Warrington fans are probably still gutted about their Challenge Cup defeat at the weekend, having come so close, a few blades of grass, to be precise, from winning the Challenge Cup Final.
However, the club’s four-year wait for silverware remains, with the League Leaders’ Shield and Grand Final their two final opportunities in ensuring they don’t end the year empty-handed once again.
The players have a big task ahead of them to recover both mentally and physically from the final. With Kurt Gidley, Chris Sandow and Ben Westwood all picking up injuries, the Wolves squad is going to be tested over the coming weeks, and Tony Smith has a big job on his hands.
But there is one stat that suggests that, if Warrington can make the Grand Final, they will have a fantastic chance of winning.
Since the first ever Super League Grand Final in 1998, six losing Challenge Cup finalists teams have gone on to make it to Old Trafford in the same season.
On five of those six occasions, the team that lost the Challenge Cup Final went on to win at Old Trafford. The first team to do it was Wigan, who suffered a shock defeat in the ’98 final to Sheffield before defeating Leeds 10-4 in the first ever Grand Final.
The first team to do it was Wigan, who suffered a shock defeat in the ’98 final to Sheffield before defeating Leeds 10-4 in the first ever Grand Final.
Bradford repeated the accomplishment in 2001, defeating Wigan 37-6 in the Grand Final after losing to Saints in the Challenge Cup.
A year later, Saints avenged their Challenge Cup defeat to Wigan with a 19-18 victory over the Bulls.
The next team to do it was Leeds, who lost both the 2011 and 2012 Challenge Cup Finals before winning at Old Trafford.
The Rhinos are the only team to lose both finals in the same year, losing to Hull FC in the Challenge Cup before being defeated by Bradford at Old Trafford in 2005.
Warrington have to make it to Old Trafford first, but if they can do that, they have history on their side.