Warrington want it just as much
Today’s Challenge Cup Final has all the markings of being Leeds Rhinos’ day. Their first Challenge Cup final for five years (since losing to Hull in 2005) and their first visit to the new Wembley Stadium (their last two finals were played at Cardiff’s Millenium Stadium) , it’s all set up for Brian McLennan’s side to win their first Challenge Cup for 11 years.
Warrington Wolves, by contrast, are at Wembley for the second consecutive year, having taken the 2009 final against Hudderfield. An improving team under Tony Smith, they sit five points clear of Leeds in the Engage Super League with two games to go. So, in a sense, the 2010 Challenge Cup final has more riding on it for the Rhinos, who have suffered after a poor start to the season]. Saturday, then, is all set up to be a Leeds day.
But, travel on the London Underground and there’s a chance you’ll change your mind. That’s because, currently displaying on the walls of vast tube network are several different posters designed by Warrington Borough Council to boost the town’s business . Each one, quite remarkably, has a picture of a Wolves player and a rugby league related tag, such as ‘Try Warrington’.
A bit strange don’t you think? A bit peculiar to have a marketing ploy so dominated by pictures of a rugby league team?. Isn’t it a bit like Portsmouth (a similar size as Warrington) just promoting the South coast town with pictures of Michael Brown (never a good idea)? Or Solihull (another town with roughly 200,000 inhabitants) just putting greyhounds on their borough council posters?
Actually no. Because to say that would be to underestimate the extent to which Warrington is a rugby league town. Only by looking at the rugby league influenced posters dotted around the London underground do you get an idea of how much rugby league and the Wolves mean to Warrington. Only by looking at the posters proudly proclaiming Wolves past success can you possibly graps how much they will want their side to win on Saturday.
So how apt it is that many Warrington fans will walk past the posters on their way to Wembley Stadium. You don’t need to ask them to ‘Try Warrington’, it’s in their blood.