Wigan face Catalans in Grand Final, milestone man bags hat-trick, SKD bows out a great – Five takeways as Warriors reach Old Trafford

Drew Darbyshire
Liam Marshall Wigan Warriors Alamy

Liam Marshall in action for Wigan Warriors - Alamy

Wigan Warriors will face Catalans Dragons in the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford next week after beating Hull KR 42-12 at the DW Stadium.

Here are our five takeaways from Saturday’s televised fixture…

Wigan to face Catalans in Grand Final

The Warriors will take on Catalans in the Super League Grand Final next Saturday following their comfortable win over Hull KR in the semi-final in front of a crowd of 15,162 at the DW Stadium.

It will be a fairytale finish to the career of Super League legend Sam Tomkins, who will line-up for Catalans against his former club in the final game of his illustrious career before he hangs up his boots.

Marshall celebrates milestone in style

The game was already a special occasion for Liam Marshall, with the Wigan winger making his 150th appearance for his hometown club – and he celebrated it by scoring a hat-trick to help send the Warriors to Old Trafford.

Marshall’s rise to the top is a remarkable story. He wasn’t offered a first team deal at the end of his three years in the Under-19s, but played on for the club’s reserves as well as for Swinton in the Championship, where he scored 20 tries in 22 games for the Lions.

His determination to make a name for himself and for him to succeed as a professional rugby league player is one that youngsters can aspire to and learn from.

Shaun Kenny-Dowall bows out as one of Super League’s great overseas signings

Hull KR centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall played the final game of his career, and whilst it not was the result he was hoping for, he can be proud of everything he’s achieved in his career, including his time in Super League with the Robins.

The former New Zealand international has made 92 appearances for the Robins over the last four seasons, which is quite remarkable really.

Kenny-Dowall has been a fantastic leader for Hull KR, and will go down as one of the great overseas signings in Super League.

Smith on point with the boot

Wigan half-back Harry Smith surpassed 500 Super League points during the victory after kicking seven goals from as many attempts.

The England international has been in fine form for Wigan on the field this year, although his goal-kicking has been questioned at times. However, on Saturday he looked confident with his kicking boots, nailing a few conversions from the touchline.

It’s hard to believe Smith is just 23 at times because he plays with a wise head on young shoulders. He shows a lot of maturity in his game, and whilst the likes of Bevan French and Jai Field will get the headlines for much of the season, Smith has been an important cog in Peet’s machine this season.

Hull KR a club on the up

It obviously wasn’t the result Hull KR would have liked – but they’ve had a strong year on and off the field and it’s fair to say the Robins are rising.

Willie Peters’ side reached the Challenge Cup final earlier this year, falling short to Leigh Leopards in golden point at Wembley.

That Cup final heartache would have been a tough pill to swallow – but they rallied around each other and finished the season strong, finishing fourth in the table – their joint highest position in the Super League era.

And they went on to make the Super League play-off semi-finals, where they bowed out to Wigan. It’s been a strong season for Peters’ side, going from strength to strength.

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