The Grand Final is coming – and Love Rugby League has canvassed the opinions of six leading rugby league pundits for their title tips.
Here are the results:
Gareth Walker, The People and Rugby League World
“After their experience last year, Warrington will be very well prepared. It’s a big ask for Wigan to back up six or seven weeks after the Challenge Cup final, so I think Warrington will edge it – but it will be close.”
Phil Caplan, Forty-20
“I think the old adage that you’ve got to lose one to win one probably does apply this year. There’s been something steely about the way Warrington have gone about their business, and it’s all geared up towards the last 80 minutes of the season.
“I’ve got the utmost respect for Sam Tomkins, Pat Richards and Lee Mossop, and it’s hard to see them leaving the field as losers, but I still think there’s something about Warrington and that last year hurts too much. Not getting any recognition at Man of Steel dinner is tantamount to that last bit of barbed wire they’ve stepped on.”
Trevor Baxter, Daily Mirror
“Wigan showed at Wembley that they can win the big games. The last three major finals they’ve been in, they’ve won. Everyone was talking about Wigan doing the treble earlier this year and sometimes we forget that. Even though Warrington will be better for last year’s experience, I fancy Wigan to sneak it.”
Chris Hamilton, Daily Express
“I believe Warrington will just be too strong overall. The pain of losing last year’s final will spur them on and I think this is Warrington’s year.”
Gary Carter, The Sun
“Wigan have managed to master the art of big games this year. They’ve deliberately spent their time between the Challenge Cup final and the play-offs switching players around and resting players, so tiredness shouldn’t be an issue. All the Wigan players are saying they’re fresher are ever, but Warrington are still strong – I reckon it’s a Wigan win by 1 point.”
Chris Irvine, The Times
“Warrington have got the greater experience and the fact they’ve just got lacerating outside backs with so much pace will be crucial. The Monaghan brothers are also key for them, with Michael dictating from dummy half and Joel’s great finishing out wide. I think they’ll just have enough to get home.”