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Wigan 2008 Squad

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1 Richie Mathers
2 Mark Calderwood
3 Darrell Goulding
4 George Carmont
5 Pat Richards
6 Trent Barrett
7 Thomas Leuluai
8 Stuart Fielden
9 Mick Higham
10 Iafeta Paleaaesina
11 Gareth Hock
12 Phil Bailey
13 Sean O'Loughlin
14 Liam Colbon
15 Andy Coley
16 Harrison Hansen
17 Mike McIlorum
19 Paul Prescott
20 Karl Pryce
22 Joel Tomkins
23 Ben Kavanagh
24 Eamon O'Carroll
25 Thomas Coyle
26 Nick Stanton
27 Lee Mossop
28 Mark Flanagan
29 Sam Tomkins


Well.... Wigan finished the last season strongly with wins against Stains, Bradford & Hull before falling to a terrific Leeds side at Headingly so there are many positives to take into the next season but also a few negatives...
Feka is under a 'legal' cloud, Fielden's form was poor, Hock's form was non-existent and I'm not at all convinced by the forward back. On the plus side however Lockers had a very good series against the Kiwi's and Hansen was starting to look the part last season so it's not all doom and gloom.
A lot will depend on Barrett (who I thought had a teriffic first season) and hopefully his partnership with Leuluai will kick on even further this season.
Mathers is a risk considering his injuries but *could* prove a good investment in the long run and if Pryce can start to punch his weight then maybe returning to League will be the best thing he's done.
In all honesty I don't think it's a good enough squad on paper to become champions but stranger things have happened and I go into the next season in good heart.
Who knows... maybe the new ownership will make a difference as well and guide the club back to the success it craves? I reckon however it'll take another two seasons at least to build a grand Final winning team.
 
S

St Helens RLFC

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I think that's a top 3 squad. If they all play to the top of their ability. Personally I think Wigan will be 3rd or 4th, strong chance of finishing above Saints if they get it right.

Forward form is a problem, Hock is a liability and despite the strong test series I am yet to see the appeal of O'Hightackle. Two walking penalty machines. I also think Wigan need some consistency from the loathesome Barrett against the big teams. He was anonymous against the big 3 on every occasion last season, save the Bradford playoff match. He needs to do it in those games as well.
 
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Vambo

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I think that's a top 3 squad. If they all play to the top of their ability. Personally I think Wigan will be 3rd or 4th, strong chance of finishing above Saints if they get it right.[/b]

I'd be delighted to finish above Saints but I can't see it happening.

Forward form is a problem, Hock is a liability and despite the strong test series I am yet to see the appeal of O'Hightackle. Two walking penalty machines. [/b]

I don't mind people giving away penalities if they are contributing good things elsewhere. Lockers might not have the greatest tackling technique in the world but he sure as hell puts in 100% effort in every game and nearly always finishes as our top tackler.

I don't know what went wrong with Hock last season... If he can refind the form of the 2006 season though I'll be very happy.


I also think Wigan need some consistency from the loathesome Barrett against the big teams. He was anonymous against the big 3 on every occasion last season, save the Bradford playoff match. He needs to do it in those games as well.
[/b]

Personally I think what Wigan need is someone else to step up to the plate to take the pressure of Barrett in the games when he isn't having much of an impact. I'm not convinced that Leuluai is the one to do that and with not having a creative 13 it's hard to see who that person could be.
 
S

St Helens RLFC

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If he wasn't such an utter jamook Hock could be the best second rower in the game. Sorry, he can't be, he's not Australian......

I agree with the pressure on Barrett. I think Leuluai is ordinary. He's a decent 7 but he's not a Super League winning 7. He did seem to settle in toward the end of last season - perhaps he needs another season before judgement?

Saints are going to have a long and hard season. Key people in key positions getting old. 1 prop down for 3 months, no room to bring people in. If we get injuries we'll be 5th.
 
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Vambo

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I think Leuluai is ordinary. He's a decent 7 but he's not a Super League winning 7. He did seem to settle in toward the end of last season - perhaps he needs another season before judgement?
[/b]

Yep... I think he'll be a lot better this season and on his day he can be very, very good.
Still don't know why we got rid of Danny Orr though... he was just coming really good and had won most of the crowd over. Danny had the misfortune to play alongside probably the worst 7 in Wigan's history with Moran and could probably have formed a great partnership with Barrett.
 

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