Super League preview: Wigan Warriors v Hull KR
Last Updated: 14/03/14 12:20pm
Champions Wigan Warriors will be looking to return to winning ways when Hull KR visit the DW Stadium in Super League on Friday night.
Wigan were upset by Castleford Tigers at the death in last Sunday's meeting and they will be the favourites to win against a Robins side looking for their first success of the fledgling campaign.
While the Warriors went down 36-31 to the Tigers last weekend KR were suffering at the hands of the one of the early pace-setters, losing 38-18 against high-flying St Helens.
Wigan welcome back captain Sean O'Loughlin and prop Gil Dudson from injury while Logan Tomkins starts at hooker in place of the suspended Michael McIlorum.
O'Loughlin's inclusion is a key one for the Warriors as they have lost just once in the last year in which their skipper has played, that defeat was the World Club Challenge to NRL champions Sydney Roosters.
Centre Darrell Goulding and second-rower Jack Hughes come in for Dan Sarginson and John Bateman and scrum-half George Williams is set for a place on the bench.
Defence the key
"We need to make sure our defence is more solid than last week at Castleford. Our attack is good and we have scored more points than this stage last season, we will always score tries but defence is where we need to get better starting this weekend," head coach Shaun Wane told Wigan's official website.
"We have had a tough start to the year with the changes we have made to the personnel but I think we are doing alright. I am not worried or panicking about anything, I know we will come good and come good very soon."
Hull KR will give a debut to experienced winger Ade Gardner following his arrival on loan from St Helens, taking over from the injured Craig Hall.
Loose forward Neville Costigan returns after missing the defeat at Saints through illness but second-rower Rhys Lovegrove is ruled out through injury.
"We'll turn up with the right attitude and hopefully we'll be at our best," head coach Craig Sandercock told the Hull Daily Mail. "Wigan should be a good game.
"They won the competition and Challenge Cup last season and they are at home. It's going to be a good test for the players. I don't know if they are going through a transitional period, but I know it's going to be a tough game for us."
Wigan Warriors: Bowen, Burgess, Charnley, Clubb, Crosby, Dudson, L. Farrell, Flower, Goulding, Green, Hughes, James, O'Loughlin, Pettybourne, Smith, Taylor, Thornley, Tomkins, Williams.
Hull KR: Burns, Carlile, Cockayne, Costigan, Cox, Eden, Gardner, Green, J. Hodgson, Horne, Keating, Langley, Larroyer, Netherton, Poore, Salter, A. Walker, Welham, Weyman.
First Utility Super League
Tue 30th Jun
Hull K R34 - 28Salford Red Devils
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield Wildcats26 - 16Hull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington WolvesvsWigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds RhinosvsSt Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Hull K R
Hull FC0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Sun 12th Jul
Hull FC0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Hull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Jul
Warrington WolvesvsSt Helens
Fri 17th Jul
Hull K RvsHull FC
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 18th Jul
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 19th Jul
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Jul
Hull FCvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Super League 2014, round five
Tony Rea reflects on the fine form of St Helens and Leeds and a heavy defeat for his London Broncos.
We look at who have been Super League's best and worst so far in the 2014 season.
Castleford full-back Jordan Tansey has been accused of making deliberate contact with a referee.
- Vikings sweat over Mellor
- A Saintly start
- Tigers pounce late once more
- Ruthless Giants blitz Bulls
- Attack pleases Agar
- Wildcats maul Broncos
- Koukash critical of displays
- Brown: Best win yet
- Patient Wolves please Smith
- Perfect Saints sink Dragons
- McDermott hails two-try hero
- Rhinos rip through Vikings
- Three and easy for Wolves
- Bulls v Giants: Teams
- Tigers v Hull FC: Teams
- Broncos v Wildcats: Teams
- Wigan Warriors v Hull KR
- Morley issues rallying cry
- Saints v Dragons: Teams
- Vea to make Broncos debut
- Red Devils v Wolves: Teams
- Rhinos v Vikings: Teams
- Powell may call on Webster
- Wane makes case for defence
- Rapira to miss Wolves clash
- Brown: Saints can improve