Perennial Challenge Cup bridesmaids Leeds Rhinos take on Super League surprise packages Castleford Tigers in the final as we uncover a few choice bets for the Wembley showpiece.
There has been so little to separate these local rivals during the regular Super League season that punters can’t ignore the much more fruitful 2/1 on the Tigers, compared to the far leaner 4/9 on a Rhinos win.
Although Leeds bettered Castleford 22-14 fairly early in the season, their recent 24-24 draw is far more indicative of the hair-splitting nature of this most finely balanced of finals.
They both sit on 32 total points for the season, having won, drawn and lost the exact same amount of games, while Cas have scored more points and Brian McDermott’s mob have conceded less.
It’s The Rhinos’ six-match Challenge Cup hoodoo that swings the pendulum towards their rivals, who’ve converted four from five past finals into silverware.
As we’ve alluded to this is expected to be a close run thing in front of a packed Wembley Stadium, as the stats suggest.
During their rotten run of Challenge Cup losses Leeds fans will need no reminding of two similar derby tussles with Bradford which saw The Rhinos edged out by two and six points respectively.
Castleford centre Michael Shenton has described 20-year-old hooker Clark as “probably the most exciting prospect in the league this season”.
He’s not wrong either as the player Shenton also labelled ‘freakish’ in his abilities is widely tipped to be making his last appearance for his hometown club.
Clark scored one of five tries in the semi-final crushing of Widnes and if he can inspire Cas to victory, he’s a stand-out candidate for the man-of-the-match award.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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