Another round of matches in the Super League begins on Thursday evening when the Wigan Warriors will look to get things back on track when they welcome a youthful Hull KR side to the DW Stadium.
We’re running towards the business end of the season now and Wigan can consolidate second place with a win here. Hull KR are in the queue of teams hoping to finish sixth and could do with a win themselves in this one.
Where to watch
The match will be shown live and in full on the Sky Sports Arena channel with the build-up beginning at the DW Stadium at 7.30pm ahead of an 8pm kick off.
Just when it looked like the Wigan Warriors were going to lay down a challenge to win all three pieces of silverware this season they have hit the skids in recent weeks. They go into this one losing two of their last three matches. The first of those losses would have been hard to take because they were the better team against St Helens for much of the game until a sending off cost them. The loss at Leeds last week was more of a concern because they were absolutely terrible in that match.
Champion sides tend to bounce back from disappointing displays in their next outing though and that is the task at hand for Wigan here. It might be that top spot has gone in the table but finishing second is still important as it gives a team both a week off in the first round of the play-offs and a home semi-final. That should be all the motivation Matt Peet’s charges need to come out and put last week behind them.
When you consider the horrendous bad luck Hull KR have had with injuries this season they need to be given a lot of credit that they are still in the race to finish in the top six. They go into this match off the back of two straight victories, the second one last week against a Warrington Wolves side who were hoping to gatecrash the top six themselves so that was a key win. Unfortunately for the Robins even more injuries have come along at the worst time.
Hull KR go into this match absolutely decimated by injuries so you would imagine that right from the very outset this is going to be a damage limitation exercise and then hope that they can get players back for any winnable matches to come. Given how tight the race for that sixth spot is, point difference could be all important at the end of the season so the last thing KR need here is to take an absolute beating. Whether they can avoid that remains to be seen.
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Despite being very poor at Leeds Rhinos last week, Wigan Warriors coach Matt Peet is trusting the same set of players to show they are better than that as he has named an unchanged squad for this outing.
Danny Maguire doesn’t have that luxury as they were struggling with injuries anyway and now they will be without Ryan Hall, Mikey Lewis and Jimmy Keinhorst who all picked up injuries in the win last week, while Korbyn Sims is suspended. Maguire will rely on a set of youngsters to do the job here.
Clearly the team news massively swings this one in the favour of the Wigan Warriors but the bookmakers are all over that and have elevated the start that Hull KR are getting up beyond 20 points and up to 24 points with some firms. I would imagine Wigan will cover that but this now feels like the sort of match that they could get ahead of the game and then take their foot off the gas a little with the schedule going bonkers again next month.
I wouldn’t put anyone off backing Wigan to cover four scores but if they are going to do that they’ll need to put up at least five tries and so I would rather back Bevan French to bag a brace in this one. Hull KR are particularly weakened down their left side with Ryan Hall, Jimmy Keinhorst and Shaun Kenny-Dowall who could all play there missing through injury. I would imagine as a result of that Wigan will send a lot of traffic down their right side which is the wing French operates on. He bagged seven tries the last time Wigan were at home and scored one of their two tries last week. The 9/5 he bags a brace here will do me.
Back B.French 2 or more tries for a 3/10 stake at 2.80 with Betfair