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Match Preview: Bradford (A) - 20th February 2011 @ Odsal Stadium
Posted by Bilko on February 18 2011 - 14:59

Bradford Bulls v Wigan Warriors - Engage Super League XVI Round 2.
Sunday 20th February 2011. Kick Off 3:00pm at Odsal Grattan Stadium.

Match Preview

Wigan are just two away games from completing a whole twelve months on the road without defeat in Super League. They haven't lost away from home in league action since losing to this weekend's opponents at Odsal back on March 5th last year.

We all remember what happened that night. Wigan 20-0 up at half time and smug Wigan supporters all round. By full time we were crying into our pie pastry with our tails between our legs. Bradford had won 22-20 with a winning try from Glenn Hall with just 100 seconds to go.

I remember being gutted that night, yet last weekend I wasn't gutted at all when we bombed a late 16-0 lead to our four times in a row losing rivals from over the hill. I don't know why I wasn't bothered. Maybe it's just a trait of being a supporter of the champions? But I was content we played really well and that really we gifted Saints a point, rather than them earning it.

Speaking of being champions, the bitterness of then Saints, now Bradford, coach Brian Potter came out to the fore at his pre match press conference this week. He became the latest to whinge about our tackle technique.

He told BBC Radio Leeds: "I think (Wigan) are still using some questionable tackle techniques. It's just a case of doing the best you can against that. I think the governing bodies are on to it and looking at it. Other clubs could use the same tactics but that comes down to the ethics you want to have at your club. It's tempting, but if you are potentially going to injure people by doing it then it's not an option and not the way to go for me."

Two things spring to mind from reading that. A, Who exactly was injured by a Wigan tackle last year? and B, Isn't he basically saying we cheated our way to the title last year? That's what it sounds like to me!

Last week we saw Jeff Lima get a two match ban for poor tackle technique. Now I'm not going to argue against his ban because he pleaded guilty on both accounts at the end of the day but I'm baffled to see Wayne Godwin get the exact same ban for, in my view, a much worse offence. Wagga struck a player from behind when he wasn't looking and had already served a one match ban during pre season for a dangerous throw.

The RFL's report says Godwin pleaded not guilty to the offence and did "not apologise or show any remorse for what he did." The key part of that sentence is that he pleaded NOT GUILTY. How the hell could he plead not guilty to that? You couldn't have missed it either at the ground or watching Live on Sky. If he did that in Wigan town centre he'd soon be joining the community service lot who I saw chipping rust off the railings in the church gardens as punishment last summer!

Now I know Lima was charged with two offences to just the one for Godwin but Lima pleading guilty got the same ban as Godwin who pleaded not guilty and showed no remorse for punching an opponent in the head. Doesn't seem right to me.

Anyway the match on Sunday could be a big banana skin for Wigan I feel. If they have half an eye on the World Challenge a week later, I think Bradford will catch us out.

Last season was a dire year at Odsal and since they were last champions of Super League in 2005, their average attendance has plummeted by over 5,000! The club responded this off season by slashing season tickets to just £60, and got a lot of praise for doing so, but let's be honest it was an act of sheer desperation.

However that desperation worked. Sales of season tickets rose by over 200% and the crowds should be huge at Odsal this year. But to get those fans buzzing again they need big performances and a battle with the champions first up gives them no better opportunity to raise moral and optimism.

They certainly showed they will be a danger last week against Leeds. They should really have beaten the Rhinos. Brett Kearney was running the show and causing Leeds big problems with the high bomb.

I think Potter has made some astute signings. Chev Walker, Matt Diskin and Bryn Hargreaves are all players who will do a solid job, whilst Shaun Ainscough (if he can screw his head on) will score tries out wide.

The difference though is squad depth. They lose loose forward Jamie Langley and stand off Kyle Briggs (both first choice last weekend), to be replaced by Tom Olbison and Danny Addy, whilst we lose Jeff Lima yet are able to recall not only Stuart Fielden but Amos Roberts as well (he replaces Stefan Marsh). Massive difference in squad depth isn't it?

If Wigan are fully focused on the game, they should beat Bradford. However our recent regular season record at Odsal is poor. We won 20-14 in July 2009 but other than that we've generally struggled here. I've a sneaky feeling that we will get the win though and abolish the Phil Bentham hoo-doo which hounded us last season.

19 Man Squads

IN:l Stuart Fielden, Amos Roberts
OUT:l Jeff Lima, Stefan Marsh
Full 19: Sam Tomkins, Darrell Goulding, Martin Gleeson, George Carmont, Paul Deacon, Thomas Leuluai, Stuart Fielden, Michael McIlorum, Andy Coley, Harrison Hansen, Joel Tomkins, Sean O'Loughlin, Paul Prescott, Ryan Hoffman, Amos Roberts, Lee Mossop, Liam Farrell, Chris Tuson, Josh Charnley.

IN:l Danny Addy, Tom Olbison
OUT:l Jamie Langley, Kyle Briggs
Full 19: Michael Platt, Paul Sykes, Chev Walker, Patrick Ah Van, Brett Kearney, Nick Scruton, Heath L'Estrange, Andy Lynch, Olivier Elima, Elliott Whitehead, Matt Diskin, Bryn Hargreaves, Craig Kopczak, Ian Sibbit, Shaun Ainscough, Gareth Raynor, Danny Addy, Shad Royston, Tom Olbison.

