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Match Preview: Salford (A) - 4th March 2011 at The Willows
Posted by Bilko on March 02 2011 - 14:39

Salford City Reds v Wigan Warriors - Engage Super League XVI Round 4.
Friday 4th March 2011. Kick Off 8:00pm at The Willows.

Match Preview

I think it's going to be tough for Wigan to back up just five days after a gruelling World Club Challenge. Especially with Salford getting a 32-6 confidence boosting, pressure relieving, victory at Wakefield last weekend. But we ground out victory in similar circumstances at The Willows last season, so I'm confident we can do so again.

Last year we went to Salford the weekend after Easter. We'd beaten both Leeds and St Helens on consecutive Friday's then won against Wakefield on Easter Monday. Injuries were beginning to set in though with Amos Roberts, Thomas Leuluai and Stuart Fielden missing the Salford trip and the last thing we really needed was a boiling hot day.

You could tell a defeat was on the horizon (it followed in the next league game v Harlequins) but at Salford we ground out an 18-4 victory with Paul Deacon claiming his only Wigan try to date and Pat Richards scoring twice. I think we just need to produce similar again. A quality performance would be a huge bonus but we should just be happy to go in there, get the two points, and then they can regroup with a 9 day break before our first home league game of the season against Hull FC.

Having said that, we are able to recall Jeff Lima after his suspension. Stuart Fielden isn't in the 19 man squad (he injured his knee training last Saturday) but I reckon they'll still be trying to get him fit. If we do get both back that would be an unbelievable luxury after such a big game last weekend, but even with just Lima returning he could be the boost up front that helps us win this game.

I'll say it again, it say's a lot about the strength of our current squad that we even competed against the Australian Champions last Sunday without (arguably) our first choice front row. In fact not just the two props but also our three times in a row top try scorer and current man of steel no less was absent as well. Do you seriously think any other Super League would have done so well without their top try scorer and their first choice front row? I reckon most other side's would have been flat as pancakes without those assets!

Wigan haven't lost to Salford home or away in 5 years. Our last league defeat against them actually came exactly five years ago this weekend. You may recall a blizzard hit Manchester about 4pm that day but the match passed a pitch inspection despite snow all over the pitch. Wigan crashed to a 28-10 defeat but to be honest in early 2006 I think even Wigan Athletic could have beaten us in a game of Rugby League.

Salford also beat us later that season in the Challenge Cup at The Willows. A dreadful match that was 0-0 at half time before the Reds won 16-4. It was a night that proved to be the final curtain call on Denis Moran's Wigan career. I don't know who updated his wikipedia page but apparently Moran's nicknames include "40/50" and "out on the full" lol. I'm still easily amused by this Moran classic from the message board archives.

Anyway....like I said, Salford got a big win at Wakefield last Sunday. Now I don't know if the Wildcats just played like tarts or whether Salford were just simply brilliant but 32-6 was their biggest Super League victory since they beat Harlequins 34-0 at home in August 2006.

Whatever way you look at it, they produced an excellent response to what frankly had been a shambolic start to the season. Not sure how news that Shaun McRae will be absent for a month with illness will affect them or not but you expect they'd want to put up a performance for their ill coach? Assistant coach Phil Veivers is also in Australia with a family bereavement, so Steve Simms and Malcolm Alker will take charge of the Reds.

So, I reckon this game could be a close one. I feel Wigan need to get a grip of the game early, get a lead and control the game. We do not want to start poorly and start having to chase the contest. Wigan have never lost two in a row under Michael Maguire so they have a chance here to show why they are champions. Let us show our great bouncebackability once again!

19 Man Squads

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

Salford
IN:l Wayne Godwin
OUT:l Jack Spencer
Full 19: Luke Patten, Jodie Broughton, Mark Henry, Chris Nero, Ashley Gibson, Stefan Ratchford, Daniel Holdsworth, Ray Cashmere, Wayne Godwin, Lee Jewitt, Stephen Wild, Matty Smith, Luke Adamson, Rob Parker, Iafeta Paleaaesina, Adam Sidlow, Ryan Boyle, Adam Neal, Marc Sneyd.

Match Referee

James Child (Dewsbury) - Age 26
First Pro Game: Gateshead 54 Workington 6 - 17th April 2006
First Super League Game: Wakefield 30 Catalans 10 - 15th March 2009
First Wigan Game: Wigan 38 Crusaders 6 - 5th April 2010

Wigan's Record when this referee is appointed

Wigan have Won 5 and Lost 0 from 5 appointments.
This Season: First Appointment

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 2 1 1 0 60 26 +34 3
11th Salford City Reds 3 1 0 2 66 104 -38 2

