Worrying Grand Final statistic for Wigan Warriors

Wigan Warriors, Leeds Rhinos, Warrington Wolves, Bradford Bulls and St Helens are the only clubs to play in multiple Grand Finals.

Hull FC, Castleford Tigers and Salford Red Devils have all played in single Grand Finals.

But on Saturday, Catalans Dragons will become the sixth club to play in more than one Grand Final.

This posses a worrying statistic to Wigan. Of the other five clubs, four of the teams to play in more than one Grand Final has lifted the Super League title in either their first or second Grand Final.

Wigan themselves won the inaugural Grand Final in 1998, St Helens won their first Grand Final in 1999, Bradford Bulls won their second appearance at Old Trafford in 2001 and Leeds won on their second visit in 2004.

But one positive for Wigan is the fact they were the team to stop Warrington continuing this trend in 2013. Warrington lost to Leeds in 2012 and appeared set to maintain this trend in 2013 when they led 16-2 but Wigan pulled off the greatest Grand Final turn around to claim a 30-16 win over the Wolves.

So will it be a case of you have to lose one to win one for the Dragons or will Wigan again find away to stop this trend?

The Warriors booked their place at Old Trafford by defeating Hull KR on Saturday. 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.