Match Preview: Leeds (H) - 1st July 2011 at DW Stadium
Posted by Bilko on June 30 2011 - 17:32
Wigan welcome Leeds to the DW on Friday hoping to keep pressure on Warrington at the top of the table.

Click Read More for Preview.
Extended News

Wigan Warriors v Leeds Rhinos - Engage Super League XVI Round 20.
Friday 1st July 2011. Kick Off 8:00pm at DW Stadium.

Match Preview

"Our job's not to go (to Wigan) and win, it's not about winning, it's not about......errrr, we've got to make sure we play well".

The words of Leeds coach Brian McDermott ahead of his sides trip to Wigan on Friday. I think that is the daftest quote I've heard since Ian Millward said "Relegation is not an issue" two weeks before he was sacked here in 2006.

In fairness I think McDermott just got his words in a complete flap. I think what he was trying to say is that he wants his side to come to Wigan and perform and if that rewards a win so be it, if it doesn't at least it'd be something to build on a week later.

Either way you look at it though, he is giving tremendous respect to Wigan and it shows a lack of belief that his side can come here and win. Not the kind of words I'd want to be hearing if I was a Leeds supporter.

It's amazing how in just two years the fortunes of Wigan and Leeds seem to have completely flipped. Go back to July 1st 2009 and it was Leeds in second place chasing top spot whilst Wigan were having yet another fanny about regular season under Brian Noble with a lowly 8th place being our position.

Their is of course the old adage that the regular season doesn't matter and you can just turn up for the play offs but I think we've proved in recent years that good strong regular season is required to take out titles and Leeds are way off the mark.

The big games tell you how much Leeds have struggled under McDermott. They bombed a win in amazing style when Wigan went to Headingley in April. They've been hammered twice by Warrington, twice by St Helens and once by Huddersfield as well. Recently they nicked a late 12-7 win at Crusaders and lost at home to the total garbage that is Bradford Bulls.

Perhaps those words from McDermott were sheer desperation because they really need a moral boosting win here at Wigan, or else they season could end up being over pretty quickly. An away cup trip to Hull is not looking as easy for them as it once might have looked.

I think the main problem at Leeds is not just the fact the squad is getting old, but it has had no quality put into it during the past couple of seasons. No top draw signings and, for me, no top class youngsters. Their Under 20s side has struggled badly in the last two seasons, finishing 6th in 2009 and last year they didn't even make the play offs with a 10th place finish in a 12 team league.

This year again they are mid table fodder in the top academy division. That's a far cry from what it used to be like. For the first half of the last decade it was always Leeds at the top of the academy tree, with Wigan trailing a very close second, but for whatever reason Leeds have stepped backwards in the past three or four years and they can only pay the price for that in the next few years.

I'm a firm believer that a youngster can have all the talent in the world but if a winning mentality is not groomed in the academy, then I think they will end up missing that little bit extra when it comes to the crunch. Mental strength is just as important as natural ability. That is why I think many Wigan youngsters have come through recently and done really well. A simple stat bares out why I think. In the top academy level, Wigan have lost just 10 matches since the start of 2008. Leeds have lost 6 in this season alone so far. A winning mentality in the academy has been carried forward into the first team here at Wigan. Leeds youngsters are bringing through the exact opposite it seems.

Now, maybe McDermott was trying to lure Wigan into a false sense of security with those comments he made, but in no way will Michael Maguire fall for that load of old fanny. I see him sending Wigan out to continue the big momentum we are building and I wouldn't be surprised if we smash Leeds to be honest. Especially with Leeds fans being resigned to defeat themselves. I just cannot see Wigan putting in a poor performance and if we match the level we've produced in the past fortnight, well I'm not sure Leeds best could beat that!

But how often did we play Leeds under Noble and claim a unexpected regular season win? Very often indeed and I've made the point before that when we did beat Leeds under him, we all but once failed to follow it up with a win a week later. So who knows, Leeds may well come and play out their skins to beat us on Friday, but I'm not convinced it will make any difference in the long run. They look a side desperate for new blood, either in new players or in a new coach. The current Leeds squad has gone on a season to far for me and we'll probably see this highlighted on Friday!

19 Man Squads

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

Leeds
IN:l Zak Hardaker
OUT:l Weller Hauraki
Full 19: Brent Webb, Lee Smith, Brett Delaney, Ryan Hall, Danny McGuire, Rob Burrow, Kylie Leuluai, Danny Buderus, Jamie Peacock, Jamie Jones Buchanan, Carl Ablett. Kevin Sinfield, Ali Lauitiiti, Ryan Bailey, Ian Kirke, Chris Clarkson, Ben Jones-Bishop, Paul McShane, Zak Hardaker

Match Referee

Thierry Alibert (France) - Age 40
First Pro Game: Northern Ford Premiership Match - 2001
First Super League Game: Leeds 46 Huddersfield 8 - 11th July 2008
First Wigan Game: Harlequins 18 Wigan 24 - 28th February 2009

Wigan's Record when this referee is appointed

Wigan have Won 9 and Lost 3 from 12 appointments.
This Season: Won 2 and Lost 2 from 4 appointments.

