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Friday, 12 October, 2001, 13:43 GMT 14:43 UK
Grand Finalists set for tight match
BBC Sport's Ray French previews this weekend's Super League Grand Final as Wigan take on Bradford.

Basically the key to Saturday's game will be the forwards.

Certainly, it is going to be hard to counteract the Bradford pack, which is probably the toughest in club rugby.

Joe Vagana and Paul Anderson are big players, and, with hooker James Lowes, they make up a powerful front row.

They play a single brutal game, seeking to wear the opposition down and able to run straight through the middle.

The Wigan pack, on the other hand, is ageing with players such as Neil Cowie and Denis Betts in the last stages of their careers.

A lot depends on whether the Warriors pack can stand up to its Bradford counterpart.


Old Trafford may suit Wigan's style of play more than the Bulls
Ray French
If it can, then Wigan's backs are superior and have tremendous speed, which could clinch the game.

Bradford's pack is powerful down the middle with the Paul brothers pushing on the outside, but Wigan's style is more expansive.

Kris Radlinski, Steve Renouf and Brett Dallas will try to outflank Bradford on the touchline.

Old Trafford may suit Wigan's style of play more than the Bulls'.

The venue has a big wide pitch like their home ground, the JJB Stadium.

Henry Paul
Henry Paul's kicking could tip the balance
Bradford play on a narrow pitch at Odsal Stadium, which, with their style of pushing straight down the middle, may explain their success at home.

The game may also be decided by the goal-kicking.

Henry Paul has had an outstanding season for the Bulls this year, while Wigan's kicker Andy Farrell recently broke Frano Botica's club record of 423 points in a season.

Whichever of the kickers performs on the day could tip the balance.

It may also be a matter of big game temperament.

Although Bradford are a big side, their record in Grand Finals is not good and they will be feeling the pressure on Saturday.

They must get over this nervous period if they are to overcome Wigan in front of what promises to be a record-breaking crowd.

One thing is for sure, it is going to be very close, in fact do not be surprised if this showdown runs into extra-time.

See also:

03 Oct 01 |  Rugby League
New league structure approved
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