Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Wigan Strong For Roosters Test

From celebrating Matty Smith's drop goal at Old Trafford last October in the stunning comeback against Warrington, the prize that awaits the victorious Warriors is a stern test against the NRL champions Sydney Roosters.

A lot of people suggest that the NRL sides are a step above the Super League and that the tie will surely be a Roosters win but Wigan have been in this situation before and famously humbled all of those who had doubted them when they won the last WCC to be held in Australia as they defeated the Brisbane Broncos 20-14 to cement their position as the best RL side in the world.

However since that famous win, Wigan have only had one WCC meeting which I remember all too well from three years ago when St George Illawarra won 21-15 at the DW stadium despite being 14-15 behind at half time after a good first half from both sides was ended with a Sam Tomkins drop goal. Sadly the second half saw Wigan scoreless as the Dragons hit seven points to comeback and claim the win, a win more devastating on a personal level with my birthday the following day.

Confidence was not too high before that game despite two wins from three in the Super League as the issue of the NRL side being stronger was a clear factor, this time around the same issue arises but Wigan have defied the odds a lot in recent years and this time I have confidence they will do the same.

One significant factor for Wigan is that only four of those who tasted defeat in 2011 still remain in the shape of Liam Farrell, Darrell Goulding, captain Sean O'Loughlin and Michael McIlorum, with the latter two a big factor in the confidence for Wigan having comeback from injury.

Both sides have submitted string squads for the match with each having one notable absentee due to injury, Wigan have Sam Powell missing due to an ankle injury which is gutting for the half-back after a brilliant performance in the trial game against the Vodafone Warriors while the Roosters will miss
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck who starred in last autumn's World Cup with eight tries in six games and has failed to shake off an injury that he suffered in the final.

Sydney -Anthony Minichiello, Daniel Tupou, Michael Jennings, Mitchell Aubusson, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, James Maloney, Mitchell Pearce, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jake Friend, Sam Moa, Boyd Cordner, Sonny Bill Williams, Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Daniel Mortimer, Aidan Guerra, Dylan Napa, Remi Casty, Kane Evans, Taane Milne, Kurt Kara.
Anthony Minichiello, Daniel Tupou, Michael Jennings, Mitchell Aubusson, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, James Maloney, Mitchell Pearce, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jake Friend, Sam Moa, Boyd Cordner, Sonny Bill Williams, Frank-Paul Nuuausala
Read more at http://www.wiganwarriors.com/WContent.aspx?id=9072&type=1#kskc3yvz3tXkRiXI.99


Wigan - J Bateman, M Bowen, J Burgess, J Charnley, T Clubb, D Crosby, G Dudson, L Farrell, B Flower, A Gelling, D Goulding, B Green, J Hughes, M McIlorum, S O'Loughlin (capt), E Pettybourne, D Sarginson, M Smith, S Taylor.

For the first time in a long time of predicting Wigan games, I am torn as being a 'True Warrior', I go for a Wigan win but it will be a very close one so I will say Wigan 25 Sydney 24.


Sydney Roosters (1-13): Anthony Minichiello, Daniel Tupou, Michael Jennings, Mitchell Aubusson, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, James Maloney, Mitchell Pearce, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jake Friend, Sam Moa, Boyd Cordner, Sonny Bill Williams, Frank-Paul Nuuausala
Bench: Daniel Mortimer, Aidan Guerra, Dylan Napa, Remi Casty, Kane Evans, Taane Milne, Kurt Kara.
A reminder of the Wigan Warriors 19 man squad which Shaun Wane confirmed yesterday
Wigan Warriors Squad (alphabetical order): 25 John Bateman, 1 Matty Bowen, 32 Joe Burgess, 2 Josh Charnley, 24 Tony Clubb, 17 Dom Crosby, 16 Gil Dudson, 12 Liam Farrell, 10 Ben Flower, 5 Anthony Gelling, 3 Darrell Goulding, 6 Blake Green, 14 Jack Hughes, 9 Michael McIlorum, 13 Sean O'Loughlin, 22 Eddy Pettybourne, 23 Dan Sarginson, 7 Matty Smith, 8 Scott Taylor

Read more at http://www.wiganwarriors.com/WContent.aspx?id=9072&type=1#GvBcqqdAOf6ddEBo.99
Sydney Roosters (1-13): Anthony Minichiello, Daniel Tupou, Michael Jennings, Mitchell Aubusson, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, James Maloney, Mitchell Pearce, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jake Friend, Sam Moa, Boyd Cordner, Sonny Bill Williams, Frank-Paul Nuuausala
Bench: Daniel Mortimer, Aidan Guerra, Dylan Napa, Remi Casty, Kane Evans, Taane Milne, Kurt Kara.
A reminder of the Wigan Warriors 19 man squad which Shaun Wane confirmed yesterday
Wigan Warriors Squad (alphabetical order): 25 John Bateman, 1 Matty Bowen, 32 Joe Burgess, 2 Josh Charnley, 24 Tony Clubb, 17 Dom Crosby, 16 Gil Dudson, 12 Liam Farrell, 10 Ben Flower, 5 Anthony Gelling, 3 Darrell Goulding, 6 Blake Green, 14 Jack Hughes, 9 Michael McIlorum, 13 Sean O'Loughlin, 22 Eddy Pettybourne, 23 Dan Sarginson, 7 Matty Smith, 8 Scott Taylor

Read more at http://www.wiganwarriors.com/WContent.aspx?id=9072&type=1#GvBcqqdAOf6ddEBo.99