Warrington are 2 point favourites to beat Wigan in the Grand Final of rugby league. On the evidence of relative scoring and conceding records during the regular season that looks to be a marginally excessive handicap to overcome so Wigan look the most likely winners with the start of a conversion or penalty. Warrington are slight favourites in outright betting for the match.
The Wolves were second to Huddersfield at the end of the conventional schedule, two places and six points ahead of their opponents in the finale at Old Trafford on Saturday. On form during the play-offs there is little between the sides and key to the outcome could be absentees due to injury. Richie Myler is an injury doubt for Warrington and if he’s not right he will be found out at scrum half this weekend.
Wigan will be expecting a strong performance from Sam Tomkins in his last appearance for the club before moving to New Zealand Warriors in the Australasian NRL. The Grand Final is a great stage for Tomkins to show that he is the best runner in the game. The Warrington kickers will try to avoid Tomkins in his own territory because he can turn defence into attack with devastating runs to break the line. The highest paid player in Super League turned down a chance to play union for Saracens in favour of a move to the Southern Hemisphere.
Wigan finished the regular season poorly, losing seven of their last nine matches. However, they beat Hull 20-6 in the Challenge Cup Final the week after losing to Catalan in the league. No match is bigger than the Grand Final and the Warriors have shown this season that they can perform when it matters most. The league and cup double is a realistic target and would mean the town’s soccer and rugby league clubs are holders of the FA Cup, Challenge Cup and Super League title.
The climax to the season follows a schedule of 27 league matches and demanding ties in the play-offs. Warrington were impressive in beating Huddersfield in the semi-finals but Wigan were also excellent against Leeds at the same stage. The Rhinos have won the last two Grand Finals but Wigan beat them 22-12 to maintain the chance to become the first side from fourth in the table to win the Grand Final.
Warrington beat Wigan 22-12 at home during the regular season and the reverse fixture was tied at 17 points all. Wigan have gone up a level during the play-offs and can reverse the form from 2013 to date with a narrow win at the Theatre of Dreams on Saturday evening.