As St Helens and Wigan prepare for battle on Saturday in the Super League Grand Final, here are 10 facts you may not know about the Old Trafford showpiece.
#1 The first final
The first Grand Final was contested in 1998 between Wigan and Leeds with the Warriors narrowly winning 10-4. Even though Super League was born 2 years earlier, the end of season play-off series was not devised till 1998.
#2 Leeds are the most successful side
Leeds Rhinos have won the Grand Final 6 times. St Helens have been crowned champions on 4 occasions, with Wigan and Bradford winning 3 titles.
#3 Old Trafford
Old Trafford, home of Manchester United, has hosted the event every year since the inaugural final in 1998. The highest attendance was set in the 2006 final, when 72, 582 people watched St Helens beat Hull FC 26-4.
#4 St Helens have the most appearances
St Helens will be making their 10th appearance in the Grand Final on Saturday. The Saints have lost more finals than they have won however, including 5 consecutive defeats between 2007 and 2011.
#5 Man of the match
The man of the match is awarded the Harry Sunderland trophy and is voted by the press association. Blake Green and Paul Wellens will be looking to win the trophy for the 2nd time after the St Helens captain was awarded man of the match in 2006 and Green won the trophy last season.
#6 Paul Wellens could make (joint) history
Paul Wellens is set to equal Jamie Peacock’s Grand Final appearances record on Saturday when he walks out at the theatre of dreams for the 10th time.
#7 Only 6 clubs have contested the event
Only 6 clubs have made it to Old Trafford in the 17 years of the Grand Final: Saturday’s finalists, Leeds, Bradford, Hull and Warrington.
#8 The winner will go for World Club Challenge glory
Traditionally, the winner of the Grand Final has represented Super League in the following year’s World Club Challenge. However, due to an expansion of the series in 2015, both finalists will join Warrington in a new 3 game series next February.
#9 The golden point rule
Unlike the Challenge Cup final, there is no replay if Saturday’s final ends in a draw. Extra time is played with 10 minutes in each half and if that doesn’t decide a winner play continues as both teams chase the ‘golden point’; with the next team to score being crowned champions.
#10 The 2010 final
The last time St Helens and Wigan met in the Grand Final was in 2010 as Wigan were crowned champions after a 22-10 victory. Interestingly, it was also the last time the top 2 in the league met in the final.
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