Talk points, team news and everything you need to know ahead of Saturday’s Betfred Super League Final between St Helens and Leeds Rhinos, live on Sky Sports…
Meet the finalists
Head Coach: Kristian Woolf.
Captain: James Roby.
2022 Super League season: Finish first, win League Leaders’ Shield.
Route to the Finals: Semifinals – beat the Salford Reds 19-12 (H).
Super League titles: Nine – 1996 (top of the table), 1999, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2014, 2019, 2020, 2021 (Plus seven championships before the Super League).
Head Coach: Rohan Smith.
Captain: Kruise Leeming.
2022 Super League season: Completed Thursday.
Route to the Finals: Elimination – beat Catalans Dragons 20-10 (A); Semifinals – beat Wigan Warriors 20-8 (A).
Super League titles: 8 – 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017 (Plus 3 championships before the Super League).
Last important reading
Excitement builds for Roby in a four-man mission in a row
When it comes to the Super League Finals, there are few people better equipped to lead their team into a big game than James Roby.
The St Helens captain will appear in the showdown for the 10th time when the Saints face Leeds on Saturday and is aiming for his sixth win ring, not to mention trying to lead the team to success. unprecedented fourth in a row.
Even after all the Finals before that, Roby felt the same feelings in the build-up to the game but knew he and his teammates had to strike a balance between enjoying it and practicing. focus on the job at hand if they want to lift the headlines again.
“You never escape excitement and anticipation,” says Roby. “It was a big game and that’s all anyone can say about the lead.
“As soon as you win that semi-final, people go crazy over the ticket and all they can say about another final. It might help you before, but it never get boring.
“It’s always been a huge privilege to come and be a part, and fortunately for us we’ve been a part of it over the past few years.
“Obviously we want to do it again on Saturday and we know that four things in a row are dangling there, but we have to strike a balance between going out there and performing, being ourselves and do what we normally do.”
At the start of the year, it looked like this would be the last hurdle for Roby, but the player’s decision to go on for another season with St Helens means he will still have one more to go. win the title next year.
Roby, who turns 37 in November, is happy that this is his last, though he will still approach it with the same fierce competitiveness he always has.
“If it’s my last game, there’s going to be a lot of questions and press around that, I want to get on the pitch in the best way possible and end up like a fairy tale,” Roby said.
“It might make it a little more relaxing personally, but it’s still a big game and holiday and I want to win it anyway.”
Bentley enjoys duel with old club Saints
It hasn’t always been the easiest season for James Bentley, but he is now on the verge of claiming another Finals success in his first year with Leeds.
His time in the second row with Rhinos began confusingly when he was sent off in the opening game of the season against Warrington Wolves and he has missed eight games this year due to suspension.
But, with his team, he turned the ball around in the second half of this season and it was his two efforts in a 20-8 win over second-placed Wigan Warriors in the semifinals, set set up a meeting with the club he left at the end of last season, St Helens, at Old Trafford.
“I was made,” says Bentley Sports sky. “If you asked me at the beginning of the season who I wanted to face in the Finals, I would say Saint.
“Obviously when you’re playing with your partner you know what they’re going to do, and you guys rush into each other, but I just have to stay calm and not boil over.
“It’s going to be very special. It’s the team I grew up supporting so it won’t get any better than that.”
The increase in Bentley’s fortunes has mirrored Rhinos’ fortunes, with the team having risen from the battle against relegation to now stand 80 minutes from winning its first Final since 2017 after only won a spot in the playoffs on the last day of the regular season.
Head coach Rohan Smith, who joined the club in May as Richard Agar’s long-term successor, had plenty of praise for the change Leeds has brought them to within touching distances. to her ninth Super League title, and the Australian is heading for a big favor in the final.
“Leeds fans last week [away to Wigan] It’s unbelievable, so think this week it’s going to be huge,” Smith told Sky Sports. It would be a privilege to be a part of today. “
McDermott: How to Win the Finals
St Helens head coach Kristian Woolf will bring Morgan Knowles back to the team after his two-match ban was overturned, with Dan Norman returning to the original 21-team named on Thursday following a fracture cheekbone.
Will Hopoate also has a chance to play for the Saints after being sidelined with injury since Round 24 of the regular season.
Rhyse Martin will return to Leeds after suspension and Ash Handley is rated 50-50 after he features in the 21st team following a leg injury.
Rhinos is without Jack Walker, David Fusitu’a, Harry Newman, Aidan Sezer, Morgan Gannon and Tom Holroyd due to injuries.
St Helens: Jack Welsby, Tommy Makinson, Will Hopoate, Mark Percival, Jonny Lomax, James Roby, Matty Lees, Sione Mata’utia, Joe Batc started, Morgan Knowles, Joey Lussick, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Curtis Sironen, Agnatius Paasi, Jake Wingfield, James Bell, Josh Simm, Ben Davies, Konrad Hurrell, Dan Norman, Jon Bennison.
Leeds Rhinos: Liam Sutcliffe, Ash Handley, Blake Austin, Mikolaj Oledzki, Kruise Leeming, Matt Prior, James Bentley, Rhyse Martin, Zane Tetevano, Brad Dwyer, Richi Myler, Cameron Smith, Bodene Thompson, Tom Briscoe, Sam Walters, Jarrod O’Connor, James Donaldson, Muizz Mustapha, Liam Tindall, Jack Sinfield, Zak Hardaker.