Kick Off: 2000, 09/03/2017
Stadium: Halliwell Jones Stadium
TV: Sky Sports 1
Warrington have yet to claim a Super League win this year but we are backing the Wolves to kick-start their campaign in style by beating Wigan at home on Thursday night.
The Wolves are rock bottom of the table following Saturday’s 24-14 defeat against Salford, having previously lost out to Catalans and Castleford.
However, Tony Smith’s side did secure a famous win over Brisbane in the World Club Series in the midst of those setbacks and the experienced coach believes it is just a matter of time before their league form improves.
“We were up for the Brisbane game in a big way and put in an enormous effort,” he admitted. “Maybe it flattened us, but it’s far from the end of the world for us. We know we are going to get some form together, especially in the dry weather.
“At this stage of the year, you will get these kinds of results. I don’t think you can determine who will win or come last in the competition in the first few weeks.”
Warrington should have no trouble getting themselves fired up for the visit of Wigan, having lost out to the Warriors in last year’s Grand Final when favourites for a first Old Trafford success.
The Wolves still have a few long-term injury problems to contend with, but the spine of their team is rock-solid, with Kurt Gidley, Kevin Brown and Daryl Clark providing the organisational skills that should allow a talented supporting cast to shine.
Warrington beat Wigan 28-16 away and 40-10 at home in the regular season last term, so the ability is there and we are taking 21/20 for the Wolves to shade a tight encounter at Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Wigan are unbeaten this year and managed to recover from a bruising World Club Challenge defeat of Cronulla to claim two subsequent Super League triumphs, but they were fortunate to face a couple of the competition’s weaker sides in Widnes and Leigh over the past fortnight.
Last week’s 20-0 win over the Centurions contained all of the usual effort and energy associated with Shaun Wane’s young team, but apart from a couple of moments of magic from George Williams, it was very much a workmanlike display.
Winger Joe Burgess also limped off with an injury during that tussle and would be a big loss for the Warriors, so this could be the time to take on Wigan, who previously had to come from 26-12 down with 20 minutes to play when scraping past wooden spoon favourites Widnes.