Blogs & Opinion


Stevo:

Most Popular Posts:

Opinion Archive:

Ready to rumble

Fierce rivals will give their all, says Stevo

Stevo Posted 27th September 2012 view comments

I was rather surprised when Wigan had the clubcall announcement and their chairman Ian Lanegan made it quite clear that a lot of the fans and the media were suggesting that it would be great to have a Wigan v Warrington Grand Final. To me that was virtually saying that St Helens have no chance and Leeds have got no chance! As if Leeds needed any more motivation to take on their biggest enemy!

The war of words sometimes work and there has certainly been plenty of words! Shaun Wane, the Wigan coach, has certainly made his views, clearly stating that perhaps Leeds star Danny McGuire should have got more than one match ban. Leeds coach Brian McDermott has shot back and accused Wane of influencing the disciplinary hearing that handed McGuire the ban.

Charnley: top try scorer

Charnley: top try scorer

Leeds will miss McGuire because while he may not have the same speed, he has changed his game into being a very effective support player. It may look like he always just pops up at the right time and place, but that is a skill he has honed and he can read a game very well. He knows exactly what lines to run to get where he wants to get. That is what Leeds will miss.

Both sides need to keep their composure because I think that is a tight game like this, it may come down to a special bit of skill or - and I hope not - a terrible mistake from one side

Stevo
Quotes of the week

LIVE ON SKY SPORTS

Wigan v Leeds
7.30pm, Fri, Sky Sports 2 HD & Sky Sports 2
Watch on the move with Sky Go
How to remote record

Leeds are coming into their own and they know what it takes to win a Grand Final from fifth - I know I keep on saying it but they have done it once and that breeds the belief that they can do it again. Against Catalans we saw Jamie Peacock put in a stupendous effort - I think it was his best game of the season. He led the forwards by example and their captain Kevin Sinfield was just everywhere. His kicking was superb and his captaincy was outstanding. His combination with Rob Burrow is crucial too and these two could be the key to Wigan's downfall. Do not write them off. They may not start as favourites but they will be up for this game.

We know the class and the skill of Wigan. The likes of Sam Tomkins and Thomas Leuluai are just exceptional players. Leuluai gives them a lot of direction and can really control a game - we saw how much they missed him when he was out injured. Josh Charnley is another Wigan player who Leeds have to watch. He is the leading try scorer this season and knows his way to the line. However I think it is in the forwards where they have to shape up and take on Leeds.

Sean O'Loughlin will probably start at hooker and then revert back into his loose forward role later on in the game. I think this game will come down to the two captains - O'Loughlin and Sinfield. Whoever comes out with the best attitudes and the best shots will win the game.

I think Leeds really need to score first and put pressure on Wigan; get a bit of doubt in their minds and make them force the game and make a mistake or two. Both sides need to keep their composure because I think that in a tight game like this it may come down to a special bit of skill or - and I hope not - a terrible mistake from one side.

It will be rough, tough and very ferocious and so it should be - they are 80 minutes away from a Grand Final!

back to top

Other Rugby League Experts:

Latest Posts in Rugby League:

Phil Clarke

It's Grand Final time!

Phil Clarke looks at previous finals between rivals Wigan and St Helens, but who does he think will win?...

comments

Latest News RSS feeds

Bulls sign Lauaki from Manly

Bradford have signed former Hull and Wigan front-rower Epalahame Lauaki on a two-year contract.

Super League make London plans

Super League bosses are aiming to stage a one-off fixture in London as early as 2016 to raise the profile of the game.

Golding commits to Leeds

Leeds teenager Ashton Golding has agreed a new four-year deal with the Rhinos that ties him to the club until 2018.

Pettybourne leaves Wigan

Wigan have allowed Eddy Pettybourne to leave the club to return home to Australia halfway through a two-year contract.

Rovers and Halifax agree deal

Hull KR and Halifax agree deal that will allow game’s best young talent to further their rugby league development.

Features

Our experts gives their view on what we can expect from Sam Burgess

Our experts gives their view on what we can expect from Sam Burgess

Sam Burgess has been named on Bath's replacements bench for Friday's clash with Harlequins at the Recreation Ground and much is expected of the former rugby league star known as 'Slammin Sam'.

Warrington Wolves have used mixed martial arts to prepare for Super League 20

Warrington Wolves have used mixed martial arts to prepare for Super League 20

There’s not many sports people that can teach a rugby league team how to be more physical, but the Warrington Wolves have found just the thing.

Four Nations: What do the four teams need to do to reach the final?

Four Nations: What do the four teams need to do to reach the final?

In the most competitive tournament since it was regularised in 2009, all four teams go into this weekend's final round-robin fixtures in the Four Nations Series with a chance of reaching the final in Wellington on Saturday week.