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Rugby Super League Grand Final 2017
Date :Saturday, October, 7, 2017
Ahead of the biggest event of the Rugby Super League calendar, Jamie McEvoy prepares us for what’s in store at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Castleford go into their first Super League Grand Final on Saturday – against local rivals Leeds Rhinos – as favourites. The 20th incarnation of rugby league’s big showpiece will feature a first all-Yorkshire title decider since Leeds and Bradford did battle in Manchester in 2005. Cas have enjoyed their best season in the modern era, winning the league leaders’ shield – but they needed a golden point extra-time to beat St Helens in the semi-final. Leeds, who finished 10 points behind Castleford in the Super League season, got to Old Trafford by beating Hull in their semi.
It’s been another thrilling season in the Betfred Super League. Castleford Tigers have claimed their first ever League Leader’s Shield, running away at the top of the table, whilst regular heavy-hitters Wigan Warriors failed to qualify for the play-offs for the first time since 2006. The Super 8s format — still fresh from being introduced in 2015 — proved to be the downfall of Salford Red Devils. Meanwhile, Warrington Wolves suffered a miserable season as they surprisingly failed to finish in the top 8, instead competing in (and winning) the Super 8s Qualifiers table.
The 23-year-old back rower spent last Friday night in hospital after sustaining the injury in the Rhinos’ semi-final win over Hull and went into theatre on Saturday morning to have the shoulder relocated. He was expected to be ruled out of the Old Trafford clash with Castleford but was encouraged by positive scans and, after being named in coach Brian McDermott’s initial 19-man squad, passed a fitness test at final training on Friday morning.