After a week of turmoil off the pitch Shaun Wane and the Wigan Warriors will be glad to get back to playing Rugby on Thursday as they cross the Pennines to take on Wakefield in front of the Sky Cameras.
The 2016 Champions fortunes on the field haven’t fared much better as defeats to Hull KR and Warrington have left them 4 points behind leaders St Helens and out of the Challenge Cup.
It all looked so much better 2 weeks ago after a great win over Wire at magic weekend, but since then they’ve had 2 defeats, the Tomkins brothers in the news for the wrong reasons and announcements of departures for Wane and Sam Tomkins.
Things haven’t been much better of late for Wakefield either, a great start to the season was halted ironically at Wigan in March and since then they have had 6 defeats in 11 League and Cup games to leave them only 4 points above 9th place.
Their home record is still strong though, only Castleford have won at Belle Vue this season and they can count leaders St Helens among their victims.
Given the home form, and the Warriors poor form away from the DW or Newcastle where they’ve lost 4 from 7, you have to think Trinity rate value at 9/5 to win this. Under Shaun Wane Wigan have struggled to win away from home and with problems running through the camp they can’t be relishing a trip to Wakefield. Trinity also had the benefit of a weekend off last week having been knocked out of the Cup last month by Huddersfield.
You can get Wakefield with a 6 point start at even money if you shop around and that has to be where the value lies, the Warriors have won 3 games on the road by single figure margins and a 6 point start may give you a bit of insurance.
A 6-10 point Wakefield win is about where I see this ending up, increasing the problems for Wane and his team.
I’m sure Wigan will get out of this slump but it may be in a few weeks when everything has calmed down.
You can get odds of around 1/2 if you think Wigan can put their problems behind them and put in a performance here, you can get them conceding a 4 point start at evens if you shop around or around even money on the Half Time Full Time.
Liam Marshall heads the 1st try lists at 8/1 and is hard to oppose, as for the man of the match Tomkins is favourite at 8/1, he’d by a good bet if the panel picked it but whether the public will vote for him has to be up for debate.
Friday night Rugby comes from the HJ where Castleford are the visitors.
The Tigers have been very up and down of late, which is normal for a side with injury problems, and will find it hard against in form Wire.
The Wolves are justified 2/5 favourites given recent home form, which included nilling Wigan in the cup on Saturday, and will be confident of making it 7 wins in a row at home in League and Cup.
Daryl Powell’s side have won 4 of 7 away from home, and had a good win at Hull KR last week, but this is a big step up against Steve Price’s in form charges.
This should be an entertaining affair but Cas have lost badly away at Saints and Wigan, the other 2 sides in the top 4, and I think riding the crest of a wave Wire can win this by more than the 6 point start they concede on the handicap.
It should be high scoring so check out total points lines, Cas fans can get around 2/1 for an away win or even money getting a 6 point start on the handicap. For me though another home win by around 11-15 points.
The 2/5 for Wire can be boosted to 10/11 on the Half Time Full Time if you prefer to go that way.
Could be a good weekend for favourite backers to score 1st and Charnley looks the man here at 15/2
Mind you back from injury Greg Eden looks the best value at 14/1.
More live Rugby Saturday as Widnes go to Catalans, as always please gamble responsibly.