Super League Grand Final: Sam Tomkins out for one final upset as Catalans Dragons face Wigan at Old Trafford

The former Warriors favourite, Matt Peet, Liam Farrell and Steve McNamara preview the showcase at the home of Manchester United.
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Former Wigan superstar Sam Tomkins aims to cause one last upset against his boyhood club in this Saturday’s title-deciding Super League Grand Final. 

Tomkins, who grew up in Wigan and won three Grand Finals there, will be part of a Catalans Dragons team aiming to make history as the first non-English team to win the league’s top prize.

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A serious knee injury nearly ended his career at the start of this season, but instead Tomkins – who will lace up his boots for the last time this weekend – will be “able to finish on the biggest stage.” 

Sam Tomkins celebrates winning the Grand Final with Wigan back in 2013Sam Tomkins celebrates winning the Grand Final with Wigan back in 2013
Sam Tomkins celebrates winning the Grand Final with Wigan back in 2013

His stunning try in the dying moments of last Friday’s play-off with St Helens kept their hopes of bringing the trophy to France alive, winning 12-6. 

"The fairytale ending isn’t playing on Saturday, it’s winning on Saturday," said Tomkins, who played in Catalans’ only previous Grand Final, a loss to St Helens in 2021.

"For 80 minutes we're competitors: we play the sport to win. I know my friends very well and they're just as competitive as me so for 80 minutes it will be a battle but after it will be friends again.”

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Warriors had a much easier route to the biggest game of this season, cruising past fourth-place Hull Kingston Rovers 42-12 in their play-off. 

Local boy and head coach Matt Peet will lead the club out in front of 55,000 spectators at a packed Old Trafford on Saturday night.

He said: "I'm really proud of the group we’ve got, proud of the lads, proud of the team and proud of the club. So for me to get the privilege of walking out besides Faz [captain Liam Farrell] – it’s quite humbling.”

Wigan head coach Matt Peet Wigan head coach Matt Peet
Wigan head coach Matt Peet

Peet is only in his second season managing the club and has now brought it to its first Grand Final since 2020. 

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He said: “To get to a Grand Final and compete against a very outstanding team is another step in the right direction. It shows more consistency and that is what every club and every coach is looking for.”

The two teams finished first and second in the league this year, with Wigan just pipping Catalans and winning their last meeting 34-0 in August. But Peet insists the weight of history – including five Grand Final victories – doesn’t sit too heavily on the Warriors’ shoulders. 

He said: “It doesn’t weigh, if anything you reflect on it, you take lessons from it. There’s a lot to pick through and learn from the outstanding players and the players that were behind the scenes.” 

Tomkins’ old teammate Liam Farrell captains the side and said they’ve been in touch ahead of Saturday’s battle.

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He said: “We spoke a little after they got the win [on Friday], I told him he’s still got it and he gave me a cheeky text back this afternoon as well. He just said we look forward to seeing each other next week. He deserves to go out on a Grand Final. He has shown how much he is an unbelievable player across his career.  At the same time, we will show him the ultimate respect by showing him the best of us."

Ahead of hanging up his boots Tomkins said: "This sport has given me everything that I've got in my life, so it's a sport that I can hand on heart say I've given 100% to and I hope that's how I get remembered.” 

Meanwhile Catalans coach Steve McNamara said lessons have been learned from their devastating Grand Final loss in 2021. 

He said: “We actually probably played very good – but not good enough. To win a Grand Final you have to be excellent, you have to be at the top of your game.”

The BetFred Super League Grand Final kicks off at Old Trafford at 6pm on Saturday. 

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