Grand Final 2016: The key head-to-head battles

Daryl Clark v Sam Powell (hooker)
Clark has been arguably Warrington’s best player throughout 2016, returning to the form which won him the Man of Steel award two years ago while at Castleford. If the Wolves are to win on Saturday then Clark’s form will again be crucial – but Wigan’s ever-present hooker, Sam Powell, will be equally important for Wigan. He has impressed in the absence of Michael McIlorun for most of this year – and the dummy-half battle will be essential in determining the Super League champions.

Powell Wigan

Ben Flower v Chris Hill (prop)
Flower’s return from a two-match suspension gives Wigan an undoubted lift when it comes to the pack battle on Saturday evening. However, Warrington’s biggest strength is potentially in their front row, with the trio of Daryl Clark, Ashton Sims and Chris Hill their standout performers on a weekly basis. For Wigan to stay in the contest early on, Flower’s presence will be crucial in enabling Wigan to gain an early foothold in the match.


Dan Sarginson v Stefan Ratchford (fullback)
The departing Sarginson will play his final game for Wigan at fullback this weekend in the absence of Sam Tomkins – and his battle with Stefan Ratchford will be vital. Ratchford has hit impressive at precisely the right time of the season, but Sarginson has proven to be a calming and assuring influence at the back for Wigan since Tomkins was ruled out for the rest of the season.