Super League preview: Wigan Warriors v Leeds Rhinos
By Sam Drury. Last Updated: 05/09/13 10:05am
Wigan take on Leeds at the DW Stadium on Thursday as the sides vie for third place in the Super League table.
The Warriors currently hold that spot courtesy of a superior points difference but the Rhinos know a win would allow them to leapfrog Thursday's hosts.
A win or a draw would be enough for the home side to take third and set up a play-off meeting at Warrington and leave Leeds facing the prospect of a trip to leaders Huddersfield in week one of the play-offs.
Despite beating Hull FC to win the Challenge Cup at Wembley last month, Wigan have been in indifferent form of late in Super League and lost to Hull last time out, 34-33, albeit with a much-changed side.
By contrast, the Rhinos are flying and have won five of their last six, including a 20-12 victory over Catalan Dragons last Friday.
Wigan boss Shaun Wane welcomes back a host of key players including Sam Tomkins, Pat Richards and Liam Farrell after they missed the Super League encounter with Hull through a mix of minor injuries and being rested.
Captain Sean O'Loughlin does not make the 19, however, with a calf injury ruling him out. The problem is expected to sideline him for a month.
Sam Tomkins confirmed that he was fit for the Hull game and that his omission was to ensure that he was in peak condition for the play-offs after spells on the sidelines this campaign.
"I was fit last week," he said. "We had a tough game at Wembley. We had a couple recovering from knocks and we're getting ready for play-offs.
"A lot of young lads deserved a chance and the way they played against Hull shows the future is looking bright for Wigan.
"I'm 100 per cent fit now. I've had a couple of knocks this season which have kept me out and that's not normal for me. I only normally miss a handful of games."
Meanwhile, Leeds pair Brett Delaney and Jamie Jones-Buchanan will hope to make their long awaited returns from injury after being named in the squad, Mitch Achurch retains his place but Richard Moore misses out.
Ryan Bailey is missing after being hit with a one-match ban for punching Dragons winger Damien Blanch in last Friday's clash at Headingley, youngster Alex Foster takes his place.
Wigan Warriors: Charnley, Crosby, Farrell, Flower, Gelling, Goulding, Green, Hansen, McIlorum, Mossop, A. Powell, S. Powell, Richards, Smith, Taylor, Thornley, S. Tomkins, L. Tomkins, Tuson.
Leeds Rhinos: Hardaker, Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Delaney, Foster, Kirke, Clarkson, Achurch, Singleton, Sutcliffe.
First Utility Super League
Thu 30th Apr
Huddersfield Giants24 - 24Leeds Rhinos
Fri 1st May
Hull FC24 - 20Salford Red Devils
St Helens44 - 4Wakefield Wildcats
Wigan Warriors60 - 0Hull K R
Sun 3rd May
Warrington Wolves22 - 20Widnes Vikings
Castleford Tigers36 - 28Catalans Dragons
Thu 7th May
Hull K RvsWakefield Wildcats
Fri 8th May
Salford Red DevilsvsHuddersfield Giants
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Sat 9th May
Catalans DragonsvsSt Helens
Sun 10th May
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Thu 21st May
Castleford TigersvsHuddersfield Giants
Fri 22nd May
Hull FC0 - 0St Helens
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull K R
Salford Red DevilsvsWarrington Wolves
Sat 23rd May
Catalans DragonsvsWigan Warriors
Sun 24th May
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 30th May
Salford Red DevilsvsWidnes Vikings
Hull FCvsHull K R
Leeds RhinosvsWigan Warriors
Sun 31st May
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
St HelensvsWarrington Wolves
Castleford TigersvsWakefield Wildcats
Thu 4th Jun
Widnes VikingsvsHull FC
Fri 5th Jun
St Helens0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Sun 7th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wigan Warriors
Hull K R0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 11th Jun
Leeds RhinosvsCastleford Tigers
Fri 12th Jun
St HelensvsWigan Warriors
Sat 13th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsHull FC
Sun 14th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Hull K R0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Thu 18th Jun
Castleford TigersvsSt Helens
Fri 19th Jun
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Sat 20th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsWakefield Wildcats
Sun 21st Jun
Hull K R0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington WolvesvsWigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds RhinosvsSt Helens
Super League 2013, round 27
London coach Tony Rea was pleased to see his side's character shining through at the end of another tough season.
Wakefield head coach Richard Agar was delighted after the Wildcats edged the local derby with Castleford 36-32.
A last-minute Liam Kay try earned Wakefield a 36-32 victory over Castleford in a last-day derby classic at Belle Vue.
- Broncos buck the trend
- Smith boosted by defiance
- Dureau miss hits Dragons hopes
- Raging Bulls flatten Giants
- Brown ready for play-offs
- Saints sweep aside sorry Hull
- Vikings rally to flatten Reds
- Tigers v Wildcats: Teams
- Hull KR v Broncos: Teams
- Dragons v Wolves: Teams
- Bulls v Giants: Teams
- Wigan, Leeds set for decider
- City Reds v Vikings: Teams
- Hull FC v Saints: Teams