After a narrow 12-10 loss to Hull FC in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Final, Warrington Wolves are looking to put the smiles back on the faces of their loyal support by winning the Super League Grand Final for the first time.
The Wire head into the hotly-anticipated clash with Wigan Warriors as the highest-scoring team in Super League, in addition to boasting the best defensive record. Here are the biggest days in their journey to Old Trafford.
Salford Red Devils 30-31 Warrington (A, 03/03/2016)
While this wasn’t Warrington’s most convincing display, the Wire’s determination, attacking flair and belief were all symbolised by this incredible comeback at the AJ Bell Stadium.
Warrington were 30-12 down with just over 20 minutes remaining, but Ryan Atkins grabbed a pair of clever tries before Ashton Sims barrelled through for another. And it ended it unbelievable fashion as Chris Sandow’s ambitious drop-goal won this one at the hooter. A truly incredible turnaround.
Warrington 40-10 Wigan (H, 28/04/2016)
The Warriors will still be smarting from the events of April, when Warrington beat them home and away to provide cheer in a mixed month of Super League for Tony Smith’s side.
Tries from Daryl Clarke, Ben Westwood and Kevin Penny saw the hosts cruise into an 18-4 lead at half-time, and they refused to let up. Frenchman Benjamin Jullien finished off a fine passing move for arguably the try of the game after the break, and Shaun Wane and co. were left well and truly humbled.
Castleford Tigers 26-42 Warrington (A, 17/07/2016)
Nowhere were the Wolves’ kickers more influential than on this trip to the Mend-A-Hose Jungle, with Kurt Gidley and Chris Sandow converting after all seven Wire tries in this breathless attacking masterclass.
When the kickers and props like Ben Evans are on top form, Warrington are truly unstoppable, as they proved by inflicting a comfortable home defeat for Cas.
Warrington 18-20 St Helens (H, 04/08/2016)
Defensive errors and bad luck cost Warrington dear in this clash, with the hosts giving away several avoidable penalties as Saints raced into a lead at the interval. Then Rhys Evans thought he’d rescued a result in the dying moments, only for his foot to slip into touch as he crossed in the corner.
But it’s all about how you bounce back from defeat, and the hosts learnt from their defensive mistakes, winning six of the next eight Super League games, including a 23-6 triumph at Hull FC.
Warrington 18-10 St Helens (H, 29/9/2016)
Warrington’s wait for revenge lasted less than two months, playing St Helens off the park at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, as they nilled the Merseyside outfit in the second period.
Tom Lineham put the icing on the cake as he finished off a move of deft footwork and neat handling to make it 18-10, after tries from Gidley and Stefan Ratchford. But it was the Wire’s steely defence which deserved the most praise as they reached the Grand Final in style.
Having already beaten Wigan twice this season, Warrington are narrow favourites to win the Super League Grand Final at 10/11.
Meanwhile, after their mauling of the Warriors back in April, backing Warrington to win by 21-30 points once again looks like excellent value at the sizeable odds of 9/1.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing