For this week’s special Throwback Thursday, we’re perhaps inevitably going back to the first ever Super League Grand Final – and the last time Leeds and Wigan met in a major final ahead of this Saturday’s end-of-season spectacular.
Much like the 2015 edition, it was first versus second in the league table meeting at Old Trafford, although Wigan were the side who finished top in the 1998 season. Their side – as you’ll see below – was littered with superstar talent including the likes of Henry Paul, Kris Radlinski and captain Andy Farrell.
As for Leeds, who came second on the ladder that year, they boasted future Super League coaches in the shape of Iestyn Harris, Francis Cummins and Daryl Powell, as well as retiring Salford forward Adrian Morley.
The match itself was of course famous for Jason Robinson’s incredible solo try which ultimately decided the outcome of the Grand Final. The winger collected the ball about as close to the touchline as possible out on the right, before jolting inside, stepping through two tackles and evading a last-ditch effort from Daryl Powell to light up Old Trafford and score one of the great Grand Final tries.
The teams that night, incidentally, were:
|1. Kris Radlinski||Fullback||1. Iestyn Harris (c)|
|2. Jason Robinson||Winger||22. Leroy Rivett|
|3. Danny Moore||Centre||3. Richie Blackmore|
|4. Gary Connolly||Centre||4. Brad Godden|
|5. Mark Bell||Winger||5. Francis Cummins|
|6. Henry Paul||Stand Off||13. Daryl Powell|
|7. Tony Smith||Scrum Half||7. Ryan Sheridan|
|16. Terry O’Connor||Prop||8. Martin Masella|
|9. Robbie McCormack||Hooker||21. Terry Newton|
|10. Tony Mestrov||Prop||25. Darren Fleary|
|17. Stephen Holgate||2nd Row||11. Adrian Morley|
|20. Lee Gilmour||2nd Row||17. Anthony Farrell|
|13. Andy Farrell (c)||Loose Forward||12. Marc Glanville|
|25. Paul Johnson||Interchange||24. Marcus St Hilaire|
|12. Simon Haughton||Interchange||14. Graham Holroyd|
|14. Mick Cassidy||Interchange||27. Andy Hay|
|8. Neil Cowie||Interchange||20. Jamie Mathiou|
It was the night where the Grand Final concept was born, and amazingly, it’s taken 17 years for these two giants of the game to meet again at Old Trafford. Will it be Wigan’s night once again? Or will Leeds finally end their extraordinary hoodoo against the Warriors on Saturday?