Two teams with perfect records do battle at the DW Stadium tomorrow night as Wigan Warriors host Huddersfield Giants.
Wigan have really caught the eye in the opening rounds dispatching two teams who finished in the play-offs last season with their attacking flair guiding them to comfortable wins. Jai Field has shone on the back of offloads and off the cuff rugby league as the Warriors look like a real force once again.
As for the Giants, they’ve enjoyed an equally impressive start to the campaign. They’ve won both their opening games with new signings impressing left, right and centre. This will be their biggest test yet, if they can beat the Warriors they’ll cement themselves as a real force in 2022.
Bevan French is back in the UK but won’t feature for Wigan just yet. Thus, Matt Peet name an unchanged squad ahead of this game with an unchanged 17 also expected such was the Warriors’ dominant showing against the Rhinos last week.
Unfortunately for the Giants, two of the new signings who have shone in the opening two rounds won’t be available with Danny Levi and Theo Fages picking up bans. However, ameliorating their absence is the potential return of Ashton Golding and starlet Will Pryce. Pryce’s return is a welcome boost with the fullback set to enable Tui Lolohea to step into the halfback role vacated by Theo Fages.
Jai Field vs Will Pryce: Two of the most exciting players in the league could do battle should Will Pryce be deemed fit to feature. Jai Field and Pryce have two of the best running games in the league and can devastate any defence especially on the back of a quick ruck or an offload. The fullback who shines brighter on the night could inspire their side to victory.
Cade Cust vs Olly Russell: At first I thought about focusing on the battle between Cade Cust and Tui Lolohea. Lolohea is a mercurial talent capable of conjuring up moments of magic much like the two fullbacks. It will therefore be on the shoulders of young Olly Russell who has really caught the eye so far this season and has previously shown he has what it takes to control a game. He’ll need to do just that or we could see Cust again unlock Wigan’s attacking potential as he has in the opening two rounds.
Liam Farrell v Chris McQueen: Two older second-rows, in recent years both have shown that they’re no less dynamic. Liam Farrell has undergone something of a renaissance in the last few years routinely being named in the Dream Team. Meanwhile, McQueen has started the season strongly having scored a brace against Hull KR last week. The second-row who has a bigger bearing on the game will likely guide their side to victory.
Where the game will be won and lost:
Both Wigan and Huddersfield have some exciting players who could win this game on their own. Ultimately, I believe that’s where this game will be decided. The star players who come up with the moments of magic in this contest will likely be on the winning side.
That being said, these moments of magic will be made much easier by the pack. Wigan demonstrated that their forwards could do this by conjuring up offloads galore against Leeds which gave players like Field the chance to run at broken defences. Huddersfield’s pack will need to nullify this threat.
Prediction: Wigan Warriors 32-24 Huddersfield Giants