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OPPOSITION CORNER: Battle of the Giants
On Friday Wolves and Wigan will battle it out at the DW Stadium, a fixture that Wolves won with a last-gasp penalty in 2012
TWO big questions surround Wigan this year and we may get an answer when Wolves visit the DW Stadium tomorrow, Friday.
Can Blake Green, the Aussie brought in from Hull KR, fill the giant holes of the departed Brett Finch and Thomas Leuluai.
And will Scott Taylor, the young prop also drafted from Rovers, make up for the losses of Jeff Lima and Gareth Hock.
Boss Shaun Wane believes so and they did get off to a 42-0 start against an albeit not fully prepared Salford outfit on Friday.
But Warrington’s defence should be a totally different kettle of fish for the Pie Eaters.
While the League Leaders’ Shield holders have media darling Sam Tomkins fit and healthy, they remain a danger to all.
The way he cleverly chimes into the line from back play makes him a constant menace, but a question mark remains over his temperament if he does not get things his own way.
And that can happen if Wolves’ forwards get on top, as they have done for cracking wins on their past three visits to Wigan.
It is a blow to Wane’s camp that powerhouses Epalahame Lauaki and Harrison Hansen are not fit for this early battle of the giants, leaving them with quite a task to subdue Chris Hill, Adrian Morley, Ben Westwood and co.
Having said that, it was Lauaki’s misdemeanours that gifted Brett Hodgson the chance to boot Wolves to last term’s 22-20 success in one of the games of the season played in front of an impressive 21,000 crowd.
Some more wonderful moments like Richie Myler’s interception try in the 2011 meeting and Westwood’s crushing matchwinner in 2010 would send the expected 5,000 primrose and blue travellers into raptures again.
To the outside, only two points are at stake. But winning this clash means a lot more than that to Wolves and Warriors.
The 2013 Super League intensity is about to hit a whole new level.