Stats Pack: Wigan Warriors

RFL SL. Wigan Warriors v Leeds Rhinos. 16th Aug 2020 © MATTHEW MERRICK PHOTOGRAPHY

Two of Super League’s heavyweights collide on Thursday night as Leeds Rhinos host Wigan Warriors at Emerald Headingley, kick off 7:45pm.

Before the teams run out, here are some of the key stats, figures and facts about both Richard Agar and Adrian Lam’s sides.

Team Head to Head

Only two points separate Leeds and Wigan in the League table after two rounds of Super League action and already, both sides are shaping up well in terms of the statistics they are recording.

Leeds come into this game off the back of successive defeats in the League and Challenge Cup. In both games, Richard Agar’s side were unlucky not to come away with the result but will be eager to get back to winning ways in one of the biggest games of the season. So far in 2021, the Rhinos have made the fourth most carries (486) and metres (3771) in the League and are joint first in runs out of dummy half, thanks to the work of Kruise Leeming (6) and Brad Dwyer (9).

The Warriors haven’t lost a game so far in 2020 and their statistics so far show why. Only Warrington (17) have scored more tries in the opening two rounds than Wigan (15), while the Rhinos sit further down with 10 tries, and the Cherry and Whites are top for the most amount of tackles; Sam Powell (108), John Bateman (89) and Ethan Havard (78) leading the way. On the other hand, they have made the most errors out of any side in the League with 44, which is six more than Leeds.

Key Head to Head

One of the most interesting matchups in this game could be between two of the youngest players on pitch. Both Jack Broadbent and Umyla Hanley have played in every game for their sides so far in 2021 and go head to head for the first time since they played in the Under-19s.

Broadbent, who made a memorable debut against Wakefield Trinity in round one, has gone from strength to strength, scoring a try on his first appearance of the season and transitioning smoothly to full back while Jack Walker and Richie Myler remain out through injury. After making his debut for the club and playing three times in 2020, he is highly tipped as one of the best young players this season, sitting joint top of the league with Alex Walmsley for carries (42) and twelfth in the League in metres (291).

Hanley also made his debut for Wigan in 2020 and, like Broadbent, has been given a chance in Adrian Lam’s first team at the start of 2021. So far in Super League, he currently has 32 carries (18th in the League) and against Wakefield he made over 100 metres. He is still waiting for his first try of the season though, despite scoring against York City Knights in the Betfred Challenge Cup.

One to Watch: Leeds Rhinos

Following on from a hard hitting performance as captain against St Helens, prop Matt Prior is definitely going to be one to watch against the Warriors. Along with Mikolaj Oledzki, Zane Tetevano and the whole Leeds forward pack, Prior was a tackle machine against Saints and will be needed to do a similar job against Wigan’s pack including Brad Singleton, Morgan Smithies and Sam Powell. So far in 2021, Prior has continued to be a consistent performer, averaging between 27- 29 tackles against Wakefield and Castleford and 73-82 metres. Against the Tigers, he also got his first try in Rhinos colours, which was the fifteenth try of his career.

One to Watch: Wigan Warriors

Now in his eleventh season with the Warriors, Liam Farrell is still showing Super League he can perform at the highest level. Since coming through the Wigan Academy system to make his debut in 2010, he has been at the centre of Wigan’s success in the Grand Final, Challenge Cup and World Club Challenge and is now the longest serving Wigan player along with Thomas Leuluai, following Sean O’Loughlin’s retirement in 2020. This season, nothing has changed as Farrell leads the league with 15 tackle busts and is fourth in the league with 356 metres (behind team mate Zak Hardaker, Catalans’ Tom Davies and Hull’s Carlos Tuimavave). He is also just behind Hardaker in carries too (Farrell currently sits eighth with 37 while Hardaker is fifth) so going forward, you can expect Farrell to be one of Wigan’s go to players.

Player Milestones

Zak Hardaker

Should he score 16 points against his former side on Thursday, Zak Hardaker will reach 1000 career points. The full back/centre has scored most of his points while at the Warriors and the Rhinos but he has also scored points for his first club Featherstone, Castleford Tigers, on loan at Penrith Panthers and a combined 20 points while with England and England Knights.

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