Video Referee

Steve Ganson (St Helens)

Current Super League XVI League Positions

  Team P W D L F A Diff Pts
2nd Wigan Warriors 18 12 3 3 518 285 +233 27
6th Leeds Rhinos 19 10 1 8 492 441 +51 21

Wigan v Leeds Player Stat Leaders

- Wigan Leeds League Leader
Top Try Scorer Sam Tomkins 16

Ryan Hall 15

Kirk Yeaman 18
Top Goal Scorer Pat Richards 55

Kevin Sinfield 75

Brett Hodgson 97
Top Points Scorer Pat Richards 136

Kevin Sinfield 155

Brett Hodgson 242
Top Try Assister Sam Tomkins 10

Kevin Sinfield 15

Daniel Holdsworth 20
Top Metre Maker Sam Tomkins 2569m

Ryan Hall 2178m

James Roby 3765m
Top Ball Carrier Sam Tomkins 343

Kevin Sinfield 361

James Roby 701
Top Tackle Buster Sam Tomkins 104

Rob Burrow 66

Sam Tomkins 104
Top Clean Breaker Sam Tomkins 25

Ryan Hall 15

Sam Tomkins 25
Top Offloader George Carmont 21

Kevin Sinfield 27

Chris Bailey 48
Top Attacking Kicker Brett Finch 58

Kevin Sinfield 82

Rangi Chase 141
Top General Kicker Sam Tomkins 99

Kevin Sinfield 162

Danny Brough 210
Top DH Runner Mike McIlorum 229

Danny Buderus 193

James Roby 587
Top Tackler Sean O'Loughlin 543

J.Jones-Buchanan 560

James Roby 777
Top Marker Tackler Lee Mossop 86

J.Jones-Buchanan 87

Danny Houghton 136
Worst Miss Tackler Mike McIlorum 29

Weller Hauraki 39

Elliott Whitehead 61
Most Errors Josh Charnley 23

Kevin Sinfield 28

Luke Gale 32
Most Pens Conceded Sean O'Loughlin 19

J.Jones-Buchanan 20

Michael Witt 23

Super League Era Head to Head Record including Play Offs

Overall Played 47 Wigan 25 Wins Leeds 18 Wins 4 Draws
At Wigan Played 22 Wigan 12 Wins Leeds 9 Wins 1 Draw

Super League Form Table - Last Six League Matches Only

- Team W D L F A Diff Sequence (Most Recent on Left) Pts
1 Warrington Wolves 5 0 1 257 84 +173 10
2 Wigan Warriors 4 1 1 206 76 +130 9
3 Hull FC 4 0 2 180 98 +82 8
4 Catalan Dragons 4 0 2 173 130 +43 8
5 Huddersfield Giants 4 0 2 164 135 +31 8
6 Bradford Bulls 3 1 2 124 130 -6 7
7 Leeds Rhinos 3 0 3 120 129 -9 6
8 Salford City Reds 3 0 3 112 121 -9 6
9 Hull Kingston Rovers 3 0 3 133 158 -25 6
10 St Helens 2 1 3 140 149 -9 5
11 Castleford Tigers 2 1 3 131 210 -79 5
12 Crusaders 1 0 5 126 159 -33 2
13 Wakefield Wildcats 1 0 5 97 201 -104 2
14 Harlequins 1 0 5 92 234 -142 2

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

Date Opposition Competition Result Score
25th June Huddersfield (H)

SL 16 Round 19

Won 46-12
17th June St Helens (A) SL 16 Round 18 Won 32-10
12th June Castleford (A) SL 16 Round 17 Draw 22-22
4th June Catalan (A) SL 16 Round 16 Lost 12-20
30th May Hull KR (H) SL 16 Round 15 Won 40-06
22nd May Bradford (A) Challenge Cup R5 Won 26-22

Wigan 2011 League Home Record
Played 7: Won 5 and Lost 2 (Ranked: 3rd Best in League) - 71.4% Win Rate.

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

Date Opposition Competition Result Score
24th June Bradford (H) SL 16 Round 19 Lost 12-18
17th June Crusaders (A) SL 16 Round 18 Won 12-07
12th June Hull KR (H) SL 16 Round 17 Won 42-16
3rd June St Helens (A) SL 16 Round 16 Lost 16-42
27th May Warrington (H) SL 16 Round 15 Lost 06-42
20th May Harlequins (H) Challenge Cup R5 Won 40-20

Leeds 2011 League Away from Home Record
Played 9: Won 6 and Lost 3 (Ranked: 3rd Best in League) - 66.6% Win Rate.

Last Six Meetings at DW Stadium

Date Opposition Report
12th Sept 2010 Wigan 26 Leeds 27 (Play Off) Click Here
26th March 2010 Wigan Warriors 24 Leeds Rhinos 04 Click Here
24th July 2009 Wigan Warriors 28 Leeds Rhinos 10 Click Here
22nd Aug 2008 Wigan Warriors 16 Leeds Rhinos 52 Click Here
4th July 2008 Wigan Warriors 23 Leeds Rhinos 22 Click Here
12th July 2007 Wigan Warriors 18 Leeds Rhinos 02 Click Here

Ticket Details

Stand ConAdultsiors Concs/Juniors
West Stand Gold 22 16
West Stand Blue 21 15
East Stand Silver 20 14
East Stand Red 19 13
South Stand 18 12
North Stand (Visitors) 18 12

Ticket Hotline: 0871 66 33 552
Click Here for Stadium Seating Map

UK TV Coverage

LIVE Friday 7:30pm
LIVE Friday 7:30pm

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Highlights Sunday 10:55pm -
Replay Late Fri 1:00am
Replay Saturday 6:30am
Replay Saturday 10:00am

Radio Commentary

BBC Radio Manchester (95.1FM) - Part Commentary whilst also covering Castleford v Warrington and Salford v Harlequins.

102.4 Wish FM - Updates only from Graham Lovett and Andy Gregory whilst they station does commentary on Saints v Hull from Widnes with Chris Price and Mike Bennett.

BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra (DAB Digital / Freeview Channel 706) will have full match commentary on national DAB Digital from 7:55pm.

Bilko's Statistical prediction.

The stats suggest a Wigan Win by 10 Points.

Weather Forecast

Dry.