Grand Final countdown: Facts and stats
What records can be set? Who will reach a milestone? Ahead of the Grand Final, here are all the best facts and stats about the two sides...
Saturday’s game is the second Super League Grand Final meeting between Warrington and Wigan.
It will be the third meeting between the clubs at Old Trafford however, following Wigan’s 30-16 Grand Final win in 2013 and an 8-0 Premiership Final victory in 1987. Warriors coach Shaun Wane played at prop in that game.
Wane takes charge of his fourth successive Grand Final, having previously masterminded that 2013 victory, but being on the wrong side of the result in 2014 (v St Helens) and 2015 (v Leeds). He was also assistant to Michael Maguire for the Warriors’ 2010 win against St Helens.
Warrington coach Tony Smith is the only man to take charge of two different clubs in Super League Grand Finals. As well as overseeing the Wolves for 2013’s loss to Wigan and 2012’s defeat to Leeds, Smith was in charge of the Rhinos in 2004 (Won, v Bradford), 2005 (Lost, v Bradford) and 2007 (Won, v St Helens). Smith will also set a new record for most coaching appearances in a Grand Final on Saturday. His sixth Super League title decider will see him surpass Brian Noble on five (all Bradford Bulls, 2001-2005).
With victory, Warrington would pick up the league title for the first time since 1955. The club last won the title following a 7-3 Championship Final win against Oldham at Maine Road, Manchester.
The club only has one previous final win, from 11 attempts, against Wigan however – in the 1980-81 Lancashire Cup decider. They have lost a Super League Grand Final, a Challenge Cup Final, a Championship Final, a Premiership Final, four Lancashire Cup Finals and two JPS/Regal Trophy Finals to their Lancashire rivals.
With a loss on Saturday, Wigan would set a new record for most defeats in a Super League Grand Final. They currently share the unwanted milestone with rivals St Helens, with both clubs having lost the Old Trafford decider on five occasions. The Warriors have tasted defeat in 2000 (v St Helens), 2001 (v Bradford), 2003 (v Bradford), 2014 (v St Helens) and 2015 (v Leeds).
Warrington’s Kurt Gidley has an NRL winner’s ring... but didn’t feature in the ‘01 decider.
Ryan Bailey and Jack Hughes are the only Warrington players to have previously won a Super League Grand Final. Both last tasted Old Trafford victory against their current employers – Bailey for Leeds in 2012 and Hughes for Saturday’s opponents Wigan in 2013.
With an appearance on Saturday, Lewis Tierney will become the first player to follow in his father’s footsteps and play in a Super League Grand Final. Jason Robinson featured in Wigan’s win over Leeds in the inaugural title decider in 1998 – scoring an iconic try and winning the Harry Sunderland Trophy as man of the match. He also played in the Warriors’ defeat to St Helens in 2000, which was his final game before departing for rugby union.
No player has ever been sin-binned in a Super League Grand Final. Wigan’s Ben Flower is the only player to be sent off – shown the red card by referee Phil Bentham in the second minute of the Warriors’ 2014 defeat to St Helens, for punching Saints’ Lance Hohaia.
Warrington captain Chris Hill has the longest streak of consecutive appearances amongst Super League players, having played in the Wolves’ last 82 games. Hill last missed a Warrington fixture on 29 June, 2014 – a 50-24 home win against Bradford.
The second try in Saturday’s game will be the 100th four-pointer scored in a Super League Grand Final. Leeds’ Richie Blackmore scored the first of the previous 98 – in the 20th minute of the Rhinos’ 10-4 defeat to Wigan in 1998.
Warrington have used 29 players in this season’s Super League campaign, with only captain Chris Hill playing in all 31 regular season, Super 8s and play-off games.
Ben Flower needs one appearance to reach 200 for his career. Flower has played 114 games for Wigan since 2012, and was previously with Crusaders (66 games, 2008-2011). He has also represented Wales 15 times (2008-2013), to go with four dual-registration appearances for South Wales Scorpions (2010).
Stefan Ratchford needs one try to reach a career century of touchdowns. Ratchford has touched down 56 times for Warrington since 2012, to go with 40 tries for Salford (2007-2011). He has also scored 3 times for England Knights (2011-2012), and has one non-scoring appearance for England (2012).
Josh Charnley needs one try to move clear into third at the top of the Super League try-scoring charts this year (including league, Super 8s and semis). He is currently locked on 19, with Catalans’ Jodie Broughton, behind Denny Solomona (Castleford, 40) and Widnes’ Corey Thompson (27).
Kurt Gidley and Matty Smith have both kicked 87 goals this season. They are locked in third, behind Castleford’s Luke Gale (118) and Hull FC’s Marc Sneyd (113).
Wigan have used 32 players in this season’s Super League campaign, with only Sam Powell playing in all 31 regular season, Super 8s and play-off games.