Super League Team Stats - Averages per Game

- Wigan Salford League Best League Worst
Attack Points per Game

30pts

22pts (3 Teams) 30pts Catalan 16.3pts
Defence Pts Agst per Game

13pts

34.6pts Wigan 13pts Salford 34.6pts
Tries Scored per Game

5.5

4 Leeds 5.6 (2 Teams) 3
Tries Conceded per Game

2.5

6 Wigan 2.5 Bradford 6.3
Metres Made per Game

1248m

1157m St Helens 1550m Hull KR 1025m
Ball Carries per Game

213

195 St Helens 252 Hull KR 176
Av.Meters per Ball Carry

5.86m

5.92m Hudds'field 6.51m (2 Teams) 5.83m
Tackle Busts per Game

19

20 St Helens 32 Castleford 15
Clean Breaks per Game

6

6 Leeds 7 Hudds'field 3
Offloads per Game

10

11 Leeds 17 Castleford 6
Attacking Kicks per Game

8

11 Hudds'field 15 Hull KR 7
Kicks in Gen Play per Game

19

20 St Helens 23 Hull KR 17
Dummy Half Runs per Game

46

24 St Helens 58 Hull KR 18
Tackles per Game

363

333 Wigan 363 Leeds 276
Marker Tackles per Game

61

49 Wigan 61 Catalans 37
Errors per Game

11

9

Castleford 8

Bradford 17
Penalties Against per Game

9

8 St Helens 5 Bradford 10

Super League Era Head to Head Record

Overall Played 25 Wigan 21 Wins Salford 4 Wins 0 Draws
At Salford Played 13 Wigan 10 Wins Salford 3 Wins 0 Draws

Wigan Form Guide - Last Six Matches - Won 4 Drawn 1 Lost 1

Date Opposition Competition Result Score
27th February St George (H) World Challenge Lost 15-21
20th February Bradford (A) SL 16 Round 2 Won 44-10
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

Wigan 2011 League Away Record
Played 2: Won 1, Drawn 1 and Lost 0 (Ranked: 5th of 14) - 75% Win Rate.

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

Date Opposition Competition Result Score
27th February Wakefield (A) SL 16 Round 3 Won 32-06
18th February St Helens (H) SL 16 Round 2 Lost 22-56
13th February Crusaders (N) SL 16 Round 1 Lost 12-42
30th January Hull KR (A) Pre Season Lost 06-40
21st January Swinton (H) Pre Season Won 42-16
16th January Wigan (H) Pre Season Lost 24-30

Salford 2011 League Home Record
Played 1: Won 0 and Lost 1 (Ranked: 12th of 14) - 0% Win Rate.

Previous Six Meetings at The Willows

Date Opposition Report
11th April 2010 Salford City Reds 04 Wigan Warriors 18 Click Here
20th March 2009 Salford City Reds 12 Wigan Warriors 38 Click Here
27th April 2007 Salford City Reds 24 Wigan Warriors 50 Click Here
16th March 2007 Salford City Reds 06 Wigan Warriors 25 Click Here
19th May 2006 Salford 18 Wigan 04 (Challenge Cup R5) Click Here
3rd March 2006 Salford City Reds 28 Wigan Warriors 10 Click Here

Salford v Wigan in the past.....

5lyearslago:l The sides met twice in 2006 with Salford claiming victories in both contests. A league match in March saw a 28-10 victory in on a snow covered pitch, whilst a forgettable cup tie was won 18-4 defeat for Wigan.
10lyearslago:l

A pretty memorable contest at The Willows. Wigan had led 22-12 at Half Time but Salford fought back with a Nick Pinkney hatrick helping level the scores at 30 all with seconds to go. After Matthew Johns had missed two one point attempts for Wigan before up the other end Graham Holroyd slotted a drop goal which earned a 31-30 victory for Salford and the sack for Frank Endacott.

25lyearslago:l A try from Phil Ford was not enough for Wigan as they went down to a 12-8 defeat at The Willows.
50lyearslago:l Playing a third match in four days over the Easter weekend, this was a pretty satisfactory Easter Monday trip to Salford as tries from Billy Boston (2), John Barton, Geoff Lyon, Frankie Parr and Tommy Vose earned a 32-5 win.
75lyearslago:l The sides met at Salford in the final match of the 1935-36 Regular Season and it was a crucial one. It was basically a play off for the play offs. The winner would make the top 4 and the losers season was over. Wigan progressed with tries from Gwynne Davies, Alf Ellaby, Jack Morley and Harold Edwards contributing to a 16-3 victory.
100lyearslago:l The sides contested a 12-12 draw at The Willows with Charlie Seeling and Bert Jenkins claiming tries for Wigan.

Hot Scoring Streaks

  • George Carmont has scored 4 tries in 3 matches so far this season.

Cold Scoring Streaks

  • Paul Prescott holds the clubs current longest cold streak having now not scored a try in 74 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 20 appearances since the opening day of last season against Crusaders.
  • Paul Deacon has not scored a try in any of his last 15 appearances since he scored his only Wigan try at Salford on 11th April 2010.
  • Sean O'Loughlin has not scored a try in 13 appearances since scoring against Salford on 9th July 2010.
  • Andy Coley has not scored a try in 12 appearances since scoring against Catalans on 4th July 2010.

Ticket Details

Pay on Gate - Terrace: Adults £20, Student Paupers/OAPs £15, U16s £10.

UK TV Coverage

Try Highlights Sunday 9:30pm
Try Highlights Sunday 0:05am
Try Highlights Monday 11:00pm

Radio Commentary

BBC Radio Manchester (95.1FM) will have Full Match Commentary from The Willows with Jack Dearden & Trevor Hunt. Coverage begins at 7pm.

The Willows is one of two venues in Super League (the other being Catalan) that does not have enough broadcast facilities to accommodate commercial radio stations. For that reason 102.4 Wish FM are not able to offer full match commentary of this game. Mark Wilson will still be doing bit part commentary though (using mobile streaming technology) from 8pm on Friday night but it won't be full match. Coverage is proceeded on Wish FM by "Gerr'rum On Side" from 7:00pm.

Bilko's Statistical prediction.

The stats suggest a Wigan Win by 28 Points.

Weather Forecast

Dry, cloudy night expected. Not too much wind so shouldn't be freezing.

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