Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Warriors V Rhinos on a Thursday!

Thanks to Sky TV and the RFL, one of the biggest games of the season which should be the finale of the final regular round is instead the first game of the weekend and is broadcast on Thursday due to the new schedules.

Wigan host Leeds in a winner take all clash that sees the two battling to finish third with the result a trip to Warrington in the play-offs and the loser placing fourth and facing a trip to League Leaders Shield winners Huddersfield.

Both sides will wear a limited edition shirt featuring the famous Superman 'S' as a publicity stunt for the upcoming release of the film Man of Steel in December and is apt being that the current Man Of Steel, Sam Tomkins will play on Thursday night.

Many fans see a trip to Warrington the more daunting and as such wouldn't mind their team losing in order to get an 'easier' draw but personally we had this situation last year with a good amount of Warriors fans glad when Saints won at the DW on the final weekend only to then celebrate claiming the League Leaders Shield.

Wigan really need a win to stem their dip in form which had seen defeats to Hull and Huddersfield either side of their Wembley triumph and a third straight league defeat would not be a good impetus for the play-offs. Leeds go into the Wigan trip on the back of a close win over Catalan but with a preceding defeat to Hull KR, their form needs a boost.

Good news for Wigan is that Ryan Bailey is suspended for the game as he has been a thorn in their side and also the return of  Sam Tomkins, Josh Charnley, Darrell Goulding, Pat Richards, Blake Green, Matty Smith, Michael McIlorum. Lee Mossop, Harrison Hansen and Liam Farrell to the squad. but skipper Sean O'Loughlin misses the game though with a calf injury.

Leeds welcome back Rob Burrow and Alex Foster is included after Bailey's suspension, Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Brett Delaney also return from injury

Wigan - Josh Charnley, Dom Crosby, Liam Farrell, Ben Flower, Anthony Gelling, Darrell Goulding, Blake Green, Harrison Hansen, Michael McIlorum, Lee Mossop, Andy Powell, Sam Powell, Pat Richards, Matty Smith, Scott Taylor, Iain Thornley, Sam Tomkins, Logan Tomkins, Chris Tuson

Leeds - Zak Hardaker, Ben Jones-Bishop, Kallum Watkins, Joel Moon, Ryan Hall, Danny McGuire, Rob Burrow, Kylie Leuluai, Jamie Peacock, Jamie Jones- Buchanan, Carl Ablett, Kevin Sinfield, Brett Delaney, Alex Foster, Ian Kirke, Chris Clarkson, Mitch Achurch, Brad Singleton, Liam Sutcliffe.

 Both meetings this season have been won with less than a converted try as the deficit between the sides so I anticipate a similar outcome this week and as such will go for Wigan 24 Leeds 20.