Wigan Warriors suprised nobody by choosing to play Leeds Rhinos in next weekend’s Super League play-off semi-final.
Wigan, as highest ranked semi-final qualifiers from Week One, had the choice between the two winners from this weekend’s matches, Leeds who finished 5th in the regular season and Warrington who came 2nd.
The Club Call concept, introduced to Super League in 2009 initially on a 3-season trial and has seen the clube with the pick choose the lowest ranked team on every single occasion.
Last year Warrington, who had the Call, picked Leeds who went on to cause a shock at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on their way to picking up the Super League trophy at Old Trafford a week later from 5th position.
Wigan chairman Ian lenagan made the announcement at the DW Stadium lounge and stated:
“It was a unanimous decision made by myself, Shaun Wane and Kris Radlinski but we also seriously thought about Warrington at one stage, Leeds seem to be getting better and better and maybe Warrington were faltering a little bit, not helped by injuries but in the end Warrington and Wigan have been the two most consistent teams across the Super League regular season and it would be nice to see the two of us playing each other in the final.”
Lenagan also added some tongue-in-cheek comments over St Helens and Leeds having more than their fair share of Grand Final success over the past several years as he revelled in the theatricality of the event televised on Sky Sports News.
Whilst attention can now thankfully turn to matters on the field with two mouthwatering play-off ties ahead with a place in the Grand Final up for grabs, most rugby league fans are probably left wondering a to why this annual charade still has to be endured.
A look ahead:
Week Three Fixtures (all televised live on Sky Sports)
Friday: Wigan Warriors V Leeds Rhinos (8pm – DW Stadium)
LSMedia Prediction: Leeds by 2
Very difficult to call with the League Leaders still looking strong going up against a team with a proven play-off pedigree.
Saturday: St Helens V Warrington Wolves (6pm – Langtree Park)
LSMedia Prediction: Warrington by 4
Again a hugely difficult one and has the potential to make or Langtree Park’s play-off debut a classic derby encounter. I’ll go for the Wolves to make it to a maiden Grand Final for a re-match of August’s Wembley Cup Final.