Blogs & Opinion


Stevo:

Most Popular Posts:

Opinion Archive:

All fired up

Wigan to keep on rolling, says Stevo

Stevo Posted 28th July 2011 view comments

You could say that it has been an interesting week.

The Crusaders did the Rugby Football League a favour by taking back their application. That meant there was no backlash from the Wakefield fans who had been hanging on the edge for several months wondering if they were odds on favourites to play in the Championship next season - which they were.

Leuluai: causing havoc at the breakdown area

Leuluai: causing havoc at the breakdown area

I feel sorry for the Crusaders fans but we have to face reality. Finances are hard to come by in this day and age, and in some ways you have got to respect the way the Crusaders realised that financially they could not carry on for another three years.

It is better to do it now rather than fall flat on their face six months into next season. At least the players can now look to going to other clubs; we have already seen Jarrod Sammut being snapped up by Bradford, so the walls have started to crack.

Top quality

What will not crack is Wigan. They are putting in some top quality performances and their win against Warrington in the Challenge Cup will only make them harder to beat.

Wigan have so many good players; Brett Finch is playing out of his skin, Thomas Leuluai is always a handful, and Josh Charnley is causing all sorts of problems off the wing.

Stevo
Quotes of the week

LIVE ON SKY SPORTS
Hull FC v Wigan

8pm, Fri, Sky Sports HD1
Also in Sky 3D
Watch on the move with Sky Go
How to remote record

The Challenge Cup may yet play a part because Wigan may rest players for the semi-finals or take it easy in certain games.

One game they will not take easy is this weekend at Hull. They know they have a convincing lead and they want to keep it that way. They will be looking to turn up the heat on Friday.

Hull were a little off colour against Leeds in the Challenge Cup but they will be fired up, too. They are in eighth position and they know that they have to grab at least two or three wins in the final games to secure eighth or higher.

They have a pretty tough run in, but against Wigan I just cannot see them producing enough power to overcome them.

Kirk Yeaman is a fine player and with 18 tries under his belt he can turn a game. I'm looking at him to be a key factor on Friday night.

Big question

But the big question is whether the Hull pack can handle Wigan's pack. The Warriors are not only solid, but they are also very mobile and that means they can play at a high tempo. If Hull can match them, then the likes of Yeaman can turn it around.

Hull will work hard, but apart from Yeoman they do not have much strike power and they really miss Sean Long. Richard Horne lacks that explosive burst he had eight years ago which made him such a great player. He is more of a distributor now, but even a distributor needs that little bit of pace to create the gaps and I don't think he can do that.

Wigan have so many good players; Brett Finch is playing out of his skin, Thomas Leuluai is always a handful, and Josh Charnley is causing all sorts of problems off the wing.

Wigan coach Michael Maguire will start with Leuluai at hooker which will give them a good start; he creates panic in and around the tackle area which allows the likes of Sam Tomkins to get involved and he is a wonderful runner and linkman.

STAR MAN

Pat Richards is a points-scoring machine and just keeps going. His strike rate is extraordinary with 14 tries from 14 games. It took him a while to get back from that serious injury he suffered last year in the Grand Final. But he is back to his best and if Hull lose their heads and give away penalties then he will take the two points.

STEVO SAYS

I just cannot see Hull living with Wigan. They will be a bit demoralised that they were knocked out of the cup. I think they gave it their all last week and it may have taken a bit too much out of them. But Hull at home are always tough and I am sure that the fact that I have said they will lose will surely ignite some fire in their belly.

Comments (1)

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

John Murphy says...

Stevo praising Wigan - whatever next!!!

Posted 16:12 29th July 2011

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

back to top

Other Rugby League Experts:

Latest Posts in Rugby League:

Phil Clarke

It's Grand Final time!

Phil Clarke looks at previous finals between rivals Wigan and St Helens, but who does he think will win?...

comments

Latest News RSS feeds

Kiwi beats Burgess to award

Rugby union convert Sam Burgess has lost out to New Zealand star Shaun Johnson for the 2014 Rugby League gold boot.

McGuire relishing Leeds opener

Danny McGuire says he is looking forward to playing alongside Liam Sutcliffe in the traditional Boxing Day fixture

Bird loses Titans captaincy

Greg Bird has been stripped of the Gold Coast Titans captaincy after he was caught urinating in public.

St Helens' Hand loaned out

Young St Helens prop forward Jordan Hand has rejoined Whitehaven on loan for the 2015 season.

Hull KR sign Campese

Hull KR have signed experienced Australian playmaker Terry Campese from Canberra Raiders for next season.

Features

Our experts gives their view on what we can expect from Sam Burgess

Our experts gives their view on what we can expect from Sam Burgess

Sam Burgess has been named on Bath's replacements bench for Friday's clash with Harlequins at the Recreation Ground and much is expected of the former rugby league star known as 'Slammin Sam'.

Warrington Wolves have used mixed martial arts to prepare for Super League 20

Warrington Wolves have used mixed martial arts to prepare for Super League 20

There’s not many sports people that can teach a rugby league team how to be more physical, but the Warrington Wolves have found just the thing.

Four Nations: What do the four teams need to do to reach the final?

Four Nations: What do the four teams need to do to reach the final?

In the most competitive tournament since it was regularised in 2009, all four teams go into this weekend's final round-robin fixtures in the Four Nations Series with a chance of reaching the final in Wellington on Saturday week.