Wigan may struggle to wallop Wakefield
Wildcats can dig their claws in
Betfred Super League
Sky Sports Arena & Main Event, 7.45pm Thursday
It’s just three weeks since Wigan recorded a seventh straight Betfred Super League win with a 38-10 hiding of Warrington at Magic Weekend.
The victory left them just two points behind St Helens at the top of the table and all seemed well in the Warriors' camp.
But less than 48 hours later, coach Shaun Wane announced he was quitting at the end of the season and an embarrassing 24-8 loss at Hull KR followed.
Last Saturday, Wigan were knocked out of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup in a tame 23-0 defeat at Warrington.
A few hours later a video surfaced of Joel and Sam Tomkins involved in an unsavoury incident in a pub. Both brothers were fined and Joel has been suspended by the club for four weeks.
Now Wigan head for Wakefield, a place where they’ve suffered two of their most humiliating losses in Super League history.
Last September, the Warriors were thrashed 32-0 at Belle Vue but that defeat pales into insignificance compared to 2016’s astonishing 62–0 capitulation.
Despite the turmoil, bookmakers still make Wane’s side 8-15 favourites to get back on track with Sam Tomkins chalked up at 8-1 to be named man of the match and 7-4 to touch down at any time as he looks to make headlines for the right reasons.
As well as Joel Tomkins, the visitors are without Ryan Sutton, who is likely to be out of action for around six weeks with a knee problem.
Trinity had last weekend off and are 7-4 to return to action with a win. Chris Chester’s team receive a six-point start on the handicap and that’s an extremely interesting proposition.
Wakey haven’t lost a home game by more than a converted try since last July and can list league leaders St Helens among their victims at Belle Vue this year.
Trinity have lost twice on their own midden, by two points to Leeds and by five points to Castleford, and Wigan are likely to find it tough to win any more comfortably than that.
There seems no reason to suppose that Wakefield won’t be competitive again, as they were for most of the meeting between the teams at the DW Stadium in March. Wakey led 12-10 at half-time before going down 30-18.
The hosts are 10-11 to stay within six points but punters may be wise to take slightly shorter odds to have the added safety net of an extra half a point on their side.
3pts 4-5 Ladbrokes
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