Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Final Preview: Hull FC v Warrington
It is set to be one of the closest finals in recent history, as Hull FC and Warrington meet at Wembley to decide the winner of the 2016 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.
Sitting first and second in the Super League table, Saturday’s Wembley showpiece pits Super League’s most impressive sides this season in the final of rugby league’s oldest and most prestigious competition.
Hull’s success in 2016 is by no means rugby league’s equivalent to Leicester City, but it is somewhat surprising given their disappointing campaign last season.
However, extremely astute acquisitions in the close season and a high level of consistency have given them a very real possibility of landing the treble in 2016, starting by lifting the Challenge Cup trophy at Wembley, something they have never achieved in their history.
Having won the Challenge Cup three times in four years between 2009 and 2012, Warrington’s record at Wembley is wholly better than their opponents, but there is very little separating these two sides this season, just one point over the course of 26 games so far.
Hull will be hoping form and head to head records don’t go out of the window at Wembley, having beaten Warrington twice already in Super League this year.
On both those occasions, the winning margins have been tight – two and seven points respectively – and an Airlie Birds win by 1-10 points on Saturday is 5/2.
Hull’s forward pack has been dominant all season, but it could well be the battle of the half-backs that decides Saturday’s final, as two of Super League’s most effective scrum-halves – Marc Sneyd and Chris Sandow – come up against each other.
Sneyd’s kicking game has been central to Hull’s impressive form this season; he sits way out in front in terms of successful goal kicks and attacking kicks, while Sandow is just as likely to score than assist when close to the line.
They are the two favourites to pick up the Lance Todd Trophy (Man of the Match), priced at 4/1 for Sneyd and 5/1 for Sandow.
An outside bet for that honour is Hull forward Scott Taylor. He has led the Black and Whites’ line superbly all season and produced a barnstorming two-try display in FC’s Challenge Cup win over St Helens back in May.
If he is as dominant on Saturday he could receive the famous award.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing