I've been looking at the likely outcome of the play-off weekly rounds and the progression to Old Trafford and however I seem to look at it there can be only two teams that will be running out the fireworks in a months time. And sadly for us, those two teams are Warrington and Wigan.|
If you look at final league position, Superleague points, game points scored, game points conceeded, average game points scored and conceeded, difference between average game points scored and conceeded, then there is only one winner. That is the team who have demolished all in-front of them to finish top of the pile and in doing so run in close to 1,100 points, averaging just under 40 per game. Warrington Wolves will statistically be this seasons Grand Final Winners.
In all of these statistical comparisons the only games which look in danger of upsetting the final league positions is an outside chance of Hull KR beating the Dragons (KR have scored more points a game on average but also conceeded more), and a slightly lesser chance of their East Yorkshire neighbours Hull FC upsetting the form book when the come to visit Headingley on sunday afternoon (average points score within two and points conceeded within one).
The bookies are rarely wrong, and the one that I use has Warrington as 11/10 favourites and Wigan 11/8 second favourites. They give little hope to any of the others with Saints 8/1, Leeds 16/1, Giants and Catalans both 33/1, FC 66/1 and Hull KR as the outsiders at 100/1. A Wolves v. Warriors final it is then.
Finally I had a look at head-to-head between the sides in each fixture. Even in this everything goes with league positions, although there are a couple of close games between Warrington and Huddersfield (38-35 aggregate this season), and Wigan and Saints (34-28 aggregate). Leeds thrash FC (54-18) and the Catalans beat KR comfortably (59-48). In the second round the Giants easily see off the Rhinos (62-37) and the same for the Saints over the Dragons (64-34).
In the semi-finals we'd have the same outcome as in the first round which would give us a Wolves v. Wigan final. This would go the Wolves way with a 63-18 aggregate, or 85-62 if you take the Challenge Cup encounter into account.
So there we go, no-one really has any statistical chance of winning except Warrington.
It's a good job that our games transcends statistics...I think we are in for a cracking month of rugby!