It’s the 1st big domestic showpiece final on Saturday as Warrington take on Catalans in the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley.
These 2 sides played each other in the Super 8 a fortnight ago but the Dragons side was unrecognisable from the one that easily beat League leaders St Helens in the semi final at Bolton. The French outfit played a strong side against Wigan last week but obviously had one eye on this, as did Wire as they lost at Castleford.
I’m not going to lie I can’t call how this game will end up, it’s priced about right with Warrington 1/2 favourites and Catalans around 2/1. Mind if you do favour either side it’s always safer to back them to lift the trophy in case they need extra time. The Dragons have been on a great run to escape the middle 8 whilst Warrington have been comfortably in the top 4 all season. You get the feeling the Wolves should win this but a repeat of the French sides display against St Helens could finally send major honours across the English channel, they drew at the HJ towards the end of the regular season in a game that is much more of a form guide than the clash 2 weeks ago.
Danny Houghton’s tackle denied Wire at Wembley 2 years ago and they may just get home this time., the handicap sees the Dragons get a 6 point start and possibly 11/10 Catalans with a 6 point start is where the value lies, if pushed maybe Wire can win this by the minimum 1-5 points in an entertaining close affair.
If you strongly fancy the Wire the best price is even money on the Half Time Full Time.
A penalty 1st scoring play could be worth a look, in what could be a tight affair both sides will surely look to put points on the board.
Charnley heads the 1st try betting at 172, with Lineham at 9/1, and he’d be my pick to open the scoring as he did in the 2011 final.
Anytime try bets last the full 80 minutes and Tony Gigot looks great value at 5/2.
Finally the man of the match, Drinkwater has to be the pick in Catalans colours at 8/1 but Mcillorum was sensational in the semi final is a big game player and way too big at 33/1.
Clark is 7/1 favourite with Kevin Brown 10/1 but Ratchford has been in decant form lately and would be my pick in Primrose and Blue at 12/1.
The Lance Todd Trophy, man of the match, is selected by the members of the press at Wembley so thankfully we are spared Sky’s X Factor style vote.
Super 8 resumes next week as always please gamble responsibly