Super 8s Preview: Leeds v Wigan

Leeds can make a big step towards the Super League play-offs when they host Wigan in their Super 8s opener on Friday.

The Rhinos, beaten last weekend by Hull in the Challenge Cup semi-finals, have the box seat in second place in the table and boast a four point lead over fifth place Wakefield, and seven points lead over the Warriors.

They have bounced back well considering this time 12 months ago, they were preparing for The Qualifiers.

Their preparations for the Super 8s have been boosted by the return of forward Brett Delaney, back after 10 weeks with a knee injury.

Liam Sutcliffe is also in contention to return, having sat out a month with a hamstring injury.

For Wigan, Joel Tomkins (groin injury) and Sam Powell (suspension) miss out, with youngsters Jack Wells and Josh Ganson stepping up.

Liam Farrell is in contention to return to the matchday squad, having not recovered in time to face Salford in the cup on Sunday.

Stats

Leeds have won their last six home meetings with Wigan, with the Warriors’ last victory at Headingley coming 50-8 on 1 June, 2012.

Wigan’s George Williams has scored tries in the Warriors’ last four meetings with Leeds (1-1-2-2).

Last ten meetings:

Wigan 34, Leeds 0 (SLR23, 21/7/17)
Leeds 26, Wigan 18 (SLR7, 31/3/17)
Leeds 18, Wigan 16 (SLR22, 15/7/16)
Leeds 8, Wigan 40 (SLR15, 21/5/16) (at St James’ Park, Newcastle)
Wigan 28, Leeds 6 (SLR5, 11/3/16)
Leeds 22, Wigan 20 (SLGF, 10/10/15) (at Old Trafford, Manchester)
Leeds 25, Wigan 18 (SLS8-R2, 14/8/15)
Wigan 26, Leeds 24 (SLR21, 9/7/15)
Leeds 12, Wigan 27 (SLR16, 30/5/15) (at St James’ Park, Newcastle)
Leeds 26, Wigan 14 (SLR6, 20/3/15)

Super League summary

Leeds won 28 (includes win in 2015 Grand Final and wins in 2004, 2007, 2008, 2010 & 2012 play-offs)
Wigan won 37 (includes win in 1998 Grand Final and wins in 1998, 2002, 2003, 2010 & 2013 play-offs)
4 draws
Leeds highest score: 70-0 (H, 2005) (also widest margin)
Wigan highest score: 68-14 (H, 1996) (also widest margin)

Squads:

Leeds: Golding, Briscoe, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Parcell, Cuthbertson, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Ward, Sutcliffe, Delaney, Singleton, Garbutt, Keinhorst, Ferres, Mullally, Lilley.

Wigan: Bateman, Burgess, Clubb, Davies, Farrell, Ganson, Gelling, Gildart, Isa, Leuluai, Marshall, McIlorum, Nuuausala, O’Loughlin, Sutton, Tautai, Tomkins, Wells, Williams.

Prediction:

Wigan need to win more than Leeds, and the boost of last week will see them over the line – Wigan by 4

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