Rugby League Grand Final 2022
September 24th, 2022 | Uncategorized
Today sees the Grand Final which is being played at Old Trafford and it features League Shield winners St Helens and Leeds, who finished fifth in the regular season, a whopping thirteen points behind today’s opponents.
Admittedly Leeds are in good form winning 10 of their last 12 matches but they will be missing influential half-back, Aidan Sezer with Richie Myler moving from full back and Zak Hardaker filling in for Myler. Rhys Martin returns after a two game suspension and his goal kicking will be a major help in keeping track on Saints however influential youngster Harry Newman misses out after suffering a third hamstring injury in 2022. They will sorely miss David Fusitu’a but it appears that Ash Handley who leads the way for making metres (3646-average of 140.23 per game) and carries (437-average of 16.01 per game) may just make it back from injury in time
Saints are missing young half back Lewis Dodd who is out for the season and flyer Regan Grace has played his last game for the club before he changes codes. But the biggest loss is ‘Big Alex Walmsley, saints 6’8” prop forward who knocks people over for fun when carrying! However, the form of Joe Batchelor and Matty Lees has seen the loss of Walmsley felt less than would have been expected. The big plus for Saints is that they managed to successfully challenge the two-game ban for enforcer, Morgan Knowles, who is now eligible to play. The sides have faced each other twice this year with Saints coming out on top on both occasions with a 26-0 victory at Emerald Headingley and a 42-12 destruction back at the WKD Stadium. Leeds are in the midst of their best form of the season, winning 10 of their last 12 matches while Saints have won only 8. Having said that, the two defeats were when Kristian Woolf decided to use shadow squads against both Wakefield Trinity and Wigan Warriors. Saints outnumber their Yorkshire based opponents on tries scored (120-99), clean breaks (159-131) and metres gained (35,929-34,960). The Rhinos lead the way in runs from dummy half (288-184), tackles (8408-8082), offloads (257-240). Leeds Rhinos have an issue with the disciplinary side of things with 15 yellow cards issued compared to Saints 11 and the reds are no better as the Yorkshire side have been the recipients of three red cards while Saints have had only the one. Interestingly, two of Leeds red cards were received by former Saints forward James Bentley and I have no doubt that Sione Mata’utia and ‘Iggy Paasi will target the temperamental Rhinos back rower.
Saints giving up a 6 point start looks a great bet as the chances are, if it gets to 6,12, 18 points, Jonny Lomax or Tommy Makinson will go for the drop goal to clear the chances of a converted try causing the bet to fail. I’ll also be having a bet on under 34.5 points in the match as none of the last six Grand Finals have gone over that line.