October 11th, 2018

Grand Final preview: Wigan v Wire

 

Warrington are chasing their first Super League title this Saturday when they face rivals Wigan in the Grand Final at Old Trafford, 6pm kick-off.

The Wire booked their spot at the Theatre of Dreams last Thursday with a brilliant 18-13 win over St Helens in the play-off semi-final.

Wigan put in a dominant 14-0 display over Castleford in the other semi-final to set up the Old Trafford showdown.

Saturday’s game is the third Grand Final meeting between the sides with the Warriors winning both back in 2013 and 2016.

The final will be the sixth occasion the sides have met this year with Wigan winning three and Warrington two.

The Wire are looking to end a 63-year wait for a Championship title.

Which side will come out on top and lift the trophy on Saturday?

Squad News

Steve Price has named an unchanged 19-man squad from the semi final win over St Helens.

19-man squad: Ryan Atkins, Kevin Brown, Josh Charnley, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Bryson Goodwin, Chris Hill, Jack Hughes, George King, Toby King, Tom Lineham, Harvey Livett, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Declan Patton, Joe Philbin, Stefan Ratchford, Tyrone Roberts, Bodene Thompson, Ben Westwood.

Opposition watch

Wigan head into the Grand Final in red hot form having won their last nine matches.

The Warriors are dangerous across the board, led from the front by captain Sean O’Loughlin with a big pack in the middle and pace in their outside backs with the likes of Tom Davies and Dom Manfredi.

John Bateman has been the stand-out performer for Wigan this season and will be looking to lift the Super League trophy before his NRL move in 2019.

Saturday will be the last time head coach Shaun Wane leads his Wigan side before his move to Scottish Rugby Union in 2019.

Man in the middle

Robert Hicks will officiate Saturday’s Grand Final with Ben Thaler the video referee.

Words from the boss

Steve Price: “We are very driven for success and will leave no stone unturned in our preparations.

“We will give it a red hot crack come Saturday. It would be huge and unreal for the town to win. When I first came to the club in October and kicked off in November it’s not been about me it’s about team first.

“I’m ecstatic for the playing group to have adapted to change so quickly; within one year to give ourselves a chance to challenge for two trophies is quite special.

“From when I first came over here I’ve lived in the heart of Warrington and got amongst it.  I feel it’s important to get among the spectators and supporters as they live and breathe the team, and are genuine and caring people. It would be special to give them a performance come Saturday.”

Player’s perspective

Chris Hill: “It’s Grand Final week and this is what we play rugby for.

“These are the games we want to be playing in and we’ll all be ready and raring come Saturday.

“Leading the boys out every week is special, not just for me but for my family. To lead them out here will be really special. There’s no bigger game.

“That’s why we play this sport, that’s why we do it. You have to go through some rough times to get the good times and hopefully Saturday is going to be one of those good times. I’ll easily trade those three defeats in.

“The fans will be bouncing. A lot of people wrote us off against Saints – maybe even a few of our own weren’t so confident. We knew we had that ability. It was probably the second or third time we’ve put a full 80-minute performance together this year and there’s no better time to do it again than this Saturday.”

Bryson Goodwin: “I came over here to win. Hopefully on Saturday we’ll win and lift that trophy up and it’ll be an unreal experience.

“It would definitely make the move worth it!

With the performance we put in last week and some others during the season we definitely know that as a team if we turn up and play our best footy we can win and we need to do that at the weekend.

“We’ve learnt from that Challenge Cup Final defeat on how to perform in big games and hopefully we’ll show that, perform and lift that trophy up.

“The fans will be loud and proud as they always are. It will be awesome to see the stadium in all of our colours. We’ll definitely do our best to perform for them and win the cup for them.”

Spectator information

Details for fans travelling to Manchester this Saturday can be found here.

Match-day entertainment

As always there will be plenty going on in and around the ground at Old Trafford on Grand Final Day.

Stockport band Blossoms will headline the entertainment with a performance in the build-up to kick-off.

Ticket info

A limited number of Category 5 tickets on sale from the official club store or by calling 01925 248888 from 2pm today.

Category 5 tickets are £30 for adults and £22.50 for concessions.

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