What does it take to win a Super League Grand Final?
Warrington Wolves and Leeds Rhinos contest the Super League Grand Final this Saturday – but what does it take to be victorious in the Old Trafford showpiece?
While the Rhinos hold the record for the most Grand Final wins with five in total, the Wolves will make their first appearance as 8/15 favourites.
Which team will hold their nerve and be crowned champions? Here at Ladbrokes we’ve looked back at previous Grand Finals to find out what factors make all the difference.
A minimum of eight points
Eight points is the lowest-points tally from a Grand Final-winning team as St Helens edged out Bradford Bulls 8-6 in 1999.
Defeat at Old Trafford was particularly difficult to stomach for the Bulls, who topped the table in the regular season by five points and thrashed Saints 40-4 in the play-offs.
A wildcard player
Certain Super League players are unplayable at times. Leeds star Rob Burrow certainly falls into that category and has twice won the Harry Sunderland Trophy for his match-winning exploits in Grand Finals.
Opposition players struggle to contain the diminutive half-back/hooker/scrum-half, a point illustrated with his sensational try in last season’s Grand Final as Leeds got the better of St Helens yet again at Old Trafford. Burrow is 20/1 to be first tryscorer on Saturday.
A helping hand from Mother Nature
The weather can also impact on the outcome of a Grand Final.
Leeds, for instance, seem to perform better when it’s raining – downpours before and during the 2011 and 2008 Grand Finals played to their advantage. The forecast at present looks dry for Saturday, but an unexpected pre-match deluge could see Leeds retain the title at 7/4.
A southern-hemisphere coach
Seven of the last 10 Grand Finals have been won by coaches from the southern hemisphere as the likes of Michael Maguire (2010), Tony Smith (2007, 2004) and Daniel Anderson (2006) have all prospered in England.
Brian McDermott (2011) and Brian Noble (2005 and 2003) are the only Englishmen to stop the Australia/New Zealand dominance in the Super League. Smith is vying to be the first coach to win the Grand Final with two different teams, with his previous victory coming during his time in charge at Leeds.
A composed kicker
Sean Long’s last-gasp drop goal in the 2002 final handed St Helens the narrowest of victories in a 19-18 win over Bradford Bulls, highlighting the importance of having players who can stay composed when kicking under pressure.
In Kevin Sinfield and Brett Hodgson, Leeds and Warrington respectively both have world-class goal kickers. Leeds are a 100/1 shot to edge ahead on Saturday by a drop goal in the first scoring play.
Here is what Ladbrokes are offering for the Super League Grand Final, if a team loses the Super League Grand Final after leading at half-time, we’ll refund losing match bets on that team, up to £100, in the form of a free bet token. Terms and Conditions apply. Click here for T’s and C’s
Please Note: All odds and Markets are correct at the time of publishing