The Challenge Cup Final is upon us, and one of the most prestigious days in Rugby League awaits Warrington Wolves and Catalans Dragons. Both teams will be very excited for the big day, with Dragons in only their second ever Challenge Cup Final, and Warrington searching for their ninth win, and their fourth of the last decade.
Lots will happen between the singing of Abide with Me and the lifting of the famous trophy, and our Rugby League betting expert has given his best rugby bets to guide you through the action.
Catalans could change history
Much has been said in recent days about Catalans and their important place in the history of French rugby league. Since entering the Super League 12 years ago, Catalans have flirted with both disaster and success, but some of the rugby played under Steve McNamara has hinted at a real platform for success. Despite entering the game as significant underdogs, the Dragons will have an entire nation, and a large portion of neutrals behind them, and can be backed at 7/4.
Warrington after redemption
Warrington Wolves have a long history of success in the Challenge Cup, and it could be even greater. In the previous five years, The Wire have reached the semi finals three times, lost to Hull FC 12-10 in the 2016 Final, and lost by a point to Wigan in last year’s quarter final. This year they return to Wembley hunting for the Challenge Cup which could keep alive hopes of an improbably treble. Naturally, with the sheer talent available for Wolves has them odds on favourite, available with grosvenorsport.com at 4/9.
High Scoring Game
Challenge cup finals are rarely one-sided affairs, Leeds 50-0 thumping of Hull KR in 2014 aside, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are low scoring. Five of the last seven finals have seen both teams get into double digits, so plenty of tries should be on offer. I fully expect Josh Charnley to claim at least one of these tries, and he looks well worth a bet at 8/11.
I would also be very surprised if neither Stefan Ratchford nor Ben Murdoch-Masila score. Both play wildly different positions, Full Back and Prop respectively, but both are big game players, and games don’t come much bigger than a Challenge Cup Final. Both can be backed to score anytime at 15/8.
Catalans have played an exciting brand of rugby this season and have two young wingers with a serious nose for the try line in Fouad Yaha and Lewis Tierney. Expect to see both causing grief for their opposite number, and I think both will get over the whitewash, with Yaha available at 6/5, and Tierney at 11/8.
I think the Catalans Dragons will be fully pumped up for this game, very aware of how much it will mean to fans back home and will come out of the blocks flying. Unfortunately for them, The Wire have seen it all before, and have experience in many a final. I think it will be an extremely close, but will all end in tears for Dragons with a late Warrington Winner. I predict Catalans to win the first half, but Warrington to be full time winners, which can be backed at 15/2.