Stats Pack: Wigan Warriors

SL.Rd21. Warriors v Rhinos. Weds 25thAug2021. © MATTHEW MERRICK PHOTOGRAPHY

Tonight the Betfred Super League Play Offs begin with the Rhinos travelling to face Wigan Warriors at the DW Stadium, kick off 7:45pm. Don’t forget that tickets are still available and can be purchased here.

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

Two giants of Super League collide in the first round of the play offs as the Rhinos look to go a step further than they did in 2020, while last season’s Grand Finalists Wigan can send their head coach Adrian Lam and a number of players out on a high if they can set up another Final appearance this year.

Since the competition changed from the Premiership Trophy to the post season play offs in 1998, Wigan have played in 55 play off matches, including their Grand Final appearances in 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2020 (*those in bold they won). Out of those 55 games, Wigan have 35 wins and 20 losses and have only missed out on the play offs three times before. Tonight’s match also marks the eleventh meeting between Leeds and Wigan in the post season, each having won five apiece, including notable wins for Leeds in 2012 and 2010 at the DW Stadium.

During the regular season, Wigan have shown signs of struggle but when many were counting them out of a play off spot, the players dug deep and made sure the club booked a fourth place finish. Out of the 25 games they managed to play, the Warriors won 15, seven of which came in the first rounds of the season. Although they have averaged the least points per game out of any club this season, Lam’s men make up for it in their defensive efforts where they have only conceded 15.4 points per game (the second least behind St Helens) as well as making the most tackles in the league (8,897).

Leeds on the other hand have averaged the fifth most points scored this season with 23.2 per game (most of which have come in the last ten minutes of the first half). The Rhinos like to dominate territory (sitting only behind the top two of Catalans and St Helens) but with the ball in hand, Leeds average 41.7 metres per set – compared to Wigan’s 39.5 – and have the most line breaks and line break assists this season. Jack Broadbent has led the way in line breaks with 13, while Tom Briscoe, Ash Handley and Brad Dwyer, but Kruise Leeming and Richie Myler are the best at assisting with over 20 line break assists each.


Wigan’s Top Performers

Tries

Jake Bibby

13 Tries (7th in SL)

Goals

Harry Smith

31 Goals (11th in SL)

Tackles

Joe Shorrocks

833 Tackles (1st in SL)

Offloads

Kai Pearce-Paul

41 Offloads (3rd in SL)

Metres

Liam Farrell

2956 Metres (2nd in SL)


Key Head to Head

Two former team mates return to Agar and Lam’s squads for tonight’s clash, after missing out on last week’s action.

Wigan forward Brad Singleton, who played for eight years at Leeds after coming through the club’s academy, is included by Lam after being rested in the win over Catalans last Friday night. The forward has played 19 times for the Warriors this season and has three tries, coming against Castleford and two against Salford earlier in the season. In the two games he’s played against Leeds this season too, he has averaged over 20 tackles and made over 100 metres in the defeat to the Rhinos at the DW Stadium in round 21.

Like Leeds, Wigan have a young side and Singleton is one of the most experienced heads in the Warriors’ camp. The prop has played in two play off semi finals with Leeds before (St Helens in 2015 and Hull FC in 2017) and both times he has gone on to lift the Grand Final trophy. After coming so close last year, he will be hoping to get passed his former side and book a semi final spot.

Fan favourite Mikolaj Oledzki is is in the mix to play after being named in the Rhinos 21 man squad. TOledzki suffered a foot injury that has forced him to sit out the last eight games. Back in contention though, the England international provides some much needed firepower back to Leeds’ forward pack, as Oledzki has managed over seven metres per carry this season and has also been one of Leeds’ most efficient tacklers; the prop has a tackle efficiency of 91.2% which is only bettered by Zane Tetevano (91.5%), Cam Smith and Tom Holroyd (both 91.4%).


One to Watch: Wigan Warriors

A stalwart of the club and one of the players that knows how to reach Old Trafford, Wigan second rower Liam Farrell will be one for fans to watch in our opposition’s squad.

Despite being in his eleventh season in cherry and white, Farrell has once again blown away the record books for the Warriors this season, finishing with the most metres and most carries out of any Wigan player as well as the second most tries scored, behind Jake Bibby. His ability to stay on his feet and drive for more metres has seen the second rower rank as the best player in Super League for post contact metres with 1,408 (Catalans winger Tom Davies is next on 1,387) plus he also has five try assists and 10 line breaks to be the Warriors’ weapon on the edge.

Farrell was one player that was absent from Wigan’s team that beat Catalans but with the experience of the play offs, and with four winners rings in his possession, he is a valuable asset for Lam.


One to Watch: Leeds Rhinos

Last time out against Hull KR, Leeds’ man of the match marked his final appearance at Emerald Headingley with a spectacular performance.

Despite the stats above, Lui’s impact and control of the game was a bearing in Leeds’ victory. His try on fifteen minutes opened the match up for Leeds after a steady start, and he continued to cause problems with both Richie Myler and Kruise Leeming as his half back partner. Making 56 metres, that is the most Lui has made in the last four matches he’s played and he also added a clean break and three tackle busts to keep the ball moving for the Rhinos.

In his final year at the club, despite the injuries and setbacks, Lui has been a key figure in helping Leeds secure their play off place for another year. With a number of different half back partners named throughout 2021, Lui has taken it in his stride and produced top performances against Leigh (both at home and away), the last meeting with Wigan at the DW Stadium in round 21 and the win against Huddersfield, where he contributed a try and try assists to see Leeds win 18-12. Having secured his first silverware in 2020, the half back has already said how he is aiming to go out on a high with the Rhinos before he retires from the game. Watch his pre match press conference here.


Team News


Tickets

With victory over Hull KR in their final game of the regular Betfred Super League season, Leeds Rhinos secured fifth place, meaning they will travel to the DW Stadium on Thursday 23rd September to face Wigan Warriors, kick off 7.45pm.

Tickets and travel for the game are on sale now and Leeds Rhinos 2021 Season Members, 2021 Flexi Members and 2021 Supporter Members can also save £5 on their own ticket when purchased before midnight on the day before the game. This will automatically discount in the basket page when ordering through Leeds Rhinos.

You can secure your place by purchasing your tickets in one of the following ways:  
Online Tickets are available 24/7 at tickets.therhinos.co.uk  
Over the Phone You can contact Leeds Rhinos Ticket Office on 0371 423 1315 during the following opening hours: Saturday 18th September, 9:30am to 12:30pm Monday 20th to Wednesday 22nd September, 10:30am to 3:30pm Thursday 23rd September, 10:30am to 3pm  

For more information, click here.