The traditional Good Friday Super League derby between St Helens and Wigan takes place again this year with this one all set up to be another great game between these famous two clubs.
Langtree Park is the venue for their first meeting of the season and be it Good Friday clashes, matches later in the season, at Magic Weekend or in the playoffs the intensity and passion this match is played in and in front of makes it a truly great sporting contest. We’ll get all that and more here.
St Helens have been up and down this season. They began well with a win over Huddersfield in week one but then came apart against Salford and in the World Club Series but had got back on track until Leeds beat them last week. They will want to bounce back from that defeat in style here.
Theo Fages has been recalled to the Saints squad for this match to give Kieron Cunningham’s men more options around the ruck. Atelea Vea has been rested for this game. That is a bit of a surprise given that this is often a battle for the forwards.
Wigan have been going about their business in a determined fashion this season and until they lost to Widnes last week they did have a 100% record in Super League. They’ve not always looked the best side going around but at the same time they have been very hard to beat and that is never a bad trait for a side to have.
George Williams and Liam Farrell miss this match through injury. The loss of Farrell is a blow but it is negated slightly by the fact that Joel Tomkins is fit for his first match of the season. Lewis Tierney is back in favour and could go into the side at full back to free up Dan Sarginson to play elsewhere.
I have to say I’m a little concerned by St Helens’ defence going into this match. Only in their win over Wakefield have they shipped fewer than 20pts in a match since the opening round of the season and that isn’t a good thing especially when Wigan give absolutely no change from their own defence.
On the flip side to that Wigan have really struggled in attack in recent times but prior to last week they had put up over 24pts on Hull FC and Leeds so it might be that they are starting to click into gear going forward.
I’m going to take the chance that they are coming into form going forward because if they put up a few points in this game their amazing line defence can keep St Helens out enough to secure another win.
There is never much between these two sides and I don’t expect there to be a lot between them here either but when the final hooter goes I fancy Wigan to just have their noses in front.
WON – Back Wigan to beat St Helens for a 4/10 stake at 2.00 with Stan James