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Warrington pick Huddersfield in SL finals

Top seeds Warrington picked League Shield winners Huddersfield on Sunday for their Super League play-off semi-final.
Warrington pick Huddersfield in SL finals
by AAP

WARRINGTON, England, Sept 22 AFP - Top seeds Warrington picked League Shield winners Huddersfield on Sunday for their Super League play-off semi-final.

As the highest ranked team in the competition, Warrington had to choose between Huddersfield, who finished top of the regular season table, or 2010 champions Wigan.

And having beaten the Giants three times already this season, it was no surprise that the Wolves plumped for Huddersfield, who will be the visitors at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Thursday.

Wigan will host Leeds in the other semi-final at the DW Stadium on Friday.

"After very careful consideration, we have decided to play Huddersfield Giants," Warrington chairman Stephen Broomhead said at the club's stadium.

"The decision was made that we would choose the winners of the Huddersfield-Hull game."

Huddersfield coach Paul Anderson, who was critical of the three-day wait to discover his side's semi-final opponents, said: "We've got a challenge now.

"Warrington obviously feel they can beat us so we've got to knuckle down and prepare for Thursday."

Although Huddersfield topped the table, they lost 22-8 to Wigan in the qualifying semi-finals, while Warrington, who finished the season second, thumped Leeds 40-20 and thus became the top seeds.

Huddersfield then crushed Hull FC 76-18 in the preliminary semi-finals, while Leeds sneaked past St Helens by a single point, 11-10.

The Wigan-Leeds tie is a repeat of the inaugural Grand Final in 1998, which was won by the Warriors.

However, the Rhinos will go to the DW Stadium with confidence, having won 20-6 there in the final match of the regular season earlier this month.

They are also the reigning champions and have won five of the last six Super League titles, including the last two despite finishing fifth in the regular season table.

Leeds coach Brian McDermott said: "We're really excited to be in this position. We went to the DW Stadium a couple of weeks ago and it was a cracking game which took a few lumps out of us. It's going to be a big ask for us."

Leeds, who beat Warrington in last season's final, have won six Grand Finals despite only topping the league twice.

Wigan did both in 2010 and alongside Bradford Bulls and St Helens are one of only four teams to have triumphed in the Grand Final.

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