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Wigan Warriors vs Castleford Tigers
The Wigan Warriors take on the Castleford Tigers in the 2nd Play Off Semi-Final form the 2018 Super League season and the great news for fans of both teams, and for rugby fans in general, is that you can watch all of the action live online via Super League live streaming partners.
Wigan may have finished as runner sup in the Super 8s but they head into these play-offs as the form team after winning all 7 matches in the 8s to finish the season with 8 straight wins.
The Tigers on the other hand come into the game on the back of a 26-0 thrashing away at St Helens last time out but they went into that game with 1 eye on this game and with a massive following heading across the M62 from Castleford, they will be wanting to put in a much better performance in this winners take all knock out game.
The Tigers struggled in their play-off last season at home to Saints but they found a way to get through it and Wigan will know that the Tigers will once again give 100% in this one. The Tigers players will also have that extra motivation of losing in last season’s Grand Final and wanting to get back to Old Trafford to right the wrongs of last year but the Warriors are simply a club who are designed to win.
Wigan will also have the motivation from knowing that this is almost an end of the era for the Warriors club with Sam Tomkins and Shaun Wane amongst those making way come the end of the season. With so many of the Warriors coming through the youth ranks under Wane and then playing under him in the first team, they will be wanting to send their head coach off with another Super league title.
The Wigan Warriors have now won each of their last 8 matches and perhaps most impressively they have only lost 1 home game this season.
Castleford’s loss against Saints last week ended a run of 5 straight wins but they have only won 1 of their last 3 on the road.
The Warriors welcome back captain Sean O’Loughlin after injury, he is joined in the Wigan squad by both Tommy Leuluai and Liam Farrell.
Cas rested the quintet of Matt Cook, Greg Eden, Oliver Holmes, Mike McMeeken and captain Michael Shenton for their thrashing at Saints but all are back for this paly-off semi-final.
As you would expect from a play-off semi-final this match is a difficult one to predict.
Yes Wigan have the form and prestige coming into the game but the Tigers have the knowledge of making it through to the final last season and knowing just what needs to be done whilst Wigan have struggled in big matches over the past couple of seasons.
The good news for the Tigers is that form often goes out of the window in these knock out play-off matches and it comes down to which team can handle the pressure on the day.
The bad news for the Tiger’s is that they come up against a Wigan team who are brim full of confidence and who are in the habit of winning and that can be tough for anyone to break.
Big crowds bring out big performances in players and whilst the bulk of the crowd will be behind the Warriors, the Cas Tigers will have a backing of 5,000 or so fans, which will surly be to their help in what can be a hostile environment at the DW Stadium, when it is full.
Both teams have lot’s of players with experience of these types of matches but so nerves shouldn’t be too much of an issue and that set sus up for a simply must watch game.
The game will see a contrast of styles with the Warriors playing a highly structured game and the Tigers relying on the off the cuff skills of their key playmakers but the biggest difference is down the middle.
The Tigers have a big pack but with strong ball playing abilities whilst the Warriors have a smaller but more mobile pack, it will be fascinating to see which comes out on top but with things set to be so tight, we are going to back the safer approach of the Warriors although this one really is a toss of the coin as to who will win.
Score Prediction Wigan Warriors by 4