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Match Preview: St Helens (A) 05.09.08 @ Knowsley Road
Posted by Bilko on September 02 2008 - 21:33

St Helens v Wigan Warriors. Engage Super League 13 Round 27.
Friday 5th September 2008. Kick Off 8:00pm at Knowsley Road.

Sadly this match will actually mark five long years to the day since Wigan managed to last win at Knowsley Road.

It was a rosy time for Wigan back in September 2003. They lied third in the Super League Table well clear of Saints in fourth who had been deducted two points earlier in the season for salary cap infringements and not long after they'd be hit by a betting scandal involving Sean Long and Martin Gleeson.

We were also about to reach our third Grand Final in four seasons - a year after winning the Challenge Cup.

Earlier in the season Wigan had beaten Saints twice in memorable games. After the infamous 2003 Good Friday win at the JJB, Wigan went on to win at Knowsley Road having trailed 20-0 early - Luke Robinson scoring a fabulous hatrick in the process. Later in the end of season play offs Wigan hammered Saints 40-24 at the JJB before another memorable play off win over Leeds at Headingley.

The derby victory on 5th September 2003 was perhaps the least remembered of the Saints clashes that year but arguably it was the best one. Wigan came home with a 28-4 win which you will remember for the Quentin Pongia kick to the corner which saw Brian Carney scored the first of two memorable tries which probably went a long way to earning him a test debut at the end of the season.

Back then I doubt any Wigan or Saints fan could have predicted the contrasting fortunes that the two sides would embark on. No one could have dreamed that night that just 20 months later Wigan would lose 75-0 at the same venue. Just think of the memories from that 2003 season? Can't really think of any from this campaign - so far....

Amazingly having not won any of the last five league trips to Knowsley Road we still hold a won 8 lost 8 record at the venue during the Super League era despite Saints apparently having dominated the sport since 1996. Home and away we've won just one match v Saints in 13 attempts but we've still hold a overall lead having won 22 derbies to their 21.

This season though our derby displays have been simply embarrassing. I firmly believe the hammerings we've suffered have been down to Wigan being crap more than Saints being brilliant. The enemy have hardly got out of first gear because we simply have not tested them.

I've no doubt you can compete with Saints if you have the right tactics. You might not win but you can't win a prize if you fail to enter the raffle! It's like we've been waving the white flag before we've got going. The start is the key.

On Good Friday - 22-0 down in 28 minutes.
Cardiff was same and went even worse - 35-0 by half time!
At the JJB in July - Hooray! We managed to score first half but still trailed 6-22.

Wigan know if they can be in the game at half time they can give themselves a good opportunity to win. A close tight game will not be what St Helens want after a gruelling cup final last week. We in theory should be fresh after a week off but this has not been the case in the past.

Earlier this year we went to Catalans on the back of a week off and although we scored 38, we conceded 45 (although I'd quite happily take that this week lol). In 2007 we came back from an international break to get hammered 32-6 at Wakefield. We can't afford to not be defensively switched on this week.

If we are switched on then we'll have a chance. This heavy weather we are getting could help us if it turns Knowsley Road into a mud bath. I think the phrase though is "clutching straws".

Match Referee

Ashley Klein  - Age 28
First Pro Game: Workington 9 Featherstone 50 - September 8th 2002
First Super League Game: Huddersfield 26 Wakefield 4 - June 15th 2003
First Wigan Game: Wigan 82 Halton Simms Cross 3 - February 9th 2003

2008 Record with this Referee

Match Result Pens
Awarded
Pens
Against
Total
Catalans (H) Lost 24-26 7 8 15
Warrington (H) Won 08-04 8 8 16
Leeds (H) Won 23-22 10 7 17
St Helens (H) Lost 12-46 8 7 15
Leeds (H) Lost 16-52 6 5 11

Video Referee

Ian Smith (Oldham)

Current Super League XIII League Positions

  Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
1st St Helens 26 21 0 5 924 441 +483 42
5th Wigan Warriors 26 13 2 11 632 682 -50 28

League Match Head to Head Records

Record P Wigan Saints Draws Success
All Time 215 125 81 9 60.2%
All Time at Saints 104 55 45 5 55.2%
Super League 44 22 21 2 52.2%
SL at Saints 17 8 8 1 50%

Wigan Form Guide - Last Six Matches

Date Opposition Competition Result Score
22nd August 2008 Leeds (H) SL13 Round 26 Lost 16-52
15th August 2008 Wakefield (H) SL13 Round 25 Won 32-22
9th August 2008 Catalans (A) SL13 Round 24 Draw 16-16
1st August 2008 Hull FC (H) SL13 Round 23 Won 66-06
25th July 2008 Huddersfield (H) SL13 Round 16 Lost 04-34
18th July 2008 St Helens (H) SL13 Round 22 Lost 12-46

Opposition Form Guide - Last Six Matches

Date Opposition Competition Result Score
30th August 2008 Hull FC (N) Chall. Cup Final Won 28-16
24th August 2008 Huddersfield (A) SL13 Round 26 Won 40-22
17th August 2008 Harlequins (A) SL13 Round 25 Won 32-16
9th August 2008 Warrington (H) SL13 Round 24 Won 17-16
3rd August 2008 Wakefield (A) SL13 Round 23 Won 42-10
26th July 2008 Leeds (N) C.Cup Semi Final Won 26-16

Last Six Meetings at Knowsley Road

Date Opposition
21st March 2008 St Helens 46 Wigan Warriors 10
20th July 2007 St Helens 19 Wigan Warriors 12
17th February 2006 St Helens 48 Wigan Warriors 10
15th July 2005 St Helens 40 Wigan Warriors 18
26th June 2005 St Helens 75 Wigan 00 (Cup 1/4 Final)
9th April 2004 St Helens 21 Wigan Warriors 21

Hot

Pat Richards: 10 tries in his last 10 matches.
Joel Tomkins: 6 tries in his last 6 matches.

Cold

Richard Mathers: Hasn't scored since Round 1 v Quins (19 Games)
Mark Calderwood: Hasn't scored in away in the league since 2007 play off v Bradford.

Embarrassingly less prolific than Ricky Bibey.....

Stuart Fielden: 57 games since his last try v Bradford (February 2007)

Ticket Details

Stand ConAdultsiors Concessions
Ground Terrace £16 £10

UK TV Coverage

LIVE  Friday 7:30pm-10:00pm

Post Match  Friday 10:00pm-10:30pm

Replay Saturday 0:30am-2:30am
Highlights Sunday 12:05pm North

UK Radio Coverage

Local Radio Full Commentary BBC Radio Manchester (95.1FM)
At Venue Full Commentary BBC Radio Merseyside (1485AM)
National Radio Full Commentary BBC 5 Live Sports Extra (DAB)
Internet Audio Full Commentary Click Here for Details

International TV Coverage

Country Type Date Time Channel
USA LIVE Fri 5 Sept 2:55pm (Eastern)

Canada LIVE Fri 5 Sept 2:55pm (Eastern)

Middle East LIVE Fri 5 Sept 9:55pm (KSA) Showtime Sports 3
New Zealand LIVE Sat 6 Sept 6:30am 2
France Delayed Wed 10 Sep 5:30pm

Australia Delayed Thu 11 Sept 6:30pm

Match Betting (Totesport)

Team Odds
Wigan Warriors 4/1
St Helens 1/7
Match Draw 25/1

Betting Handicap (Totesport)

Wigan have a 14 point start at odds of 10/11.

Bilko's Statistical prediction.

The stats suggest a St Helens win by 20 points.

Weather Forecast

Click Here

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