IT’S fully deserved that the two best teams , shown by their placings, are now in the biggest Super League game of the year.
Clearly, when you look at their points for and against, it looks like this Leeds versus Wigan game could be very tight; both have such quality.
My fear for Leeds is that this might just be a step too far for them. I don’t think they’ve really found the form they had up to and including Wembley – they’ve scratched about a bit since – while Wigan were absolutely superb in their semi-final win over Huddersfield.
They are gaining momentum. Of course, you can’t legislate against Leeds’s champion players who can make things happen out of nothing and there is the emotional attachment of wanting to send Kev Sinfield, Jamie Peacock and Kylie Leuluai off in the best fashion possible.
But if I had to pick – as much as I want Rhinos to win – I’d have to say Wigan just because of that form they are in.
I was there as Wigan assistant in 2001 when we got absolutely annihilated by Bradford Bulls.
We’d come up with this master plan of taking the kick-off, giving it straight to Andy Farrell to boot as far down field as possible and then belting Bradford to set a physical marker.
We trained all week for it and kept reiterating to give them (Bulls) 10m and stay onside – only for Harvey Howard to charge in and knock Stuart Spruce’s head off!
We gave a penalty away and never got a look in after that!