Super League Grand Final Wigan v St Helens

Super League Grand Final

Rugby League
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Published: 09/10/2014

Rugby League`s show piece occasion, the Grand Final is once again upon us, with Wigan and St Helens meeting at Old Trafford after another long, tough regular season behind them.

Wigan, who come in to the final as defending champions, managed to finish second in the regular season table and this means that the final will be contested between the teams who finished first and second. However, despite finishing below their opponents in the standings, Wigan are favourites for this match at 4/9 with bet365, with St Helens on offer at 2/1 with the same firm.

St Helens have not featured in a Grand Final since 2011 and also come in to the match knowing that during a five year period culminating in that 2011 defeat to Leeds Rhinos, they lost five Grand Finals in a row. This suggests an inability to get over the line when it matters most and this was highlighted once again when they lost their final league fixture of the season to Huddersfield only to be rescued by results elsewhere which enabled them to remain top of the pile. Having said that, Wigan took part in a really tough game against Warrington a day after St Helens match to make it to this Grand Final and that is surely going to have taken it`s toll on the players, even if they are unwilling to admit it.

The last time these two sides met in a Grand Final was 2010 and the match ended in victory for Wigan by 22-10 and and St Helens have to go all the way back to 2006 to find the last time they won at Old Trafford.

This week saw St Helens Australian coach Nathan Brown announce that he is going to leave the club for family reasons after this final and that can only help Saint`s preparation as it ends any debate over the future of their coach heading in to the game. Also, it may provide that little bit of extra motivation for his team to go out and put on one final performance before he leaves for home. In addition to Brown, forwards Anthony Laffranchi, Sia Soliola and Willie Manu have also announced they will be leaving the club after the final and again, this might just give them that extra incentive to deliver one final win for the team before they go.

St Helens have been struggling with injuries in the final weeks of the regular season but Wigan have had no such concerns, with hooker Michael McIlorum being their only major injury doubt going in to the final. Other than that, Wigan coach Shaun Wane should have a full roster to pick from and will include some exciting young forwards in his team, such as Luke Thompson.

Despite Wigan being favourites with the bookies for this game and history suggesting that Saint Helens struggle on the big occasion, they did come out as the best team during the league season and they are 8/1 with BetVictor to win by 1-5 points. St Helens are also 10/11 with SkyBet for an 8 point start on the handicap.

Matty Smith is favourite to take home the Harry Sunderland trophy for man of the match at 6/1 with betfred but if Saint Helens are to win, they will need a good performance from James Roby and he is available at 7/1 with SkyBet.

With both teams likely to want to get points on the board as soon as the chance arises, penalties may be exchanged early on and can be backed as the first method of scoring at 8/1 for both teams with paddypower.

Any odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of publishing (09/10/2014) but are subject to change.

09/10/2014     © Frixo 2017

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