Match Preview: Toronto Wolfpack vs. Wigan Warriors

It will be a night of firsts for Toronto Wolfpack on Thursday, February 13 when they take on Wigan Warriors at DW Stadium. As well as marking the maiden clash between the two sides and the Wolfpack’s first journey to Wigan’s home ground, it will also be the first time Toronto has played on the Thursday night stage in their history.

Kick-off is scheduled for 7.45pm UK time, 2.45pm Toronto time, with the Wolfpack taking on a Wigan side currently sitting seventh in the standings after registering a win and a loss across the opening fortnight. The fixture will be broadcast live internationally through Sky Sports UK and partners, including in North America on Sportsnet Now+ and Sportsnet World and Fox Sports League in Australia.

One of the most successful Clubs in Rugby League, Wigan claimed the Super League title in 2018, their 22nd Championship. With a trophy cabinet also housing 19 Challenge Cups and four World Club Challenge trophies, the Warriors are never far away from success. As the Wolfpack search for their maiden top division victory, they will need to bring their absolute best to Wigan if they are to depart with a much-needed win.

Fullback Zak Hardaker is one of the key players for Wigan, with his tireless effort and laser-like accuracy from the kicking tee making him an extremely dangerous proposition. In 2019, Hardaker finished the season with 231 points, placing him second in the League. While he is yet to register a try in 2020, he has been accurate off the boot and will be looking to kick into a higher gear against the Wolfpack.

Australian-born scrum-half Jackson Hastings will be another name circled on the Wolfpack whiteboard this week. Closing in on 100 professional appearances, 2020 is Hastings’ debut season with Wigan, previously playing with Salford in the Super League after beginning his career in the Australian top-division NRL competition. A breakout 2019 with the Red Devils ended with Hastings being awarded the Steve Prescott Man of Steel Award as the Super League’s best player.

Toronto will be without Sonny Bill Williams for the clash with Wigan as the New Zealander returns home to be present for the birth of his fourth child. After an excellent performance against Salford in round two, the Wolfpack will be looking forward to the dual-code international’s return but will feel confident in their available options to cover his absence.

Statistically, Wigan have made the most tackles in the League so far, called on to lay a total of 685 across rounds one and two.  Morgan Smithies has made the most tackles for Wigan, recording 80 to date, seeing him ranked third in the League. The Wolfpack’s Jon Wilkin is first with 103.

When it comes to metres gained, the Warriors sit just behind the Wolfpack so far in 2020. Currently, in fourth place, Wigan has made 2336 metres while the Wolfpack are third with 2478.

Toronto looks to offload the ball when tackled much more than Wigan, with the Wolfpack doing so 36 times across the opening rounds to the Warriors 16. It is clear that the Warriors look to get Jackson Hastings into the game as much as possible as he leads the League for carries with 41.

Kick-off for the DW Stadium fixture is set for 7.45pm UK time, 2.45pm Toronto time Thursday February 13 and tickets are available now through the Wigan Warriors ticketing page by clicking here.

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