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Match Preview: Leeds (A) - 1st April 2011 at Headingley Carnegie Stadium
Posted by Bilko on March 31 2011 - 12:13

Leeds Rhinos v Wigan Warriors - Engage Super League XVI Round 8.
Friday 1st April 2011. Kick Off 8:00pm at Headingley Carnegie Stadium.

Match Preview

If Wigan win on Friday (and it is perhaps a big if) then I think we should look back on the start to 2011 and be reasonably pleased. Yes the manner of the defeat last Friday against Warrington was disappointing but it had been coming.

A win on Friday makes all the difference, but if I asked you all prior to Huddersfield away that (after we'd scraped past Hull at home, had both Sam and Joel Tomkins suspended and lost Paul Deacon to injury) we'd win two out of three facing Hudds and Leeds away and Warrington at home, I reckon most fans would have been very pleased with that.

It's all about bouncing back again for Michael Maguire's Wigan. For all of the previous eight losses under him we've always bounced straight back with a victory and to do that for a ninth time would be massive.

I mean get past Leeds and the fixtures list begins to open up for us. We have a run of matches which reads Catalan, Hull KR, St Helens, Wakefield, Crusaders, Barrow, Harlequins, Hull KR again and Catalan again.

The Saints clash certainly isn't a gimme but the other eight games should all be won.  Not saying they will be won but if we play to our full potential they should be won. I mean six of the eight league matches are against the current bottom four in the table. We just need to make sure we don't waste that run with defeat at Leeds.

So how to beat Leeds? Well for Wigan it is simple I think. Make sure the defence is solid and up to it's usual standard and we'll have enough in attack to get the victory. I'm convinced that the current Leeds side can't compete to a high defensive standard. They are conceding 10 points a match more than Wigan this year and that is a lot of ground to make up.

Fair enough they did only concede six points to Wakefield last week but I was listening the game on BBC Radio Leeds and trust me that flattered them. Wakefield hammered them in the first half and remarkably only scored one try.

Don't take my word for it. The poster "Remarkable_Rhinos" on the Southstander.com message board wrote "Wakefield were dire. 40 minutes of total dominance, 10 of those with a one man advantage, and they had 4 points to show for it. Don't get me wrong, we did pretty well defending on some instances, but most other teams (especially Wigan!) would've finished that half with at least 20 points to their name."

That's exactly as it sounded but it was easily predictable that Leeds would get a bollocking at half time and turn it round. Reading and hearing that makes me confident but I think it's fair to say that under Brian Noble our defence wasn't great yet somehow we consistently were able to produce one off regular season displays to beat a top Leeds side.

I could rattle off about six or seven instances we managed to do that and certainly for all the away ones we would have gone to Headingley hoping rather than expecting victory. So that is the fear, that Leeds raise to their old top defensive standard in a one off.

Whether Brian McDermott can coach them to that remains to be seen. I'm genuinely not convinced he can. They have yet to really beat any top sides. They've won against Bradford, Hull, Salford and Wakefield, all teams in the bottom half of the table and if you watched the game against Bradford in Cardiff they were damn lucky to get away with that one. When they've lost, they've not just lost but been well beaten by Warrington, Harlequins and St Helens because they were unable to defend well.

One thing is for sure, if we end up in an offensive shootout, Leeds are still top draw in that department. They have the third best attack in Super League behind Warrington and Castleford.

It's looking like coach Michael Maguire will ring the changes after the defeat to Warrington. It's suggested that Josh Charnley and Stefan Marsh will both be taken out of the fire with Joel Tomkins and Amos Roberts replacing them in the three quarters. Sean O'Loughlin will start at Stand Off with Brett Finch easing in off the bench. It'll be interesting to see how that works. Is the plan when Finch comes on to switch O'Loughlin back to loose or use Tommy Leuluai as alternative hooker? I hope it's the latter!

If Charnley doesn't play though, that leaves the worry of goal kicking. Wigan and Leeds are the two worst sides in Super League for goal kick success. Charnley wasn't doing too bad. He only missed 1 from 6 attempts for a 83.3% conversion rate, although off memory having said that he did have most of those bang in front. Overall we have a 66.6% conversion rate and if Sam Tomkins is kicking, I'm not convinced he can convert off the touchline. Maybe Amos Roberts will have a go?

However we do have the excuse of missing our number 1 kicker Pat Richards and number two kicker Paul Deacon. Leeds have no such excuse. Kevin Sinfield is their number 1 and yet they are converting worse than Wigan. Sinfield has missed 14 of his 41 attempts at goal for a 65.8% conversion rate.

So goal kicking is my fear but I think we'll win this game off the bench. I think we are just that bit stronger in reserve at the moment and like I said if defence is strong enough, I think we'll have enough to edge home. I expect a very tight game though.

