Date: Saturday 25th August 2017
Kick Off: 15:00
Venue: Wembley Stadium (London)
Bet Now (18+)
TV: Live on BBC 1HD
Radio: Live on BBC Local Radio and via the BBC Website
Challenge Cup Final 2018
The Catalans Dragons and Warrington Wolves head to London and to the iconic Wembley Stadium for the 2018 Challenge Cup final, with the whole of the match available to watch live on BBC 1 in the UK and across the globe.
This is one of the highlights of the Rugby calendar and is always a great occasion not just for the fans and players of the teams involved but all for all neutral fans and this game is set to be no different.
Whilst it is fair to say that the Wolves go into the game as the big favourites for many, their can be no writing off Les Dracs.
The Dragons have rested players since their shock semi-final win over St Helens and their safety in the Super League through qualification for the Super 8s so whilst there form has dropped off lately, little can be taken from it with so many changes to their squad.
The Wolves on the other hand have tried to keep a strong side out on the park as they look to wrap up a top 4 finish, which is one of the big reasons why they defeated the Dragons 56-6 just a short couple of weeks ago.
Whilst the Dragons will have it all to do in this one, one thing everyone will be predicting is that the match will be much closer than that league game and as the French outfit showed in their semi at Bolton, they can go into a game as a massive underdog and pull off a shock result.
The Challenge Cup was the first, and still only, big final the Dragons have faced since joining the UK game whilst the Wolves have developed a reputation as a successful knock out rugby team although they have come up short recently in the cup. This is a great chance for them to right that situation but they know they will have to be at their very best.
The Dragons have won just 1 of their last 4 but as mentioned they have been chopping and changing their squads over the past month as there sole focus as been on the cup.
Warrington have won 3 of their last 5 but they did lose in Castleford last week in a tough game- although they too rested players.
Catalans bring in all their big names that sat out last week’s loss to Wigan with Remi Casty, Tony Gigot and Brayden Wiliame amongst those recalled.
Sitaleki Akauola is suspended for Warrington but they do bring in Ryan Atkins and Harvey Livett after injury.
Any final, but especially the Challenge Cup final is a difficult match to predict. Form, confidence and ability can often go out of the window and it simply comes down to which team can handle the pressure on the day.
It is the Warrington players who have the most experience of playing at Wembley and playing big finals but they also have an number players to have experienced only losses in these big games.
This appearance by the Dragons has really peaked the interest of sport fans in France and a win would certainly be a massive boost for the game across the Channel but whilst we always want the game as a whole to succeed, it is difficult to look past a Warrington win in this one.
With the difficulties for French fans to make the game, the Warrington fans will vastly out number fans of Les Dracs and when you couple that with the better form, the more experience and with the fact that you have to say that Warrington have the better squad on paper and everything points to a Wire win.
That was of course the situation the Dragons faced against Saints and if they can get on the dame sort of roll early on, the Dragons could easily win what is likely to be an entertaining final that you can watch live on BBC 1.
Our Prediction: Warrington Wolves by 10
Agree or disagree with us? Put your money where your mouth is!