Midweek Blog - Round 4 ----> Round 5
Posted by Bilko on March 09 2016 - 16:09
A look back on Hull and thoughts pre Leeds.
Extended News

Whether your glass half full or half empty on Wigan's 100% start to this campaign, you have to take heart from each of the last three league games being won by winning scores in the 77th, 76th and 79th Minutes.

I've sure mentioned the failure in game management at times this year so far but those finishes have been great. Calm composure when it matters to get the job done and that is the important thing.

With the play offs now Top 4 rather than Top 8 it is important to get points on the board early and that's why I think this is an important game against Leeds on Friday at the DW.

We all know about the key men Leeds lost at the end of last season and Danny McGuire injured on top at the moment is tough. Joel Moon and Brett Delaney are also ruled out of Friday's match.

A win and we go eight points clear of Leeds already, a loss and it's just a four point lead. Big difference.

It's up to Wigan to heap the pressure on them though. They get a win against us on Friday and all will be happy in the camp at Headingley. A loss and then they are looking at desperately needing wins from a visit of Saints and then a game away at Castleford.

One thing of interest will be Wigan's team sheet for this one where it's expected that Dan Sarginson will go to full back with Oliver Gildart playing in his vacated centre position.

I like the idea to be honest. It was only a late switch at Hull but it paid quick dividends with Sarge getting in the attacking line to combine with Gildart for a match levelling try that Josh Charnley finished.

That’s not to say I think Lewis Tierney has done much wrong. I keep saying doing radio commentary that the Full Backs first job is being solid in defence and in the main I think Tierney has been doing that fine. We’ve not seen much of him in attack though and Wigan are at their best when the full back getting involved in the attack and creating the spaces for others to exploit.

Finally I have to mention Matty Smith who, after his two drop goals at Hull, is now just one short of equalling Andy Farrell’s record of 19 “one pointers” for the club.

Smith overtook Joe Lydon to go second in the list on Friday but when you consider his 18 drop goals have come in just 108 games, compared to Farrell having played 370 and Lydon 262 times for Wigan, it shows how good a record it is.

The weird thing for Smith though. He’s kicked more drop goals (18) than scored tries (17) in his Wigan career!

If I could write the script I'd be seeing Matty equal the record this Friday with a crucial drop goal against Leeds and then set the new record on Good Friday with a match winning one pointer v Saints! That'd be nice!