RUGBY LEAGUE fanatic Andrew Day (@AndyDay81) highlights the value for Thursday night's Super League clash between Wigan and Warrington.
Wigan v Warrington | Thursday 20:00
The penultimate stage of the league season is upon us this weekend, with the league splitting into the Super 8s stage after next week’s fixtures. One of the stand out fixtures of Round 22 is at the DW Stadium were the Wigan Warriors welcome local rivals the Warrington Wolves.
Last weekend, thanks to an emphatic last 20 minutes, Wigan secured a 32-10 win over the Catalan Dragons to cement a top 8 finish. Tries from George Williams, Sam Tomkins and a hat trick from Joe Burgess ensured the Warriors moved up to seventh, five points clear of ninth-placed Warrington with two games remaining.
The result also meant they are now four points behind fourth-placed Hull – and the top four spot that would give them the chance to defend their title.
The 32 points scored in France was a further example of Wigan’s ability to find the try line – they have now scored an average of 28 points in their last six games – however it is their recently improved defence which has caught the eye.
Against the Catalans they conceded 10 points, which means they have conceded an average of 13.5 points in their last three games. Compare this to a season average of 25 points conceded, the improvement is there for all to see.
Whilst those stats may point towards a comfortable Wigan win, Warrington’s form shows they are not shy of scoring a try or two!
Warrington do not have the luxury of knowing where they will be playing their rugby in the summer months – they are currently three points outside of the top 8 – however the league can be misleading as last weeks win against Leigh testifies.
That 50 – 10 win saw the Wolves run in an impressive nine tries and showed that on their day, they are as dangerous as any team in the Super League.
It is well known their form has been patchy – two wins in their last 4 games – however the Wolves have still managed to score an average of 25.5 points in those games.
Winger Tom Lineham has five tries in those four games – taking him to 16 for the season and level with Wigan’s Joe Burgess – and that ability to score points along with their ability to make meters – currently the 4th highest in the league – means Wigan will have to be at their very best to get a result on Thursday.
Furthermore, with a home game to follow against second bottom in the table Widnes, nothing less than a win will be needed against Wigan to keep their top 8 hopes alive.
A Tight Affair
The previous meeting between these two sides earlier in the season at the Magic Weekend saw both teams share the spoils in a 24-24 draw and I expect a similarly close game on Thursday.
With that in mind, 188BET's offer of Warrington to win with a +9.5 handicap at 20/21 looks fantastic value.
Likewise, in a tight match with little room, any space is likely to be found on the wing. In the previous encounter all of Wigan’s tries – three by Liam Marshall and one by Joe Burgess – were scored out wide and more is expected.
Joe Burgess is therefore selected to continue his fine scoring form – seven in his last five games – and touch down against the Wire.
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