What next for Wigan Warriors? A guide to the play-offs

Zak Hardaker is aiming for Old Trafford
Zak Hardaker is aiming for Old Trafford

Wigan secured second spot and will face Salford next Friday, but then what? Your questions are answered...

Wigan finished second - what does it mean, really?

The structure of the top-five play-offs gives advantages to teams who finish higher up the ladder. For finishing second, Wigan will have a home match next Friday against the side in third.

Which will be...?

Salford. They edged ahead of Warrington into third last night.

Okay, so Wigan at home next Friday, against the team in third... what happens if they win?

They will go to St Helens, who finished top, the following week - and battle for a place in the Grand Final. Whoever loses at the Totally Wicked Stadium will get a second chance the following week.

But what if Wigan lose next Friday?

They will get a second chance. They will host the winners of 4th v 5th (Warrington v Castleford), and the winners of that game will play whoever loses at the Totally Wicked Stadium - with a place at Old Trafford up for grabs.

It seems rather complicated...

It's certainly trickier than last year, when there were two straight-forward semi-finals, but this system does appear to better-reward sides which finish higher up the ladder. There are three weeks of play-offs on Thursday and Friday nights, with one team bowing out each week, leading up to the Grand Final on October 12.

Who are the favourites?

St Helens, still, at 5/6, but bookmakers have Wigan as second-favourites at 2/1, ahead of Warrington (5/1) and Salford (18/1).