Match preview: Wakefield Trinity

Everything you need to know for Sunday’s Betfred Super League clash with Wakefield Trinity.

The Brief

The waiting is nearly over! After five months away, Wigan Warriors return to Betfred Super League action on Sunday afternoon as they take on Wakefield Trinity in Round 8 at Emerald Headingley Stadium (3:15pm kick off).

After 21 weeks without playing due to lockdown and Covid-19, Wigan travel to Leeds sitting second in the league table with four wins from six games so far in 2020.

However, it’s been a contrasting story thus far for Wakefield, who have lost three of their opening five games and are currently ninth in the league standings.

Emerald Headingley Stadium.

Team News

Ben Flower is still unavailable after receiving a two-match penalty notice for Grade C Dangerous Contact against Hull KR in Round 6.

Ollie Partington also misses out after receiving a four-match ban for Grade D Dangerous Contact in the same game in early March. 

Prop Tony Clubb has been ruled out of Sunday’s game with a neck injury.

Centre Oliver Gildart will also miss out as he continues his recovery from a dislocated shoulder sustained last Autumn on Great Britain’s tour of New Zealand.

Here is Wigan’s 21-man squad:

The Opposition

Here is Wakefield’s 21-man squad:

Did You Know?

There are a number of changes to the game on the field of play, which  been approved by the RFL Board. 

Some of the changes are temporary, in specific response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the challenges of resuming the season in 2020. 

Two of the new changes include the removal of scums and the ‘six again’ rule being introduced – where any offence in the tackle other than foul play – such as lying on in the tackle or interfering at the play-the-ball – would lead to the referee resetting the six tackle count back to zero, rather than giving a penalty. 

To see the full list of rule changes, click here.

Wigan will make their second appearance in the 2020 alternative kit on Sunday. The first time the team wore the yellow jersey was the last time the Warriors played in the Betfred Super League – away at Salford in mid-March.

Jackson Hastings is congratulated by his teammates after scoring a try against Salford.

The Club, in partnership with Principal Club Partner Prestone, have released the specially-designed hummel limited-edition shirt to raise awareness of the superb work of the North West Air Ambulance Charity.

The charitable organisation provides helicopter emergency medical service that covers the North West England region, consisting of the counties of Cheshire, Cumbria, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside

The Warriors will also be donating £5 from the sale of every shirt to North West Air Ambulance Charity, with the yellow and purple shirts also incorporating a helicopter blade design as well as including NWAA’s charity logo.

For more information and details on how to buy a shirt, click HERE.

Previous Meetings

Wigan have won six of the last ten meetings with Wakefield. 

Last ten meetings:

  • Wakefield 16, Wigan 24 (SLR27, 1/9/19)
  • Wigan 46, Wakefield 16 (SLR23, 18/7/19)
  • Wakefield 30, Wigan 20 (SLR10, 12/4/19)
  • Wigan 25, Wakefield 10 (SLS8-R4, 6/9/18)
  • Wakefield 32, Wigan 16 (SLR17, 7/6/18)
  • Wigan 30, Wakefield 18 (SLR5, 11/3/18)
  • Wakefield 32, Wigan 0 (SLS8-R7, 23/9/17)
  • Wigan 30, Wakefield 42 (SLR16, 29/5/17)
  • Wakefield 10, Wigan 16 (SLR10, 17/4/17)
  • Wigan 60, Wakefield 12 (SLS8-R1, 5/8/16)
Liam Farrell scores a try against Wakefield in July last year.

Super League summary

  • Wakefield won 12
  • Wigan won 38 (includes win in 2004 play-offs)

Head-to-Head

Here are a few statistics between the two teams from the season so far:

The Stats

Please be reminded that, although the Betfred Super League table has been amended following the withdrawal of Toronto Wolfpack, appearances made and points scored by individual players in Toronto fixtures will remain on players’ records.

Liam Farrell is one try away from making it 100 for Wigan. The second row, who is in his testimonial year, has made 257 appearances for his hometown club between 2010 and 2020 so far.

Zak Hardaker needs one appearance to reach 200 in Super League. The full-back has played 36 times for Wigan (2019-2020), 28 times for Castleford Tigers (2017) and 135 times for Leeds Rhinos (2011-2016).

Joe Greenwood needs one appearance to reach 100 in Super League. The second row has played 31 times for Wigan (2018-2019) and 68 times for St Helens (2012-2017)

Liam Marshall needs one appearance to reach 100 for his career. The winger has played 77 times for Wigan (2017-2020) and 22 times for Swinton Lions (2016, dual-registration).

Coach Quotes

Speaking at Wednesday’s virtual press conference, via Zoom, at Robin Park Arena, Adrian Lam said: “This week has been about us. 

“It’s always difficult to play against an opposition where you don’t know who is going to play or you haven’t seen the week before. 

Lam at Wednesday’s virtual press conference.

“We feel if we make sure we’re right and we can handle the tough moments and be resilient through the games, we’ll be okay.

“There’s a buzz in the air because they know it’s gameweek again.”

“It’s great to be back in a routine again and the players have trained really well. I know they are all happy to be back and to be doing what they love.

Lam in training at Robin Park Arena.

“Part of the secret to success this year is your recovery and the size of your squad. It will all come into play quite heavily at some point. We’re prepared and are treating everyone the same – nearly our whole squad will get an opportunity to play. We’re excited about it.

“We’re in a good position, we’ve just got keep working hard now to see out the rounds.”

Match Officials

The man in the middle on Sunday will be Ben Thaler. His touch judges are Tom Grant and Dean Bowmer, while the video referee is Marcus Griffiths.

Ben Thaler.

How to Follow

Due to limited media capacity at Emerald Headingley Stadium, Listen Live will unfortunately be unable to broadcast on Sunday.

Warriors season ticket holders can watch the game live via the RFL’s OurLeague streaming service. Access codes have been emailed to the address linked to each customer’s client code in order to grant them access to the streaming platform.

In addition, the game – like all Betfred Super League fixtures in August – will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.

Furthermore, Wigan fans can follow every piece of the action via our social media channels and website.

  • Twitter (@WiganWarriorsRL) – live game updates and reaction at the final hooter.
  • Instagram (@wiganwarriorsrl) – live behind-the-scenes action, both before and after kick-off.
  • Facebook (Wigan Warriors) – live matchday information.
  • Website (www.wiganwarriors.com) – post-match reaction including match report, and Head Coach and players reaction.

Wigan TV

Matches will also continue to be available – as usual – on Wigan TV, with highlights, extended highlights and full match replays available after the relevant holdback times. There will also be post-match interviews available to watch.

If you’re not already a subscriber to Wigan TV, click HERE today to join. Choose a monthly (£5.99), quarterly (£11.99) or annual (£38.99) subscription with no contract. Pay with PayPal or credit/debit card.

Other Fixtures

Saturday 8th August

  • Castleford Tigers 14-40 Catalans Dragons
  • Warrington Wolves 40-10 Hull KR

Sunday 9th August

  • Salford vs Hull FC (1pm)
  • Wakefield vs Wigan (3:15pm)
  • Leeds vs St Helens (6:30pm)