Wigan Warriors vs Castleford Tigers Preview

The Lowdown

WIGAN WARRIORS

  • Wigan recorded a crucial win in their hunt for a semi-final spot after they scored a late try to beat 12-man Hull FC last weekend, a result which saw the Warriors leapfrog their opponents.
  • Wigan's fate for a top four placing is now in their own hands as they welcome the league leaders followed by a trip to Wakefield. A win in this game would be Wigan's fifth consecutive league win.
  • Shaun Wane must do without Sean O'Loughlin after the skipper picked up a slight calf injury. Jack Wells is called up to replace him in the 19-man squad.

Head Coach: Shaun Wane

Squad: John Bateman, Joe Burgess, Tony Clubb, Tom Davies, Liam Farrell, Anthony Gelling, Oliver Gildart, Willie Isa, Thomas Leuluai, Liam Marshall, Michael McIlorum, Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Sam Powell, Ryan Sutton, Taulima Tautai, Joel Tomkins, Sam Tomkins, Jack Wells, George Williams

Unavailable: Ben Flower (Achilles), Morgan Escaré (Knee), Dom Manfredi (Knee), Jake Shorrocks (Knee), Sean O'Loughlin (Calf)

CASTLEFORD TIGERS

  • Castleford defeated Leeds Rhinos last weekend to move just one win away from recording 50 competition points for the season. The Tigers have now won 24 league games, losing just four times.
  • However, the mood around Castleford has changed dramatically after Luke Gale needed emergency surgery to remove his appendix, an injury which could rule the key man out for the season. Junior Moors, Ben Roberts, Larne Patrick and Jy Hitchcox also miss the trip to Wigan to leave the Tigers severely under-strength.
  • After winning their last seven away games in the league, Castleford will face a stern test of their Grand Final credentials here with so many players missing including their first-choice halfback pairing.

Head Coach: Daryl Powell

Squad: Matt Cook, Greg Eden, Alex Foster, Zak Hardaker, Oliver Holmes, Tom Holmes, Kevin Larroyer, Nathan Massey, Mike McMeeken, Paul McShane, Grant Millington, Adam Milner, Greg Minikin, Joel Monaghan, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Michael Shenton, Gadwin Springer, Jake Trueman, Jake Webster

Unavailable: Luke Gale (Appendix), Junior Moors (Cheek), Ben Roberts (Back), Larne Patrick (Injured), Jy Hitchcox (Injured), Andy Lynch

Analysis - what to expect
Wigan and Castleford meet in what could be a potential Super League semi-final encounter in just two weeks' time. Wigan currently occupy fifth-place in the league table but would move into the top four with any positive result here. The Tigers are said to be preparing themselves for knockout football and want to take every bit of momentum into the semi-finals as possible but their squad will be massively tested here. Castleford have won the last three Super League encounters between the two teams but their injury list may be too much for them to handle in this one with Wigan earning the points they require to get themselves back in the top four.