Wigan Warriors- Talking Rugby: The DW Stadium should be bouncing for the game against Warrington Wolves
A lively game hopefully awaits us at the DW Stadium between Wigan Warriors and Warrington Wolves.
The ground should be bouncing for what is always a good rivalry.
There will also be an added edge with the return of the Locker Cup.
Albeit it is a trophy that won’t mean very much to either team and comes secondary to the two points, but nonetheless is a nice nod to an old tradition.
It’ll be nice to see the North Stand hopefully full of away fans.
For one reason or another this season, travelling support for visiting sides hasn't been the biggest at the DW Stadium this year.
TV schedules certainly need to have more consideration when picking their matches, as expecting Hull fans to travel to Wigan on a Thursday is ridiculous.
Of course, it’s the same vice versa, and it’s a problem across all sports.
Having games on TV live is fantastic, but surely that shouldn’t jeopardise bums on seats in the stadium.
It’s certainly a debate and a talking point for another day.
That problem won’t be an issue this week, and a Friday night game against Warrington being more than perfect setting.
It’s a strong local rivalry, which is set to be a great spectacle, that will be made even more special by the fact that it’s Wigan’s Heritage Day, with a number of former players set to be in attendance.
As for the game itself, despite Warrington having endured a torrid season at times, they are still capable of causing a threat.
Based on their recent performances Wigan should be able to post some points against the Wolves, but will need to tighten their defence.
The Leeds game was probably the Warriors’ poorest display, not just of the season, but for quite a while.
What they produced was so out of character, and it was frustrating to watch, as they just didn’t get going and lacked a lot of energy.
The first half in particular was a tough one to take, with things clearly not right from the start.
In their previous losses this season they had just been outplayed by a better side on the day, but against the Rhinos failed to turn up at all.
Too many gaps appeared in their defence and it was far too easy for their opponents to go over.
They bounced back from that last week against Hull KR.
While they didn’t return to the heights they had reached in the weeks prior to the game at Headingley; they were still able to do some positive things.
Of course, they were playing against a very depleted Hull KR side, with many expecting them to get the win beforehand.
They were much more solid in defence and did have their moments in attack, starting really well in the opening stages.
They looked comfortable, and maybe got a bit too relaxed in periods.
This was the case before the break, as the opposition started to give them some problems, with Peet describing his side as “careless.”
The standout moments of the game was seeing two players go over for hat-tricks.
Bevan French continued his fantastic form, with his current try-scoring antics and stats just being ridiculously good.
His overall play has just taken a step up, and he’s not been restricted by being out on the wing.
The fact he came into this campaign late makes his performances even more remarkable.
Imagine what he’d be doing with a full pre-season under his belt.
On the other wing, Liam Marshall went over for three of his own.
After a few injury plagued campaigns in the last few seasons, it’s truly fantastic to see him finding his best form.
Hopefully he’ll push himself further and into Shaun Wane’s England plans.
On a side note, Hull KR’s injury crisis is shocking.
Of course it’s a tough game, but scheduling certainly makes it harder.
Too many short turnarounds can be absolute killers, and once again what the broadcasters want should only be part of the conversation when deciding fixtures.
The Robins will be hoping to get a few people back before the end of the month ahead of a busy bank holiday.
It seems ridiculous that people actually thought it was a good idea to have two games in four days at the end of August.
The Easter schedule raises eyebrows, but at least there’s a proper tradition around this, and the next double does is provide us with a pointless loop fixture.
By the time we get to those fixtures they may very well be meaningless at both ends of the table, and are just asking for injuries heading into the play-offs.
Moving on, Wigan will be without Brad O’Neill for Friday’s game.
The decision by the authorities is quite questionable, isn’t it?
It’s a coming together.
The ref backs into him, and O’Neill has his eyes on the ball.
Nothing is made of it, the match official just seemed to get on with things.
Usually when a player gets a suspension it’s something for them to learn from, but this incident doesn't really provide that.
The only bit of common sense is reducing the ban from two games to one, but the correct call would be not to punish him at all.
It’s come at a bad time for Wigan with Sam Powell now missing through injury.
A bit of shuffling will need to take place, but it would’ve been another prime opportunity for O’Neill, who has already started to prove himself as a great option and a future talent.