How the Bookies See It
|Grand Final Winner||
Draw (after 80 minutes)
Wigan Warriors spent most the season in second place, and took full advantage of a home play-off semi-final by disposing of Castleford 14-0. It sets them up to aim for their fifth Grand Final win in the modern era. Sam Tomkins contributed a try, two conversions and two drop goals to ensure his last game in a Wigan shirt will take place on Old Trafford soil.
Warrington Wolves were the outsiders going into the final four, suffering from faltering form towards the end of the season. However, a thrilling display against runaway leaders St Helens saw them book their trip to Manchester. They came back from 3-2 down at half time to win the game 18-13, thanks to a late try by Tom Lineham.
The favourites here are Wigan, by quite a way, but that doesn’t ensure them a win in their tenth Super League Grand Final. As Warrington proved in the semi-final, the form book goes out of the window in these situations.
Wigan possess the strongest squad and have a number of players making their final appearance for the Cherry and Whites before they move to pastures new, not to mention a departing coach in Shaun Wane. But does this mean they will fight harder to ensure their legacy at the club, or could the emotion of the occasion be too much?
A Wigan win is more likely, but at 8/15 with William Hill, it’s not exactly tempting. Boylesports has 11/10 on them leading at both half time and full time, which is a better offer and is a plausible outcome. Alternatively, 7/4 is a very good price if you think Warrington will finally have their year. If they were to be down at half time only to pick up the victory after 80 minutes, just like in their semi-final with St Helens, you would earn a mighty 9/1. Could they spring another upset?
Dominic Manfredi of Wigan and Warrington’s Tom Lineham are seen as the players from either side most likely to break the deadlock on Saturday. It will be fascinating to see them face off for the first time since Lineham was punished for swinging his arm at Manfredi last month. Manfredi is 15/2 for the first try, but the same company’s 9/1 on Lineham getting over the line first is an excellent price for a man who has scored so many this term.
Sam Tomkins leads the way in the favourites for Man of the Match and it’s difficult to argue with that. The fullback will play for Catalans next year, ending a second successful stint at the DW Stadium. It would be a fitting send off for a man who loves the club as much as he does.
If Tomkins can keep control on a sentimental day, then he has the ability and respect to boss the game, making Betfred’s 6/1 well worth a look.
Sports.net’s Top Tip
|Man of the Match||