This match is to be played in perfect conditions for a fast, open match. Visiting Warrington will be hot off their 10-50 thumping of Leigh and Home side Wigan backing up after their controlled masterclass win in Perpignan, 10-32 over Catalans.
Warrington were accurate to the core in both attack and defence against the Centurions. New signing from the NRL Peta Hiku has made an easy transition to the British game showing off his metre eating capabilities in what must have come close to the Man of the Match performance. The visitors open up big wounds into Leigh, carving out four unanswered tries (a brace for right wing Tom Lineham) and a penalty to lead 24-0 before Leigh crossed the chalk 1 minute from the break for the Oranges. Wolves picked up where they left off, rattling in a further 3 unanswered 4 pointers in the next 30 minutes before leigh scored at the 75th minute mark. Warrington wrapped up their best performance of the season to date with 2 more tries, one to Lineham who finished with 4 scores, before the final whistle.
The Wolves were everywhere. Solid 2-man tackles left the defensive line with plenty of time to reset, and Leighs lack of quality “Big Boppers” left them with little opportunities to launch any constructive 2 phase ball. Lineham and Ratchford savaged the Centurions left edge as Hiku executed precision flicks after line breaks and Leigh just had no answer to cover constant fractures of their defensive line as they were always on the back foot.
Wigan also played one of their best games of the season against Catalans who were full of running and energy after their come from behind win against the Leigh Centurions at home last start, Wigan were exceptional in their muscling up on defence and all-round execution of their game plan. In the most difficult of environments with high humidity, +20deg temperature and a boisterous and hostile home crowd who were in numbers. Wigan were controlled and mature in a disciplinary manner keeping cool heads and not getting aggravated by the Dragons niggle. After opening the scoring mid-way through the first half, the Warriors went to the break leading 8-4 after a Williams penalty. At the resumption of play Catalans scored to take the lead 10-8 before Wigan evened the Tote with a penalty seventeen minutes in. From then on it was all Wigan. At a point in time when you would expect the home side to climb up another gear and smother their opponents in the draining heat and humidity as they did the previous week, the Dragons had nothing to offer. Wigan had absorbed all that Catalans had thrown at them and now were turning the screws as they punched holes in the exhausted French defence scoring 4 unanswered tries to take the match 10-32.
The Warriors are on a 4 day turn around facing a Wolves unit that won its first road game of the Premiership in comprehensive fashion. It was bit of a training run for Warrington, really, against a Leigh Centurions side that faded to lose to Catalans in France the week prior, and who truly lack a good forward pack and are very shaky out wide. They will be the better recovered of these two after an extra days rest. Wigan showed some smarts against the Dragons and have had a difficult mid-season through injuries, but have the quality to win the tight matches. The home side should win this match-up, but I think Warrington will be in the hunt here and should cover the 8-point handicap. With a collision of form from both sides I wouldn’t discard the possibility of a draw either.
Warrington share the worst all game ATS record with Catalans at 6-14-1 and are worst in away games at 1-10-0. Wigan are 8th on the all game ATS table with an 8-12-1 record and are 8-12-1 at home. The Spread line opened at -10 for Wigan and has moved over the last 48hrs to -8.
I am investing in two markets for this match, looking at a 6 point win to Wigan.
1) Wigan to win by margin 6-10, 1 unit @ 6-00
2) Either team to win by no more than 6 points incl a draw, 1unit @ 3-00
Result Warrington Won 10-16,
Collect on; Either team to win by no more than 6 points incl a draw, 1unit @ 3-00 for a profit of 1 unit