SL Preview: Leeds v Wigan

Wigan travel to Leeds on Friday looking to avenge defeats in the semi-finals of both the Challenge Cup and Super League play-offs last season.

The Rhinos will no doubt still be smarting from their 32-8 humbling at the hands of Huddersfield last weekend, and will be hoping to avoid a third straight home defeat, having lost to Melbourne in the World Club Challenge earlier this month.

Shaun Wane’s men have a good record at Headingley, undefeated in their last four visits, and a win would put them top of the Super League table, albeit possibly only for 24 hours with Huddersfield facing Hull on Saturday.

Centre Darrell Goulding and forwards Epalahame Lauaki and Harrison Hansen are all still absent.

Long-term absentees Zak Hardaker and Ben Jones-Bishop are the players missing from Brian McDermott’s 19-man squad.

Leeds 19-man squad: Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, McShane, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Ward, Delaney, Bailey, Kirke, Clarkson, Achurch, Moore, Vickery.

Wigan 19-man squad: Burke, Charnley, Crosby, Dudson, Farrell, Flower, Green, Hughes, McIlorum, O’Loughlin, Powell, Richards, Smith, Goulding, Taylor, Thornley, L Tomkins, S Tomkins, Tuson.

Prediction: Promises to be a hum-dinger, but fancy Wigan to edge it – away win.

Stats:

Wigan are undefeated in their last four visits to Headingley, winning three and drawing one. Leeds’ last home win over the Warriors was a 12-10 Challenge Cup Quarter Final success on 29 May, 2010.

Last 10 meetings:

Wigan 12, Leeds 13 (SLQSF, 28/9/12)
Leeds 39, Wigan 28 (CCSF, 14/7/12) (at Galpharm Stadium, Huddersfield)
Leeds 8, Wigan 50 (SLR16, 1/6/12)
Wigan 20, Leeds 6 (SLR2, 11/2/12)
Leeds 18, Wigan 28 (Challenge Cup Final, 27/8/11) (at Wembley Stadium)
Wigan 26, Leeds 24 (SLR19, 1/7/11)
Leeds 22, Wigan 22 (SLR8, 1/4/11)
Leeds 6, Wigan 26 (SLQSF, 25/9/10)
Wigan 26, Leeds 27 (SLQPO, 12/9/10)
Leeds 12, Wigan 26 (SLR24, 30/7/10)

Super League summary:

Leeds won 20 (includes wins in 2004, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012 play-offs)
Wigan won 28 (includes win in 1998 Grand Final and wins in 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2010 play-offs)
4 draws
Leeds highest score: 70-0 (H, 2005) (also widest margin)
Wigan highest score: 68-14 (H, 1996) (also widest margin)

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