Leeds Rhinos: Challenge Cup final is likely to go to the Wire – Ablett

Hull FC's Gareth Ellis (left) with Warrington Wolves' Chris Hill.
Hull FC's Gareth Ellis (left) with Warrington Wolves' Chris Hill.
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I HAVEN’T decided yet whether I will watch tomorrow’s Challenge Cup final.

I’ll admit I am jealous of the Hull and Warrington players. I would love to be preparing for the final now, but we weren’t good enough this season.

In the past, if we haven’t been there I have tended to get out of the house and away from the TV.

It is tough when you would like to have been there, but this year I think it could be a good final so I will probably tune in.

A lot of finals turn out to be disappointing for the neutral fans. That was probably the case when we won at Wembley in 2014 and 2015, but those two finals for us were all about winning.

Hull and Warrington won’t be too bothered about whether it is a classic or not as long as their ribbons are on the trophy at the end.

But they both play a lot with the ball and I don’t think it’s going to be a drab affair. Both coaches have a good philosophy about how they want to play the game.

The table tells you it’s two teams that are in form and I think it’s probably two evenly-matched sides.

Hull have performed really well this year and Warrington have probably gone under the radar a bit.

I don’t think they’ve been talked about as much this year as Hull have been, but they get the job done.

They have got a way of playing and they are very good at it. They are hard to stop when they get on a roll, as we saw when we played them at their place. It is going to be an interesting contest between the force and strike of Hull and the power and speed and dynamism of Warrington.

They are also two well-supported teams so there’ll be a decent crowd watching it and it should be a great occasion.

Neither team has been to Wembley for a few years, but I think Warrington might have the edge in big-game experience.

Hull have been to Wembley more recently, but as a club Warrington have been to quite a number of finals over the last few years, all with Tony Smith as coach, so they know all about the build-up and how to handle the day itself and the pressures that come with the occasion.

Having that experience under your belt can only help, but having said that, Hull aren’t a bunch of rookies and I doubt they will be overawed.

Gaz Ellis has a big role to play for Hull. He’s their captain and probably most influential player so he will be vital for them during the 80 minutes, but his experience will also count before the game.

He has played in finals and he knows what it is all about. Hull have got players who have played in Test matches and the NRL so I don’t think the game will come down to experience.

In Cup finals it’s the team that turns up on the day, executes the game plan and defends the best that will probably win the game.

Hopefully the weather stays dry and if it does I really think we will see a good game that could go right to the end – and I think probably to the Wire.

I don’t think there will be much in it, but their speed could be a telling factor.

Tony is a vastly experienced coach and I think he will formulate a plan.

I think his side have a few more game-breakers than Hull and in a final it could come down to a special player doing something outstanding.

The likes of Stefan Ratchford, Chris Sandow, Kurt Gidley and Daryl Clark have all got that in them. They can create something out of nothing and I think it will be Warrington who lift the cup.

Speaking of which, I think if Warrington do win the Lance Todd Trophy will go to Sandow.

The media, who choose the man of the match, like to focus on the halves. Sandow is a classy player and he pulls the strings and gets the team around the park, so it’ll probably be him who catches their eye.