19 Man Squads

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

Leeds
IN:l Lee Smith
OUT:l Luke Burgess
Full 19: Brent Webb, Lee Smith, Keith Senior, Ryan Hall, Rob Burrow, Kylie Leuluai, Danny Buderus, Jamie Jones Buchanan, Carl Ablett, Kevin Sinfield, Ben Cross, Ryan Bailey, Ian Kirke, Kallum Watkins, Weller Hauraki, Chris Clarkson, Jay Pitts, Paul McShane, Brad Singleton.

Match Referee

Richard Silverwood (Dewsbury) - Age 34
First Pro Game: York v Batley - March 28th 1999
First Super League Game: Halifax 30 Salford 18 - May 6th 2001
First Wigan Game: Wakefield 14 Wigan 30 - May 1st 2002

Wigan's Record when this referee is appointed

Wigan have Won 30, Drawn 1 and Lost 12 from 43 appointments.
This Season: Won 0, Drawn 1, Lost 0 from 1 appointment.

Video Referee

Ian Smith

Current Super League XVI League Positions

  Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
5th Wigan Warriors 6 4 1 1 132 84 +48 9
6th Leeds Rhinos 7 4 0 3 204 170 +34 8

Super League Team Stats - Averages per Game

- Wigan Leeds League Best League Worst
Attack Points per Game 22pts

29.1pts

Warr'ton 33.5pts Wakefield 16.2pts
Defence Pts Agst per Game 14pts

24.2pts

Wigan 14pts Crusaders 33.1pts
Tries Scored per Game 4

5.2

Warrington 5.8 Wakefield 2.8
Tries Conceded per Game 2.5

4.1

Wigan 2.5 Crusaders 5.7
Metres Made per Game 1301m

1445m

St Helens 1468m Hull KR 1170m
Ball Carries per Game 211.5

227

St Helens 232.2 Hull KR 193.4
Av.Metres per Ball Carry 6.15m

6.35m

Hudds'field 6.66m Salford 5.96m
Tackle Busts per Game 21.1

25.5

Hudds'field 30 Wakefield 16.7
Clean Breaks per Game 4.5

6.8

Leeds 6.8 Harlequins 3.2
Offloads per Game 7.1

18.2

Leeds 18.2 Wigan 7.1
Attacking Kicks per Game 10.6

10

Catalans 15.4 Leeds 10
Kicks in Gen Play per Game 21.6

16.4

Wakefield 22 Leeds 16.4
Dummy Half Runs per Game 45.5

26.1

St Helens 47.7 Hull KR 21.4
Tackles per Game 353.6

277.1

Wigan 353.6 Leeds 277.1
Marker Tackles per Game 52.5

34.5

Bradford 53.2 Leeds 34.5
Errors per Game 10.5

15.2

Salford 10.1

Leeds 15.2
Penalties Against per Game 7.5

7.1

St Helens 5.7 Wakefield 10.2

Individual Player Stats

- Wigan Leeds League Leader
Top Try Scorer Josh Charnley 4

R.Hall/K.Watkins 6

(7 Players) 6
Top Goal Scorer Paul Deacon 11

Kevin Sinfield 27

Brett Hodgson 32
Top Points Scorer Josh Charnley 26

Kevin Sinfield 59

(2 Players) 72
Top Try Assister (3 Players) 3

Kevin Sinfield 10

Kevin Sinfield 10
Top Metre Maker Sam Tomkins 725m

Ryan Hall 775m

James Roby 1309m
Top Ball Carrier Mike McIlorum 102

Kevin Sinfield 170

James Roby 255
Top Tackle Buster Sam Tomkins 28

Rob Burrow 29

Willie Manu 31
Top Clean Breaker Sam Tomkins 7

Webb/Jones-Bishop 6

J.McGillvary 9
Top Offloader George Carmont 7

Ali Lauitiiti 19

C.Schifcofske 22
Top Attacking Kicker Thomas Leuluai 26

Kevin Sinfield 30

Danny Brough 58
Top General Kicker Thomas Leuluai 49

Kevin Sinfield 61

Danny Brough 96
Top DH Runner Mike McIlorum 96

Danny Buderus 86

James Roby 210
Top Tackler Mike McIlorum 226

Danny Buderus 193

C.Fitzgibbon 333
Top Marker Tackler Liam Farrell 37

Danny Buderus 28

C.Fitzgibbon 67
Worst Miss Tackler Harrison Hansen 13

Weller Hauraki 19

E.Whitehead 31
Most Errors Josh Charnley 9

Kevin Sinfield 15

Kevin Sinfield 15
Most Pens Conceded O'L'lin/Hoffman 8

J.Jones-Buchanan 9

Michael Witt 14

Super League Era Head to Head Record including Play Offs

Overall Played 47 Wigan 25 Wins Leeds 19 Wins 3 Draws
At Headingley Played 24 Wigan 12 Wins Leeds 10 Wins 2 Draws

