Wigan Warriors vs Leeds Rhinos Preview

The Lowdown

WIGAN WARRIORS

  • Wigan were held scoreless in the second half as they fell to a disappointing defeat at home to Warrington last week, with the Wolves claiming the spoils in a poor contest.
  • Shaun Wane hasn't made any changes to his squad despite last week's disappointing defeat, but has promised a much improved display from the players that take to the pitch.
  • Wigan had appeared to have turned the corner after winning their last two Super League games before last week's loss, which now means they have won just two of their last 11 Super League matches.

Head Coach: Shaun Wane

Squad: John Bateman, Joe Burgess, Tony Clubb, Tom Davies, Callum Field, Anthony Gelling, Oliver Gildart, Willie Isa, Thomas Leuluai, Liam Marshall, Michael Mcilorum, Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Sean O'Loughlin, Sam Powell, Ryan Sutton, Taulima Tautai, Sam Tomkins, Jack Wells, George Williams

Unavailable: Ben Flower (Achilles), Morgan Escaré (Knee), Dom Manfredi (Knee), Jake Shorrocks (Knee), Joel Tomkins (Groin), Liam Farrell (Knee)

LEEDS RHINOS

  • Leeds held on for a narrow win over Hull FC last week as the Rhinos consolidated 2nd place in the Super League table, extending their lead over 3rd placed Salford to four points.
  • Brian McDermott has claimed that Leeds have 13 of their first team injured this weekend and has rotated his squad accordingly, although he may have one eye on next weekend's Challenge Cup semi-final against Hull. Youngsters Harry Newman, Harvey Whiteley and Alex Sutcliffe could all make their debuts.
  • Despite winning five of their last six Super League games, the weakened side that Leeds will be fielding, as well as the fact they have struggling when travelling to Wigan recently, may see their good run of form take a hit.

Head Coach: Brian McDermott

Squad: Carl Ablett, Jordan Baldwinson, Tom Briscoe, Mitch Garbutt, Ashton Golding, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Josh Jordan-Roberts, Jimmy Keinhorst, Jordan Lilley, Joel Moon, Anthony Mullally, Harry Newman, Mikolaj Oledzki, Jack Ormondroyd, Matt Parcell, Cameron Smith, Alex Sutcliffe, Jack Walker, Harvey Whiteley

Unavailable: Brett Delaney (Knee), Rob Burrow (Shoulder), Brett Ferres (Knee), Liam Sutcliffe (Leg), Kallum Watkins (Knee), Ryan Hall (Concussion), Stevie Ward (Concussion), Keith Galloway (Achilles), Brad Singleton (Calf), Adam Cuthbertson (Knee), Josh Walters (Knee), Danny McGuire (Hamstring), Ash Handley (Knee)

  • Leeds have conceded just two tries in their middle zone all season, the lowest in any zone by any team in Super League.
  • Wigan's 39 tries in the LW zone accounts for 41.5% of their tries this season, the highest percentage in any zone in Super League.
  • Wigan's four tries in the RC zone is the lowest amount of tries scored in any zone throughout Super League, with those accounting for just 4.3% of their tries.
  • Leeds have scored 11.6% of their tries in the middle zone, with Wigan conceding the same percentage of their tries in the same zone. It is where Leeds have been the weakest in attack and Wigan the strongest in defence.

Analysis - what to expect
This encounter, traditionally, has always been one of the standout games on the Super League calendar, with the rich history of both sides there for all to see. However, it takes on a slightly different feel this time around as Wigan come into the game sitting in 8th place in the table, whilst Leeds are missing 13 first team players. It remains to be seen how many of the injuries that the Rhinos have announced are genuine, but they've earned the right to rest players if they wish after securing 2nd place before the league split. Wigan's form is alarming and they cannot afford many more dropped points if they are to mount a late charge for a semi-final spot, but this represents the perfect chance for them to pick up two points.