The first ever 1895 Cup Final will be between the Sheffield Eagles and the Widnes Vikings. Here’s everything you need to know…
TEAM FORM GUIDE
The Eagles entered the tournament in the round of 16 and had comfortably beaten Halifax at the Shay to mark their first ever 1895 cup match with a win.
They gained winning momentum throughout the competition when they came from behind to beat Doncaster in a thrilling quarter-final clash.Lastly, they sealed their cup final with a comfortable home win over Batley.
However, despite their campaign to compete for the Championship play-offs, this tournament has added to their aspirations for a successful season under Mark Aston.
The Vikings also entered the tournament in the round of 16 and have seen through Featherstone, Dewsbury and Leigh without conceding their lead.
In comparison to Sheffield, Widnes have had it tough this year due to their 12-point penalty for declaring administration.
But with the club having a strong backing from their fan base and the rugby league community, the Vikings have 12 wins to their name which was enough to keep them in the Championship.
This shows when the going gets tough, this club can remain calm and play footy. A cup final win will surely add to their inspirational journey from hell and back.
Mark Aston makes three changes to the side that comfortably beat Barrow in potentially their last home game of 2019.
Menzie Yere, Sonny Esslemont and Rory Dixon will make way for James Davey, Oliver Davies and Blake Broadbent
Sheffield’s 19-man squad: Josh Guzdek, Ryan Millar, Ben Blackmore, Pat Walker, Anthony Thackeray, James Davey, Brad Knowles, Joel Farrell, Aaron Brown, Greg Burns, Oliver Davies, Corey Makelim, Shaun Pick, Blake Broadbent, Paddy Burns, Jacob Ogden, Ben Hellewell, Nathan Mason, James Meadows.
Kieron Purtill makes eight changes to the side that were narrowly defeated at Leigh last weekend. Patrick Ah Van, Danny Craven, Chris Dean, Anthony Gelling, Jordan Johnstone, Dan Norman, Jack Owens and Sam Wilde all come back into the squad.
Widnes’ 19-man squad: Patrick Ah Van, Olly Ashall-Bott, Keanan Brand, Hep Cahill, Jay Chapelhow, Ted Chapelhow, Danny Craven, Chris Dean, Anthony Gelling, Tom Gilmore, Harrison Hansen, Jayden Hatton, Jordan Johnstone, MacGraff Leuluai, Joe Lyons, Dan Norman, Jack Owens, Brad Walker, Sam Wilde.
HEAD TO HEAD
Their last eight meetings have spanned a decade, but it’s Widnes that lead the way in head-to-head wins over Sheffield.
This year, both sides have met twice and have picked up two points at their home grounds, meaning this will be the third and final encounter. But this time it is the 1895 Cup that is up for grabs.
Anthony Thackeray (Sheffield) v Danny Craven (Widnes)
Eyes will be on these half-backs as their experience will lead their respective teams out of the Wembley tunnel.
Sheffield’s Thackeray has had the more impressive season so far as he has bagged 20 tries in 24 appearances.
Whereas Craven has 11 tries to his name, his x-factor is his kicking game which has boosted the attacking aspect of Widnes Vikings.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Saturday 24th August 2019
Venue: Wembley Stadium
Kick-off: 17:30 BST
Referee: Chris Kendall
WHO WILL WIN?
A win for Sheffield would be their second win over the Vikings in eight years. However I think Widnes will have less pressure and will use that in their advantage to get the win.