Super League Form Table - Last Six League Matches Only

- Team W D L F A Diff Sequence Pts
1 Warrington Wolves 6 0 0 217 82 +135 12
2 Castleford Tigers 5 0 1 189 104 +85 10
3 Wigan Warriors 4 1 1 132 84 +48 9
4 Huddersfield Giants 4 0 2 144 90 +54 8
5 St Helens 4 0 2 170 122 +48 7
6 Leeds Rhinos 3 0 3 172 142 +30 6
7 Salford City Reds 3 0 3 138 168 -30 6
8 Bradford Bulls 3 0 3 142 184 -42 6
9 Harlequins 3 0 3 129 200 -71 6
10 Hull FC 2 0 4 128 134 -6 4
11 Catalan Dragons 2 0 4 127 156 -29 4
12 Wakefield Wildcats 2 0 4 94 142 -48 4
13 Hull Kingston Rovers 1 0 5 128 176 -48 2
14 Crusaders 0 0 6 122 220 -98 0

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

Date Opposition Competition Result Score
25th March Warrington (H) SL 16 Round 7 Lost 06-24
18th March Huddersfield (A) SL 16 Round 6 Won 20-06
13th March Hull FC (H) SL 16 Round 5 Won 14-12
4th March Salford (A)

SL 16 Round 4

Won 32-16
27th February St George (H) World Challenge Lost 15-21
20th February Bradford (A) SL 16 Round 2 Won 44-10

Wigan 2011 League Away from Home Record
P3: Won 3, Drawn 1, Lost 0 (Ranked: Joint Best in League) - 87.5% Win Rate.

Leeds Form Guide - Last Six Matches - Won 3 Lost 3

Date Opposition Competition Result Score
27th March Wakefield (A) SL 16 Round 7 Won 28-06
19th March St Helens (H) SL 16 Round 6 Lost 16-30
11th March Salford (H) SL 16 Round 5 Won 46-12
5th March Warrington (A) SL 16 Round 4 Lost 24-40
25th February Harlequins SL 16 Round 3 Lost 26-36
18th February Hull FC (A) SL 16 Round 2 Won 32-18

Leeds 2011 League Home Record
Played 3: Won 1 and Lost 2 (Ranked: 6th Best in League) - 33.3% Win Rate.

Previous Six Meetings at Headingley

Date Opposition Report
12th Sept 2010 Leeds 06 Wigan 26 (Play Off Semi Final) Click Here
30th July 2010 Leeds Rhinos 12 Wigan Warriors 26 Click Here
29th May 2010 Leeds 12 Wigan 10 (Challenge Cup QF) Click Here
13th Mar 2009 Leeds Rhinos 34 Wigan Warriors 10 Click Here
26th Sept 2008 Leeds 18 Wigan 14 (Play Off Eliminator) Click Here
31st May 2008 Leeds 23 Wigan 16 (Challenge Cup QF) Click Here

Ticket Details

Pay of the Gate admission will be £20 for adults to stand on the Western Terrace. Click Here for Details. Note a new big screen has been erected which is situated on the opposite side of the away Western Terrace to where the Sky big screen was situated previously (next to the electronic scoreboard that still remains). Video referee call decisions will now be shown on the new big screen.

UK TV Coverage

Live Coverage Friday 7:30pm
Post Match Friday 9:55pm

Match Replay Friday Midnight
Match Replay Saturday 3:30am
Match Replay Saturday 6:00am
Match Replay Saturday 10:00am
Highlights Sunday 6:00pm -
Match Replay Monday 9:30am

International TV Coverage (All Times Local)

Australia Delay Late Sunday 0:20am Channel Nine -
New Zealand LIVE Saturday Morning 7:30am Sky Sport 2 HD
Middle East LIVE Friday 10:30pm (UAE) OSN Sports 1 HD
Russia Delay Saturday 6:15am NTV Sport -
Poland LIVE Friday 8:55pm Sport Klub -
Serbia LIVE Friday 9:00pm Sport Klub

+

Bosnia LIVE Friday 9:00pm Sport Klub

+

Montenegro LIVE Friday 9:00pm Sport Klub

+

Radio Commentary

BBC Radio Manchester (95.1FM) will have full match uninterrupted commentary from 7pm.

The match will also be the main focus on Wish FM (102.4) from 7:55pm with Mark Wilson at Headingley, but it will also offer coverage and part commentary from Chris Price of St Helens home game against Hull KR.

Bilko's Statistical prediction.

The stats suggest a Wigan Win by 2-4 Points.

Weather Forecast

Dry and reasonable warm apparently but their will be a breeze.

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