Challenge Cup final – Charnley can carry Wolves to a historic victory

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Rugby League expert Chris Thomas (@SolidPunts) has uncovered the value from Saturday’s Challenge Cup final between Catalans Dragons and Warrington Wolves.

Catalans Dragons v Warrington Wolves | Saturday 25th August, 15:00 | BBC

It’s Warrington v Catalans in a Challenge Cup final that few would have predicted.

The market has Warrington as clear favourites and their best priced at 8/15 (Betway) to take home the fabled trophy with Catalans available at 21/10 (Marathon).

Man of the match

Darryl Clark heads the market at a ridiculously short 8/1 (Ladbrokes) with Roberts and Drinkwater the only others at single figure prices. There are three fancies at bigger odds we should be considering.

Firstly, I like Stefan Ratchford at 12/1 (Ladbrokes). Ratchford is a naturally talented darling of the UK press. He’s never been my favourite full-back but he seems to have no problem drawing plaudits and with the winners’ fullback winning the Lance Todd five times since 2000, he seems a reasonable enough shout for me.

I also like Josh Charnley. Two wingers have won this award in the past four years and Ryan Hal didn’t even have to score a hat-trick to win.

There’s a good story behind Charnley, too. He returned to Rugby League from Sale and has amassed 12 tries in 15 for Warrington. With those sorts of numbers, 25/1 (Ladbrokes) is a big price – to provide some context, he’s 16/1 to score a hattrick.

Finally, there’s also value about Michael McIlorum picking up the Lance Todd Trophy. McIlorum was crowned Man of the Match in Catalans’ semi-final win over Saints. His price of 33/1 (BoyleSports) is much higher than the opposition’s hooker, market leader, Clark and it’s hard to understand this disparity.

Duo are value to score

We’ve already mentioned Josh Charnley and at a price of 10/11 to score anytime (SkyBet), we can consider him again. He’s scored 12 tries in 15 this year having scored in both games against Catalans. He’s been 4/1 (BoyleSports) to score two or more and both these look like value bets to me.

Another player I think we can support in the anytime market is the other Josh in this game, Drinkwater. The half has transformed the Dragons’ fortunes from bottom of the league to Challenge Cup finalists, crossing the white line for seven tries in 12 appearances and at 4/1 (Betfred) is a good play score anytime. I also wouldn’t put anyone off him being the 1st to score at 30/1.

Wolves can take the claims

More than half of the last 18 Challenge Cup finals have been won by 1-12 margins and with this being at a neutral venue those chances increase from these teams’ regular season chances.

Warrington are deservedly favourites here but I’m happy to believe they won’t run away with this and will be taking the 2/1 (188Bet) on the Wolves winning by 1-12.

Best Bets

Catalans Dragons v Warrington Wolves – Stefan Ratchford to be man of the match (12/1 Ladbrokes)

Catalans Dragons v Warrington Wolves – Josh Charnley to be man of the match (25/1 Ladbrokes)

Catalans Dragons v Warrington Wolves – Michael McIlorum to be man of the match (33/1 Boylesports)

Catalans Dragons v Warrington Wolves – Josh Charnley to score anytime (10/11 Sky Bet)

Catalans Dragons v Warrington Wolves – Josh Charnley to score two or more (4/1 Boylesports)

Catalans Dragons v Warrington Wolves – Josh Drinkwater to score anytime (4/1 Betfred)

Catalans Dragons v Warrington Wolves – Warrington to win by 1-12 points (2/1 188Bet)

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