Super League Grand Final Preview
Warrington v Wigan
Warrington and Wigan entered the 2016 Super League season as title favourites and they will meet in the decider where punters are struggling to separate the two teams in betting.
The Warrington Wolves side features plenty of stars including former NRL players Kurt Gidley and Ashton Sims as well as English internationals Daryl Clark, Ryan Atkins and Stefan Ratchford. Halfback Chris Sandow missed the semi-final win over Saints but will have a late fitness test. If he doesn’t pass it, Declan Patton will play halfback.
The Wigan team has also been hit hard by injury with Sam Tomkins and Sean O’Loughlin both out for the year. Gold Coast Titans bound Dan Sarginson shifts to fullback while former Storm player Willie Isa moves to lock. Former NRL players Frank-Paul Nuuausala and Taulima Tautai are in the side along with stars John Bateman, Matty Smith, George Williams and Josh Charnley.
Grand Final History
Wigan are arguably the most successful English club side in history winning 26 combined premierships/championships/Super League titles. During the Super League era they have won three deciders claiming victory in 1998, 2010 and 2013. Since 1998 they have lost four Grand Finals including the last two deciders. This is their fourth Grand Final in a row.
Warrington, by contrast, have won just three titles, the last of which came in the 1953-54 season. They have played in two Grand Finals during the Super League era, losing to Leeds in 2012 and Wigan in 2013.
Warrington have won 4 of their last 5 including a gritty 18-10 win over St Helens in the semi-final. The Wolves’ one loss though was to Wigan. They have conceded 12 points or less in three of their last four.
Wigan have won four straight with wins over with a dominant 28-18 win over Hull FC in the semi. Over that stretch they have rolled Hull twice and defeated Warrington.
Warrington won two of the three meetings this season. The Wolves won 28-16 and 40-10 in April before Wigan won 35-28 just three weeks again in Warrington. Wigan though have won 7 of the last 10 meetings dating back to the 2013 decider.
In the year of the drought-buster, Warrington’s long title absence should come to an end. The Warriors have been hit hard by injury and it is hard to see them being able to hold out a talented Warrington side. The Wolves have bested the Warriors this year and will send out a far more formidable side, particularly up front, where they are experienced and talented. This is the Year of the Wolves.
Warrington by 4