In today’s academy Grand Final Warrington Wolves were well beaten by St Helens after the Wolves were drafted in at the 11th hour to play the game instead of Wigan Warriors.
The Saints won the game 22-6 and led 22-0 late on.
A late try from Harvey Braddish concluded the scoring for the Champions with Max McGucken running the show.
There was also a lovely try for Ben Will just before the break which was a telling blow.
It was a far cry from the drama last year as Jack Sinfield heroics allowed Leeds Rhinos to defeat St Helens.
Instead this year’s final was clouded in controversy.
This year’s academy Grand Final was set to see Wigan Warriors and St Helens do battle.
However, Wigan were withdrawn from the Grand Final and replaced by beaten semi-finalists Warrington Wolves.
This is because Wigan made too many substitutions against the Wolves so were withdrawn.
Warrington made the following statement:
“Warrington Wolves Academy will now be St Helens’ opponents in this Sunday’s Academy Grand Final.
“The RFL Board have ruled that Wigan Warriors cannot play in this weekend’s Academy Grand Final after it emerged that they made 12 interchanges in last weekend’s Semi Final against Warrington Wolves – four more than the limit of eight.
“Wigan won the game 18-12, but the RFL Board have ruled that Warrington should be reinstated to play St Helens in Sunday’s Final at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
“The judgement contains the following explanation:
“‘Clearly, this is a difficult decision to reach. The Board recognises the emotion on all sides here and especially the impact on everyone involved.’
“The Grand Final takes place at The Totally Wicked Stadium this Sunday 24 September, 2pm.
“Tickets are priced at £5 for adults, £3 concessions and £2 for Under 16s. Supporters can enter the stadium by heading to the North Stand/North East section of the stadium and using Turnstiles 21-24 which will be open from 1pm.”
One thing this statement highlights is the fact that Warrington only had a matter of days to prepare.
The statement was made on Friday and the final was today Sunday which is obviously not ideal preparation for a final but the Wolves tried their best to try and find a way to defeat the Saints who have had a monopoly over academy rugby for a while.
They should be commended for their effort but Saints reigned supreme.