What the Bookies Say
Draw (after 80 minutes)
Josh Charnley (War)
Tom Lineham (War)
Fouad Yaha (Cat)
Lewis Tierney (Cat)
Ben Murdoch-Masila (War)
Catalans Dragons began the Super League season in terrible form, finding themselves rooted to the bottom of the table for a significant amount of time. However, a surge of fantastic results saw them secure their Super League status and make the Super 8s. A thrilling Challenge Cup semi-final win over the seemingly unbeatable St Helens set up the Perpignan outfit for their Wembley date with Warrington.
Warrington Wolves have spent the major portion of the campaign in the play-off spots, although they have been consistent rather than remarkable. They can beat anyone on their day, but have yet to really put together a long run of positive results. A straightforward 48-12 over the ailing Leeds Rhinos saw them through the semi finals, and they will probably feel a Challenge Cup and Grand Final double is not out of the question this year.
Head-to-Head in 2018
Warrington have the edge this term, having won two and drawn one of their fixtures against Catalans. The teams first met in March in France, with the Cheshire outfit snatching a 26-0 victory. Round 21 saw them meet up again at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, where they shared the spoils, 22-22.
The most recent confrontation came earlier this month. Wire ran riot, ending up 56-6 winners on home soil. Tom Lineham stole the headlines on the night with a hat trick, but half backs Kevin Brown and Tyrone Roberts deserved plaudits for the way they bossed the game. However, Catalans coach Steve McNamara was short on options after an intense Challenge Cup win over St Helens, and this weekend’s game should be an entirely different affair.
Warrington Wolves boast the stronger team, but Catalans Dragons enjoy a spirit about the squad, having completely turned around their season. In addition, whilst Wire are fighting tooth and nail to gain any advantage they can in the play-offs, merely making the Super 8s is mission accomplished for Catalans and they can throw everything at winning the Challenge Cup.
The French side won’t make the play-offs and, even if they lost every game for the rest of the campaign, they will still begin 2019 as a Super League outfit. This means that the 80 minutes on Saturday afternoon is the culmination of their season. Warrington, on the other hand, need to keep something in reserve for the push towards Old Trafford on 13th October.
Sports.net’s Top Tip
The bookies are backing Warrington to win handsomely this weekend, and all things being equal, they probably would. Wire have distractions though, whereas Les Dracs can play with more freedom. The Cheshire team is likely to win, but it probably won’t be the pasting that they handed out earlier this month. William Hill’s 4/9 on Warrington to win is fair, but have a look at 6/4 from Boylesports on them to win by between one and 12 points if you’re feeling brave.