 Round 5 Won 30-29
2nd March 2008 Wakefield (H) SL13 Round 4 Won 34-30
22nd February 2008 Bradford (A) SL13 Round 3 Won 22-16
15th February 2008 Warrington (H) SL13 Round 2 Won 30-22
10th February 2008 Hull KR (A) SL13 Round 1 Lost 22-24

Last 6 Results v St Helens Away

Date Opposition
20th July 2007 St Helens 19 Wigan Warriors 12
14th April 2006 St Helens 48 Wigan Warriors 10
15th July 2005 St Helens 40 Wigan Warriors 18
26th June 2005 St Helens 75 Wigan 0 (Chall. Cup)
9th April 2004 St Helens 21 Wigan Warriors 21
6th July 2003 St Helens 4 Wigan Warriors 28

Rankings

- Wigan Opposition
Attacking Rank 2nd Best in League 4th Best in League
Av. Points Scored Per Game 27.5 24.6
Tries Scored 27 27
Defensive Rank 5th of 12 3rd Worst in League
Av. Points Conceded Per Game 22.1 24.1
Tries Conceded 22 26
Home/Away Record 2 wins from 4 3 wins from 3

Super League 13 Stats

Top 6 Try Scorers
Wigan
Darrell Goulding 5
Pat Richards 3
Harrison Hansen 3
George Carmont 3
Mike McIlorum 2
Thomas Leuluai 2

St Helens
Ade Gardner 6
James Graham 3
Francis Meli 2
Paul Wellens 2
James Roby 2
Paul Clough 2

Top Goal Kickers
Wigan:
Pat Richards 28 - League Leader
St Helens: Sean Long 8

Goal Kick Success
Wigan:
28 from 34 attempts - 82.3% - 4th Best in League
St Helens: 20 from 31 attempts - 64.5% - 2nd Worst in League

Top Points Scorers
Wigan:
Pat Richards 68 (3 tries, 28 goals) - League Leader
St Helens: Ade Gardner 24 (6 tries)

Hot

Darrell Goulding: Try Scorer in last 3 consecutive matches
Andy Coley
: Try scorer in 2 consecutive matches
George Carmont
: 3 tries in last 4 matches.

Cold

Mick Higham: Failed to score in his last 27 Super League away matches (Apr 06).
Stuart Fielden: Failed to score in his last 34 matches home or away (Feb 07).
Sean O'Loughlin: Failed to score in his last 13 away matches (May 07)

Ticket Details

This Match is now SOLD OUT

Knowsley Road Information

Directions By Car from Wigan: Follow the M6 to junction 24, and then exit onto the A580. Follow the A580, exiting onto the A570 towards the town centre. Exit onto the A58 and then turn right into Dunriding Lane. At the end of the road turn left into Knowsley Road and the ground is located on the left hand side.

Car Parking: There is plenty of street parking around the ground but if you prefer there are also pay and display car parks near the ground.

Local Buses From Wigan: Services 320 & 352 both run from Wigan terminating a St Helens town centre Bus Station.
Service 320 journeys via Platt Bridge, Ashton & Haydock
Service 352 travels via Pemberton, Orrell Post, Orrell & Billinge.
Please note as its a bank holiday a Sunday service will be in operation.
320 runs every hour from 10:50am at 50 minutes past each hour (Journey Time: 50 Minutes)
352 runs every 30 minutes from 10:20am at 20 & 50 minutes past each hour (Journey Time: 40 Minutes)
The ground is a 20-25 minute walk or a taxi ride away from St Helens Bus Station.

 

Directions By Train: We've been advised that there will be no trains to St Helens on Good Friday due to engineering works however.......

Rail Replacement Buses will in operation from outside Wigan North Western Train Station (please note: they will operate from the train station car park AND NOT the train station bus stops). The replacement Buses will depart at 28 and 58 minutes past the hour and will travel to St Helens Central which is located in St Helens town centre. Journey time for the buses will be 40 minutes approximately. Cost will be £3.20 single or £4 return. The ground is a 20-25 minute walk or a taxi ride away from St Helens Central.

Local Pubs: The Black Bull is where most fans congregate on matchdays. Away supporters are allowed in with few problems. Other pubs include the Bird I'th Hand at the top of Dunriding Lane and there are plenty of bars in the town centre. Quite a few Wigan fans will be found in the Glass House Wetherspoons pub from 9am.

UK Media Coverage

TV: 2:15pm on
Radio in Wigan: BBC Radio Manchester on 95.1FM will have match commentary from 2:30pm.
National Radio: The Match will be live on DAB Digital Station 5 Live Sports Extra from 2:25pm. This station is also available on Freeview boxes.
Radio at Match: BBC Radio Manchester on 95.1FM and BBC Radio Merseyside on 1485am/mw will carry match commentary.
Internet Audio: Click Here for Details

International TV Coverage

Country Type Date Local Time Channel
France LIVE Fri 21 March 3:30pm
New Zealand LIVE Sat 22 March 3:15am 3
Middle East LIVE Fri 21 March 5:30pm Showtime Sports 3
USA LIVE Fri 21 March 10:30am
Canada LIVE Fri 21 March 10:30am
Australia Delayed Thu 27 March Check Listings 3

Away Match Betting Check with Oddschecker.com

Team Odds
Wigan 15/8
St Helens 4/9 (Fav)
Draw 20/1

Best Handicap Match Betting with Oddschecker.com

Wigan have a 6 point start at odds of 10/11 with Bet365.

First Try Scorer Match Betting with Oddschecker.com

None Available Yet

Weather Forecast

Click Here

Bilko's Statistical prediction.

The stats suggest a Wigan win by 4-6 points.

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