By Josh Powell | Sports writer
Leeds Rhinos v Warrington Wolves, 6.00pm Saturday, Sky Sports 1
Last year Leeds overcame all the odds to lift the Super League trophy for an unprecedented fifth time and they will be well backed to do the same again at Old Trafford on Saturday evening.
Warrington are making their Grand Final debut and are the red-hot 1/2 favourites for the crown after winning 20 matches this season out of 27 and finishing second in the league. There are plenty of wise heads in the Wire squad but Leeds have been here before and at 7/4 the Rhinos are making all the appeal.
Last weekend Leeds travelled to Wigan and weren’t given a hope against the league leader shield winners. But once again, as they did last year, the Rhinos threw the form book out of the window and came out on top in a thrilling 13-12 victory at the DW Stadium.
Warrington have had a better season than Leeds and beat them at Wembley in the Challenge Cup final in August but this will be a different game for Wire. Leeds know how to get the job done at the business end of the season but Warrington are the opposite, losing eight out of 12 play-off games in the past. Leeds Rhinos +6 on the handicap could be the best bet of the weekend at 10/11.
The smallest man on the biggest stage
One man who will be influential in deciding the result on Saturday will be Rhinos star Rob Burrow. Despite being one of the smallest players in the game at 5-foot-5 Burrow’s technical skill and speed make him one of the most dangerous players on the pitch. He scored an incredible try in last year’s final against St Helens and has 112 tries in 195 appearances for Leeds.
The 29-year-old is 20/1 to score the first try and 12/5 to cross the white line at any time in the game. Paddy Power have a cracking wincast available at 4/1 with Burrow to score a try at any time and Leeds to win with +5.5 on the handicap.
Interestingly in their five Super League victories Leeds have won by a margin of eight points on three occasions. To win by exactly eight on Saturday evening is 22/1 and to win by between six and ten points is an attractive 15/2.
Kevin Sinfield has captained all five of Leeds’ championship winning sides and has scored 257 points this season, which is the second highest in the league. He is 7/4 to successfully convert all of his place kicks in the final.