Wigan Warriors v Leeds Rhinos: YEP jury predictions

Liam Sutcliffe.
Liam Sutcliffe.
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The YEP jury have their say ahead of Wigan Warriors v Leeds Rhinos.


Last week’s game versus St Helens was a tough one to predict. I didn’t know how the team would come out after the Challenge Cup final win. Sadly, Saints got the two points and ended our chances of finishing top.

When the team came out, they looked very composed and up for the clash, more than I thought they would be. After 20 minutes, we ended up with 12 men as Joel Moon got himself sent off for a shoulder charge tackle on Mark Percival. Yes, I do think he deserved to be sent off, and we will miss him in the games versus Wigan Warriors and Hull FC.

We were superb for the whole game playing with 12 men. We were on top and looked like we could pull a magnificent win off. Those players will definitely be upset in losing that, but praise needs to be given to them.

I thought we should have gone for the one point a lot earlier in the game, when we were six points clear of St Helens.

I was very impressed with Liam Sutcliffe, he controlled the game very well from scrum-half and showed all his potential. He was my man of the match last week. It will be interesting where he will play this week versus Wigan, with the impending return of Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow.

I was quite shocked that Brian McDermott decided against bringing Brad Singleton and Robbie Ward off the bench. I do think that the sending off played a part in that, but these two could have possibly made a difference. That is something we will not know now. Some people will look at the table and see that we are in sixth place, but there ars still two games to go and we still could finish second.

Kevin Sinfield confirmed his retirement from international rugby league on Tuesday evening. He has been a great leader and captain for England. Hopefully this will mean he will come back stronger and fitter in pre-season, just like Jamie Peacock.

This week we face a massive trip to Wigan Warriors as we look to go into the play-offs with a bang. It will be interesting to see who will play in centre in place of Joel Moon.

I’d like it to be Carl Ablett, but it will more than likely be Liam Sutcliffe or Stevie Ward.Hopefully we will see McGuire and Burrow returning.

Wigan are once again dubbing this game as ‘The Big One’ so hopefully we can provide a big shock to their systems and get the momentum going into the play-offs. It should be a cracking match, which I hope we come home from with two points.


On Friday I went through a whole gamut of emotions during the game –bewilderment, anger, joy – and probably left the ground with an overall sense of pride.

The effort that went into getting a result cannot be questioned. In the last 20 minutes we simply didn’t have the legs to contain the Saints and dropping the ball too much only compounded the problem. My bewilderment came from leaving Singleton and Ward on the bench when we needed the fresh legs. I am no coach and Brian McDermott may well have had good reason but I just didn’t see it on Friday.

My anger, as is often the case, centred around the officiating. As I have said already this season Sky games are limiting the referees’ own judgement. Referees are deciding very little nowadays. They can’t even decide whose scrum it is! They are consistent at being at inconsistent. The constant check with the video ref has gone too far. If I wanted to watch a TV I would stay at home.

My pride was there for the team and club. The lap of honour at the end lasted until nearly midnight. It was a phenomenal effort and shows they care about us as fans.

It was really appreciated and makes you feel part of the club. I am sure the fans will be right behind the team for the run in. I have a feeling there are a few more twists and turns to come.


I don’t think any Super League team will relish the prospect of meeting Leeds Rhinos in the play-offs.

They lost to St Helens last Friday but came across as a very determined and focused team. I have no doubt that the Rhinos will put in another sterling performance on Friday night against Wigan.


Friday’s game was a good performance considering we spent two-thirds of the game playing with only 12 men.

And I think that if we kept all the players on the pitch for the full 80, we would probably have had enough to take the two points.

But among the ifs, buts and maybes we didn’t and St Helens took two points and likely the League Leaders Shield along with it.

We currently sit sixth in Super League, and disappointingly, there’s a real possibility sixth is where we may end the season.

This would be a gross under-performance for me.

And, as I’m not part of the “win it from sixth” brigade, I’m a bit gutted.


Rhinos had slim hopes of finishing top ended last Friday after a narrow 13-12 defeat to league leaders St Helens.

Leeds’ effort cannot be faulted especially after playing nearly 60 minutes with 12 men when referee Richard Silverwood sent Joel Moon off for an alleged shoulder charge early in the first half.


The big games are coming thick and fast and, after the amazing win at Wembley, the visit of Saints was a potential accident waiting to happen.

Sore bodies, the come-down after so many years of missing out on the Cup, I was a tad worried we may be overrun by a much fresher team.

A very heated game between both teams and Silverwood made some poor decisions. The sending off of Moon was the game-changer; we would have taken them apart otherwise.

We then battled on showing Saints what we have got and what a great 40/20 kick from the best captain in Super League, Sir Kev. Zak was awesome, but all players were in what was another classic game

Leeds coach Brian McDermott. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

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