Can Leeds stun St Helens? Super League Grand Final Talking Points

The Super League Grand Final takes place at Old Trafford on Saturday when defending champions St Helens take on Leeds.

Saints beat Salford to earn a place in their fourth successive final, while Leeds edged out Catalans Dragons and Wigan to reach their first showpiece since 2017.

Here, the PA news agency breaks down the talking points before the game.

Leeds is fit

Leeds beat Wigan in their semi-final (Nigel French/PA)

It has been a season of two halves for the Rhinos, who looked to be facing a battle to stay in the top flight when the teams met earlier in the season, when St Helens won 26-0 at Headingley. Since then, the Rhinos have changed coaches, with Rohan Smith now behind the wheel. The Rhinos looked like an unlikely contender to make the play-offs, but they finished the season strong, taking 11 wins from their last 13 games, including play-off wins over Wigan and Catalans. Leeds are hoping their form will lead to their first Super League title in five years.

Woolf’s Last Game

St Helens v Salford Red Devils – Betfred Super League – Semi Final – Totally Wicked Stadium

Kristian Woolf will bid farewell to St Helens after Saturday’s showpiece (Will Matthews/PA)

Kristian Woolf will return to Australia after the match after three years in charge of the Saints, overseeing one of the most successful spells in the club’s history. The 47-year-old helped win the Challenge Cup for the first time in 13 years and the Super League title in each of his first two campaigns, as St Helens look to record four successive Grand Final wins for the first time in the history of the competition. Woolf has a chance to become the first manager to win the Grand Final three times, the Australian is currently tied with Brian McDermott and Brian McLennan for two titles.

Roby equals finals record

Catalans Dragons v St Helens – Betfred Super League – Grand Final – Old Trafford

James Roby is on course for his 11th appearance in the Grand Final (Zac Goodwin/PA)

St Helens hooker James Roby has made over 500 appearances for the club and has only represented the Saints. He could equal a record set by former Leeds prop Jamie Peacock by taking part in his 11th Grand Final on Saturday. The 36-year-old has won the Super League’s most coveted prize five times (2006, 2014, 2019, 2020 and 2021), but a loss at the weekend means he could become the first man to lose six Grand Finals after having previously been in the losing St Helens team in five successive seasons between 2007 and 2011, three of those defeats against Leeds. A man of the match performance for the veteran will also see him become the first man to lift the Harry Sunderland Trophy three times.

Sutcliffe’s last appearance

Leeds Rhinos v Warrington Wolves – Betfred Super League – Headingley Stadium

Liam Sutcliffe will play his last match before moving to Hull (Will Matthews/PA)

Leeds loose striker Liam Sutcliffe is currently the club’s longest-serving player after spending the last nine years with them, having come through the youth system. But he will pack up and leave for Hull after the final buzzer on Saturday. The 27-year-old has played 221 games for the Rhinos since making his first-team debut in 2013, making 11 appearances for the club in their treble-winning 2015 campaign, and will be looking to bow out with another Grand Final winner. medal, to add to his 2017 triumph.

records will be broken

Rugby League – Engage Super League – Grand Final – Leeds Rhinos v St. Helens – Old Trafford

St Helens have equaled Leeds’ record of three consecutive Super League wins, which was set in 2009 (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)

Whether wanted or not, Saturday’s showpiece is destined to break records in the Super League. Two of the most successful teams in league history will meet and whichever team wins the award will set a new record for most Grand Final wins as both have lifted the Super League trophy eight times. times. Saints could be the first team to reach four in a row, with Leeds previously setting the record for consecutive wins in 2007, 2008 and 2009. But on the other hand, if St Helens taste defeat, it would equal the unwanted record of six defeats in the last hurdle, currently held by Wigan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.