Match Referee

Phil Bentham (Warrington) - Age 39
First Pro Game: Sheffield 34 London Skolars 6 - 22nd February 2004
First Super League Game: Wakefield 30 Hull 32 - 11th September 2005
First Wigan Game: Wigan 36 Huddersfield 20 - 24th February 2006
Finals Officiated: None.

Wigan's Record when this referee is appointed

Wigan have Won 7 and Lost 15 from 22 appointments.

Video Referee

Not in use for this match.

Current Super League XVI League Positions

  Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
7th Wigan Warriors 1 0 1 0 16 16 - 1
8th Bradford Bulls 1 0 0 1 28 32 -4 0

Super League Era Head to Head Record

Overall Played 41 Wigan 22 Wins Bradford 18 Wins 1 Draw
At Bradford Played 19 Wigan 7 Wins Bradford 12 Wins 0 Draws

Wigan Form Guide - Last Six Matches - Won 5 Drawn 1 Lost 0

Date Opposition Competition Result Score
12th February St Helens (N) SL 16 Round 1 Draw 16-16
2nd February Warrington (A) Pre Season Won 24-18
16th January Salford (A) Pre Season Won 30-24
2nd October St Helens (N)

SL 15 Grand Final

Won 22-10
25th September Leeds (A) SL 15 Play Off Won 26-06
17th September Hull KR (H) SL15 Play Off Won 42-18

Wigan 2011 League Away Record
Played 1: Won 0, Drawn 1 and Lost 0 (Ranked: 7th of 14) - 50% Win Rate.

Bradford Form Guide - Last Six Matches - Won 4 Lost 2

Date Opposition Competition Result Score
13th February Leeds (N) SL 16 Round 1 Lost 28-32
30th January Wakefield (H) Pre Season Won 40-16
23rd January Dewsbury (A) Pre Season Won 46-12
9th January Halifax (H) Pre Season Won 50-08
3rd September Wigan (A) SL 15 Round 27 Lost 12-34
22nd August Wakefield (H) SL 15 Round 26 Won 38-28

Bradford 2011 League Away Record
Played 1: Won 0 and Lost 1 (Ranked: 8th of 12) - 0% Win Rate.

Previous Six Meetings at Odsal Stadium

Date Opposition Report
5th March 2010 Bradford Bulls 22 Wigan Warriors 20 Click Here
19th July 2009 Bradford Bulls 14 Wigan Warriors 20 Click Here
27th April 2008 Bradford Bulls 26 Wigan Warriors 12 Click Here
20th Jan 2008 Bradford 16 Wigan 28 (Pre Season) Click Here
21st Sept 2007 Bradford 30 Wigan 31 (Play Off) Click Here
24th Feb 2007 Bradford Bulls 32 Wigan Warriors 28 Click Here

Bradford v Wigan in the past.....

5lyearslago:l The match five years ago was played in farcical foggy conditions in which the whole Wigan support at one end of the ground couldn't see 90% of the pitch. Bradford apparently claimed a 34-12 win.

Bradford were actually playing at Valley Parade in 2001, whilst Odsal was due to be renovated. During two years away absolutely no work got down at all, except for a corporate effort at one end of the ground that could have been built without the need to move away anyway. Wigan played Bradford twice away in this season, losing 35-24 on Easter Monday, then also 24-18 in a Grand Final qualifier. It was a dire place to visit with it's postage stamp pitch.

25lyearslago:l In September 1986 Wigan claimed a 20-10 at Odsal thanks to tries from Joe Lydon, Henderson Gill, Steve Hampson and Ian Potter.
50lyearslago:l Sides Never Met.
75lyearslago:l Sides Never Met.
100lyearslago:l Sides Never Met.

Hot Scoring Streaks

  • No hot streaks at the moment.

Cold Scoring Streaks

  • Paul Prescott holds the clubs current longest cold streak having now not scored a try in 72 appearances since scoring his only Wigan try in the away trip at Hull Kingston Rovers on 9th September 2007.
  • Lee Mossop has not scored a try in 18 appearances since the opening day of last season against Crusaders.
  • Paul Deacon has not scored a try in any of his last 13 appearances since he scored his only Wigan try against Salford on 11th April 2010.

  • Sean O'Loughlin has not scored a try in 11 appearances since scoring against Salford on 9th July 2010.

  • Andy Coley has not scored a try in 10 appearances since scoring against Catalans on 4th July 2010.

Ticket Details

Pay on Gate - Terrace: Adults £18, Concessions/Students £11.

UK TV Coverage

Try Highlights Sunday 9:30pm
Try Highlights Sunday 11:25pm
Try Highlights Monday Midnight

Radio Commentary

BBC Radio Manchester have two Live Football commentaries on Sunday afternoon so Wish FM (102.4FM) will have exclusive FM full commentary of the match from Odsal. Wish FM will be on air from just before the 3pm kick off. BBC Radio Manchester commentary will be streamed online however with Trevor Hunt at Odsal.

At the ground both BBC Radio Leeds (92.4FM) and Bradford Community Broadcasting (106.6FM) will both have commentary of the match.

Bilko's Statistical prediction.

The stats suggest a Wigan Win by 4 Points.

Weather Forecast

Possible light rain but shouldn't be too cold.

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