Wigan Warriors vs Warrington Wolves Super League Grand Final Preview

Will it be the fairy tale ending for Wigan coach Shaun Wane before his move into coaching consultancy with the Scottish Rugby Union, or will the new bloke on the block , Steve Price write his own piece of history into Warrington Folk law.

This is the big one, the Grand Final at the magnificent Old Trafford with everything at stake in a winner takes all finale.( kick off 18.00 BST).

Warrington Wolves have been the nearly men for so long and have lost in their three previous Grand Final appearances. Indeed we have to go back to 1955 when Eden replaced Churchill as prime minister to register Warrington last domestic championship title. That's one hell of a gap between drinks.

Wigan have maintained some mythical legendary status within rugby league as reflected in the fact that this is their fifth grand final appearance in six years. This will also be the last game for Sam Tomkins, John Bateman , Ryan Sutton and of course Shaun Wane himself. They are going to leave a significant gap but 25,000 Wigan supporters will be matched by 25,000 warrington supporters in what could be a classic encounter.

Coach of the year Wane is a shrewd man who has created a Wigan team that can defend to the final seconds of the game. They have big match players like Sean O’Loughlin, John Bateman and Thomas Leuluai who will bring experience and real quality to this encounter. Then they have two of the toughest forwards in British Rugby league in Tony Clubb and Ben Flower and these are men who will put their bodies on the line.

To have a tough pack and a quality back line is what every coach plans for and what a sensational comeback from injury for the impressive Dominic Manfedi on the flanks.

Warrington come into this game after a superb run of form and coach Price has added some real quality to the Wolves team. The forward pack features the huge talent of Ben Murdoch-Masila as well as Chris Hill, Darryl Clarke and Ben Westwood and they won’t be taking any backward steps that’s a certainty. Josh Charnley and Tom Lineham on the flanks are lethal finishers and once the ball is moved wide to them, anything could happen.

You can sense the anticipation in the air with these two great clubs, just a few miles apart from each other. A lot will depend on how the half back combinations combine on the day and Indeed who can apply pressure when it matters. Expect this to be a tough, gladiatorial encounter with no quarter given. Expect both teams to give their all including blood and guts and expect it to be one huge clash of power and speed 

I have no real idea who will win this one but I’m taking George Williams to come up with the goods in the halves and for Wigan to take this final by 4-8 points

Wigan: Bateman, Clubb, Davies, Escare, Farrell, Flower, Gildart, Greenwood, Hamlin, Leuluai, Manfredi, Navarrete, O'Loughlin, Powell, Sarginson, Sutton, Tautai, Tomkins, Williams.

Warrington: Ratchford, Lineham, Goodwin, Atkins, Brown, Roberts, Hill, Clark, Cooper, Hughes, Murdoch-Masila, Patton, Philbin, T King, G King, Livett, Charnley, Thompson, Westwood.


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