World Club Series Preview: Wigan v Brisbane

Wigan coach Shaun Wane is clearly desperate to succeed against Southern Hemisphere sides, but his team face an uphill battle on Saturday evening.

While Brisbane have been deliberately understated in their preparations, seeming to treat the trip to the UKk as nothing more than a preseason friendly, Wigan are keen to put right the wrongs of last year’s defeat to Sydney Roosters Down Under.

Some extra spice is added to the occasion, with the teams having met twice before in World Club Challanges. Brisbane won the title against the Wigan in 1992, while the Warriors came out on top in 1994.

The Warriors have not found their best form so far this season, recording an unconvincing draw at Widnes and a troubled home win over Huddersfield in Super League.

They will need to play massively better than they have done in those two games to test the Broncos. They also suffered a real blow this week, when loose forward Sean O’Loughlin was ruled out for six months after undergoing surgery on a knee injury.

Prediction:

This will be tough for Wigan, even with a noisy home crowd on their side at the DW Stadium. Brisbane have class in every area of the team, and should win by at least 10 points.

Wigan Warriors (19-man squad): Bateman, Bowen, Burgess, Charnley, Clubb, Crosby, L Farrell, C Farrell, Gelling, Hampshire, McIlorum, Patrick, Sarginson, Smith, Sutton, Tautai, J Tomkins, L. Tomkins, Williams.

Brisbane Broncos (19-man squad):
Kahu, Vidot, Whitchurch, Hodges, Maranta, Milford, Hunt, Blair, McCullough, McGuire, Glenn, Thaiday, Parker, Dodds, Gavet, Ofahengaue, Nikorima, Opacic.

Wigan Warriors – previous World Club Challenge appearances

John Bateman (2014, Wigan v Sydney Roosters, Lost), Matt Bowen (2014, Wigan v Sydney Roosters, Lost), Joe Burgess (2014, Wigan v Sydney Roosters, Lost), Josh Charnley (2014, Wigan v Sydney Roosters, Lost), Dominic Crosby (2014, Wigan v Sydney Roosters, Lost), Liam Farrell (2014, Wigan v Sydney Roosters, Lost), (2011, Wigan v St George Illawarra, Lost), Michael McIlorum (2014, Wigan v Sydney Roosters, Lost, 2011, Wigan v St George Illawarra, Lost), Dan Sarginson
(2014, Wigan v Sydney Roosters, Lost), Matty Smith (2014, Wigan v Sydney Roosters, Lost).

Brisbane Broncos – previous World Club Challenge appearances

Adam Blair (2010, Melbourne v Leeds, Won, 2008, Melbourne v Leeds, Lost), Darius Boyd (2011, St George Illawarra v Wigan, Won, 2007, Brisbane v St Helens, Lost), Jon Green (2011, St George Illawarra v Wigan, Won), Justin Hodges (2007, Brisbane v St Helens, Lost, 2003, Sydney Roosters v St Helens, Won), Todd Lowrie (2010, Melbourne v Leeds, Won), Corey Parker (2007, Brisbane v St Helens, Lost), Sam Thaiday (2007, Brisbane v St Helens, Lost)

 

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