Super League play-off semi-final: Wigan face Huddersfield in crucial clash
For many, defeat in a semi-final is worse than losing the final. Having been so near and going through so much hard work and preparation all for nought.
After suffering heartbreak last year in the Grand Final against fierce rivals St Helens, Wigan Warriors have craved a chance to put that right all season. They must first, however, get past a resurgent Huddersfield Giants side that have picked up in the last few weeks.
The Warriors are odds-on at 2/5 with Coral to beat their West Yorkshire opponents, and have a 100 per cent record over them this season, with three wins.
Wigan coach Shaun Wane admits this clash will not be easy though: “[They] are very, very good Huddersfield, very well coached and it’s going to be a huge challenge for us on Thursday night.
“My players were hurting from not getting the trophy on Friday and we’ll use that as motivation going into Thursday’s game, but we won’t be underestimating Huddersfield, they are a fantastic team.
“They are going to come and try to spoil the party. They are a good team, very, very big, very athletic and we know how they can play as well. We are expecting a real full-on game, but our own form has been great and we just need to make sure we do the business on the night.”
The Cherry and Whites concluded their Super 8s campaign with a 47-12 mauling of Castleford Tigers, as Dominic Manfredi crossed four times, with the winger 7/1 to crash over first against the Giants. Liam Farrell, who has three tries already against the Giants this term, meanwhile, is well worth considering at 7/4 anytime.
Despite losing last time out, perhaps uncharacteristically, they were against a class outfit in Leeds Rhinos, and only lost by four points.
Coach Paul Anderson said: “It was disappointing but I’d sooner have lost that one than the one we have got coming up. Waney has got his way he plays over there – his club plays a good brand and they play tough as well so we have got to make sure we play physical and do what we do.
“We are not going to change much in how we play. We’ve just got to make sure we do it, do it well and execute well and that could be the difference.”
Anderson has undoubtedly, one of the players of the season in his squad in centre Jermaine McGillvary, who leads the Super League scoring charts on 27 tries. He is 9/1 to draw first blood.
Coral’s top tip: Manfredi first scorer @ 7/1 with Coral