Rhinos rampaging to glory
After two enthralling semi-final clashes the underdogs have upset the odds and make up a rather unlikely Grand Final pairing.
But although the odds may have been against them, neither Leeds or St Helens played to the bookies expectations and both beat superior opponents. The only question remaining is, have the bookies got the final right?
Revenge will be the second biggest factor motivating Saints, they were beaten twice by Leeds in the final in 2007 and 2008 and memories of that 33-3 win in 07 will still haunt the Saints faithful. Leeds will move into second in the all time final appearances and whomever wins will have the honour of being the most successful Grand Final team in Super League history.
The Rhinos (5/4) were the chosen opponents for Warrington, a calculated risk some may say, but it backfired spectacularly and the writing was on the wall from the first minute in the semi-final. The expected first tackle that had broken many teams never materialised and Leeds eventually ground out a win, despite several decisions going against them.
St Helens (4/6, draw 18/1) faced a dominant Wigan and twice they came from behind to make a sixth straight Grand Final. They went in at the break on the wrong side of a 12-8 score line but Jamie Foster and a sublime Paul Wellens kicking display opened up the Warriors.
To celebrate the Grand Final we are going to be Top Price Guaranteed on both first & last try scorer markets. We will be better offering better value than Ladbrokes, Coral, Bet 365 and Paddy Power as we prove that we are the home of Super League betting.
Leeds' Ryan Hall has run over 25 tries this season and the big number 5 will be leading the attack at Old Trafford. He is 10/1 to score the first try of the game, a price you won't get any better on. Francis Meli is a massive presence on the wing for Saints. The Samoan is 14/1 to run over the first try of the game.
The most intriguing battle will be between Rhinos' Kevin Sinfield and Saints' Jamie Foster as the kickers could prove pivotal. Sinfield hit the winning points for the Rhinos in their semi-final and he placed some fantastic pressure relieving kicks. So far this season he has hit 115 goals to Jamie Foster's 109, but the Saints player has run over 20 tries. Sinfield has scored two drop goals this season and it's 2/1 for there to be a successful drop goal in the final. As part of our vast range of novelty markets we have a delightfully titled 'Sin-Field of Dreams' which is Leeds to win with a Kevin Sinfield Leeds drop goal or penalty kick breaking the deadlock at 16/1. You can also back Jamie Foster to kick 6 or more goals at 5/2.
Rhinos will know the importance of a good start, they avoided the early Warri onslaught and Gary Ablett ran over the opening try, giving them a fantastic foundation to build from. They will be once again focused on doing the game and are Even money to register the first scoring points of the game.
The line is so close, set at two points as the Saints are 4/5 minus two and Leeds are Even money plus the brace. However the last eight finals have all been almost entirely one sided affairs, with the Saints narrow 19-18 win over Bradford back in 2002 the only close game in recent history.
I went for the Rhinos to make the final against the odds and I believe they are going to do the business. They showed a lot of strength to rock Warrington and they never let up. Saints were somewhat fortunate that Wigan really failed to pull the trigger in their semi-final meeting. I would back Leeds to win at 5/4 and take them on the handicap also.