Rugby league preview: Wigan Warriors could be victorious in France for the second week running

Wigan Warriors could well be the winners of the weekend in Super League if they are victorious in France for a second time running with St Helens and Warrington Wolves facing off in an early season showdown, writes Ben Olawumi.

This is only the fifth game week of the new campaign, though only Wigan and Saints – first and second respectively – still have a 100% record to their names with Warrington – fourth – already slipping up in losing at home to Catalans Dragons last Friday.

Matt Peet’s Warriors side won 29-28 away at Toulouse Olympique with a dramatic late drop goal from Harry Smith in their last outing and have remained over the English Channel on a training camp for the duration of this week as they prepare to take on the Dragons.

Appointed in the off-season after the departure of Adrian Lam, Peet told the club’s website that he’d learned a lot from the trip.

“The players have been excellent.

“We have high standards all the time but being with them 24/7, I’ve been really impressed with not just their professionalism and the team togetherness, but the way that they’ve engaged with the local people, people in the hotels and the community clubs over here.

“I’m very proud of the way that we have conducted ourselves.

“It’s allowed us to have a little bit more focus around our review process, time together, and the lads also get to have more downtime as a group.”

By the time Wigan get underway at the Stade Gilbert Brutus, they will know the result of the encounter between Saints and the Wire, who have won on their previous two visits to the Totally Wicked stadium.

Ben Murdoch-Masila of Warrington Wolves tries to break through during the Super League match between Warrington Wolves and St Helens at The Halliwell Jones Stadium. Credit: Getty Images

Should history repeat itself, the Warriors could pull two points clear of Saints at the top.

Alternatively, they could be four points clear of Daryl Powell’s Warrington come the end of the weekend.

Elsewhere, Salford welcome Hull Kingston Rovers to the AJ Bell.

Having won their first two games of the season, Paul Rowley’s men have now suffered back-to-back defeats, losing 34-2 away at Huddersfield Giants most recently.

A full fixture list for this week’s Super League games can be found below:

Thursday: Leeds Rhinos vs Hull FC (20:00)

Friday: Wakefield Trinity vs Toulouse Olympique (19:30), Salford Red Devils vs Hull Kingston Rovers (19:45), St Helens vs Warrington Wolves (20:00)

Saturday: Huddersfield Giants vs Castleford Tigers (15:00), Catalans Dragons vs Wigan Warriors (17:30)