Wigan Warriors and Catalans Dragons will meet at Old Trafford in the Super League Grand Final in 2023.
Ahead of the biggest game of the season, there will have been a nervous wait ahead of the disciplinary panel.
Neither side will have wanted to lose their star men to bans for the big dance and three of them were charged.
Siosiua Taukeiaho and Mike McMeeken were both charged for high tackles but neither picked up bans for them.
Wigan star Liam Marshall was also charged but escaped a ban and was instead fined for the offence.
Following the latest round of Betfred Super League, Betfred Championship and Betfred Women’s Super League fixtures, the Match Review Panel have issued the following sanctions:
Siosiua Taukeiaho (Catalans Dragons) – Grade B High Tackle – £250 Fine
Mike McMeeken (Catalans Dragons) – Grade A High Tackle – Not applicable
Sione Mata’utia (St Helens) – Grade C Strikes – 2 Match Penalty Notice
Matty Lees (St Helens) – Grade B Dangerous Contact – 1 Match Penalty Notice
Moses Mbye (St Helens) – Grade B Dangerous Contact – £250 Fine
Brad Schneider (Hull KR) – Grade B Dangerous Throw – £250 Fine
Liam Marshall (Wigan Warriors) – Grade B Trips – £250 Fine
Brad Day (Featherstone Rovers) – Grade B Dangerous Throw – £125 Fine
Jason Baitieri (Bradford Bulls) – Grade B Dangerous Contact – 1 Match Penalty Notice
The last time Wigan got a ban there was real controversy because they were able to avoid serving them in the semi-final via the reserve loophole.
Serious About Rugby League understands that this is being looked at.
This comes after the semi-finals. The action started in France. Neither side truly threatened in the early stages with a Matt Whitley knock-on on halfway ending the most exciting attack.
Micky McIlorum made a mistake to provide Saints with territory and were it not for a brilliant defensive read by centre Ikuvalu then Bennison would have been in, the closest chance in a nervy opening 15 minutes.
The home side looked to have scored first in the corner when Tom Johnstone capitalised on a Jonny Lomax error, however Chris Kendall’s no try call wasn’t overturned by Jack Smith – seemingly for a shove from Johnstone on Lomax, albeit a harsh one.
The nerves were on show as Tom Johnstone knocked on from a simple pick up of the ball within his 20 metres however Saints couldn’t capitalise with Alex Walmsley dropping a carry on the resulting set.
Catalans took the lead just ahead of the half hour mark following a Sione Mata’utia high shot on Sam Tomkins. The Dragons opted for two with Keighran kicking over from 30 yards out to make it 2-0, the score remaining the same till the half time whistle.
Jack Welsby was at his very best once again, dragging the defenders wide to the left hand flank before playing a clever pass to allow centre Will Hopoate to dance through on the 50 minute mark to make it 6-2 to the reigning champions.
When a Moses Mbye high tackle offered the home side a penalty in front of the sticks from 30 metres then Adam Keighran opted to take the two, bringing the game back to 6-4, with the Dragons receiving the ball once again from the restart.
A Mitchell Pearce kick was knocked on by Jack Welsby and Matty Lees was then penalised for lying on at the play the ball, seeing yellow for the professional foul. That saw Saints drop to 12 with Lees in the sin bin and Adam Keighran score his third penalty of the game, making the game six points a piece with less than ten minutes to go.
After a flurry of penalties and a blocked drop goal from Tomkins it was finally the moment of magic that the game had been waiting for. Saints raced off the line to block the kick and Tomkins wound back the clock to dodge the chase and dart through under the sticks after a brilliant step. A supreme try!
Then, Wigan Warriors and Hull KR collided knowing they would meet Catalans Dragons at Old Trafford if they came away with the win.
The Warriors went into the game as favourites as they did at the home of Leeds Rhinos earlier this year when they lost to Hull KR in the Challenge Cup semi-final to set up the first Wembley final without Leeds, Wigan, St Helens and Warrington Wolves since 1986.
The Robins knew if they won they would set up the first Grand Final ever without St Helens, Leeds or opponents Wigan.
The Cherry and Whites got off to a flying start as Liam Marshall crossed the whitewash just two minutes into the game. A sweeping move through the Wigan backline found the ball in Jai Field’s hands, and the fullback burst through a gap and sent Marshall in for the games first try.
Field turned from provider to scorer as he put his name on the scoreboard in the sixth minute. A Harry Smith kick caused chaos in the Robins back line, and with a bit of luck the ball hit Field’s shin and he pounced on the ball to score.
Marshall made KR pay for a piece of ill-discipline as he slid over for his brace. The winger wrong footed three defenders on the left edge and extend Wigan’s lead to 16 points with just 12 minutes played.
Hull KR capitalised on a poor piece of handling from Abbas Miski to get their first points of the afternoon, as Elliot Minchella powered over from short range.
As was the case in the first half, Marshall scored with just two minutes played in the half. A kick from Harry Smith was swatted back by a Wigan hand, and another kick from French fell perfectly into Marshall’s hands for the winger to score his third.
Another Harry Smith cross-field kick caused chaos for the Hull KR defence, but this time it directly led to a try. Smith’s kick was swatted back by Kai Pearce-Paul and it fell directly into French’s hands who put it on a plate for King and the centre gleefully dived over to score on his final appearance at the DW in Cherry and White.
Jai Field grabbed a well deserved brace to score Wigan’s sixth try. Quick feet from prop Patrick Mago created a crack in the Robins line, and Field burst through it to score.
Not to be outdone by his partner on the other edge, Abbas Miski grabbed his 28th try of the season.