Five things to look forward to in the Grand Final: Wigan legends to bow out champs? Warrington to end 63 year hoodoo?

Alex Yoxall

Wigan’s legends to bow out in style.

The two sides have their own personal narratives going into this clash and both will be determined to see out their respective destinies.

Wigan Warriors however have a whole host of playing personnel who are set to depart upon the conclusion of the Final this Saturday.

These include the well thought of forward Ryan Sutton, the 2018 Man of steel candidate John Bateman and club legend Sam Tomkins.

Not to mention the impending departure of their head coach Shaun Wane heading to Rugby Union.

As a collective, Wigan will want to send these guys away with Grand Final winners rings.

Warrington to end 63 years of hurt.

The Wolves are no stranger to reaching the Super League Grand Final.

Especially in terms of facing this years opponents Wigan, who they lost to in both the 2013 and 2016 finals.

This year however, Steve Price’s men are determined to end this final hoodoo and bring the goods home for the fans.

Price outlined this week the motivation his team took from their disappointing Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Final loss to Catalans Dragons.

He stated that it has bolstered their will to win this Saturday.

With club Captain and stalwart Chris Hill being a part of the losing sides of 2013 and 2016, he will be extra motivated to go the extra mile this weekend.

Can the Wolves win?

Fight of the Fullbacks – Ratchford v Tomkins.

The battle of England’s fullbacks?

Both players have been selected as part of Wayne Bennett’s International Test Series squad to face New Zealand.

The Grand Final this weekend thus acts as the perfect platform to impress the Aussie coach in the hope of first team selection.

Ratchford has been in inspiring form throughout 2018 and won the Albert Goldthorpe Medal.

Where as Tomkins has enjoyed one of his best seasons since returning to Wigan – many even tipping him to be a Man of Steel candidate.

Who will win the battle of the fullbacks?

Clash of the captains – Hill v O’Loughlin.

Both big, both experienced, both leaders.

Chris Hill for the Wolves and O’Loughlin for the Warriors. Both men know what it is like to play in the big games.

The latter of the two however, has the upper hand in terms of winning them.

O’Loughlin won the Grand Final in 2013 and 2016, in which Hill featured on the losing side.

Will Hill be able to enact his revenge this Saturday?

War of the Wingers – Charnley v Manfredi.

The pair used to be teammates, but are now enemies – on the field that is.

Josh Charnley and Dom Manfedi both came through the academy system at Wigan and know what it’s like to win the Grand Final.

Both featured in the 2016 season for Wigan which ended in a Grand Final win over the Wolves

Yet this time, Charnley will be looking to put one over his hometown club.

Manfredi made a sensational two-try return from a long term injury against Warrington a few weeks ago.

Can he repeat this feat on Saturday?