Match Preview – St Helens vs Leeds

On Saturday, St Helens and Leeds meet to decide the Super League title

Talking points, team news and everything you need to know ahead of Saturday’s Betfred Super League grand final between St Helens and Leeds Rhinos, live on Sky Sports…

Meet the finalists

St. Helens

Head Coach: Christian Woolf.

Captain: James Roby.

Super League Season 2022: Finished first, won the shield of league leaders.

Route to the Grand Final: Semi-finals – beat Salford Red Devils 19-12 (H).

Super League titles: Nine – 1996 (finished top), 1999, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2014, 2019, 2020, 2021 (plus seven pre-Super League championships).

Watch St Helens' best tries ahead of their Grand Final clash with Leeds Rhinos.

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Watch St Helens’ best tries ahead of their Grand Final clash with Leeds Rhinos.

Watch St Helens’ best tries ahead of their Grand Final clash with Leeds Rhinos.

Leeds Rhinos

Head Coach: Rohan Smith.

Captain: Cruise Leeming.

Super League Season 2022: Finished fifth.

Route to the Grand Final: Eliminators – defeated Catalans Dragons 20:10 (A); Semi Finals – Defeated Wigan Warriors 20-8 (A).

Super League titles: Eight – 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017 (plus three pre-Super League championships).

Watch Leeds Rhinos' best tries ahead of their Grand Final clash with St Helens.

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Watch Leeds Rhinos’ best tries ahead of their Grand Final clash with St Helens.

Watch Leeds Rhinos’ best tries ahead of their Grand Final clash with St Helens.

A big final important read

The excitement builds for Roby in his quest for four in a row

When it comes to the Super League Grand Final, there are few people better equipped to lead their team into the big game than James Roby.

The St Helens captain will be making his 10th appearance when the Saints take on Leeds on Saturday and will be aiming for their sixth championship ring, not to mention an attempt to guide the team to an unprecedented fourth consecutive success.

Even after all those previous grand finals, Roby feels the same way about preparing for the game, but knows that he and his teammates must strike a balance between enjoying it and focusing on the job at hand if they want to raise their game. title again.

“You never get rid of the nervous excitement and anticipation,” Roby said. “It’s such a big game and that’s all anyone talks about at first.

St Helens star Curtis Sironen is confident they will beat Leeds on Saturday and win their fourth straight grand final.

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St Helens star Curtis Sironen is confident they will beat Leeds on Saturday and win their fourth straight grand final.

St Helens star Curtis Sironen is confident they will beat Leeds on Saturday and win their fourth straight grand final.

“As soon as you win that semi-final, everyone goes crazy for tickets and all they can talk about is the second final. It probably helps to be part of it earlier, but you never get bored.

“It’s always a huge privilege to come and play and be a part of that and luckily for us we’ve been a part of that for the last couple of years.

“Obviously we want to do it again on Saturday and we know there’s four things in a row hanging there, but we’ve got to find a balance between going out there and performing and being ourselves and what we do in general.”

At the start of the year it looked like it would be the last hurray for Roby, but the lady’s decision to continue for another season at St Helens means she will have another season next year too.

St Helens second-row Joe Batchelor says there is no added pressure on his side as they head into the Super League grand final against Leeds, who are looking for a record fourth successive final win.

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St Helens second-row Joe Batchelor says there is no added pressure on his side as they head into the Super League grand final against Leeds, who are looking for a record fourth successive final win.

St Helens second-row Joe Batchelor says there is no added pressure on his side as they head into the Super League grand final against Leeds, who are looking for a record fourth successive final win.

Roby, who turns 37 in November, is happy not to be distracted by this final game, although he still approaches it with the fierce competitiveness he always has.

“If it was my last game, there would be a lot of questions and a lot of agonizing over it, wanting to go out in the best possible way and have a fairytale ending,” Roby said.

“It probably makes it a bit more relaxed personally, but it’s still a massive game and event and I want to win at all costs.”

Bentley relishes showdown with old club Saints

It hasn’t always been the easiest of seasons for James Bentley, but he now stands on the verge of another grand final success in his first year at Leeds.

James Bentley scores his second try of the night against Wigan.

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James Bentley scores his second try of the night against Wigan.

James Bentley scores his second try of the night against Wigan.

The second row’s time with the Rhinos got off to an inauspicious start as he was sent off in the season opener against Warrington Wolves and has now missed eight games this year through suspension.

But he has turned things around with his team in the second half of this season and it was his two tries in a 20-8 away semi-final victory over runners-up Wigan Warriors that set the stage for a meeting with the club he left at the end of last season, St Helens, at Old Trafford.

“I’m fancy,” Bentley said Sky Sports. “If you had asked me at the start of the season who I would have liked to face in the grand final, I would have said Saints.

“Obviously when you play against your mates you know what they’re going to do and you go into each other, but I just have to stay cool and not overboil.

Jamie Jones-Buchanan has hailed the turnaround at Leeds Rhinos this season and how manager Rohan Smith has brought out the players' potential.

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Jamie Jones-Buchanan has hailed the turnaround at Leeds Rhinos this season and how manager Rohan Smith has brought out the players’ potential.

Jamie Jones-Buchanan has hailed the turnaround at Leeds Rhinos this season and how manager Rohan Smith has brought out the players’ potential.

“It would be very special. This is the team I grew up supporting, so it doesn’t get much better than that.”

Bentley’s rise in fortunes has mirrored that of the Rhinos, with the team emerging from the fight against relegation to now sit 80 minutes away from a first grand final triumph since 2017 after only securing a play-off spot on the final day of play. regular season.

Head coach Rohan Smith, who joined the club in May as Richard Agar’s permanent successor, has been widely praised for the turnaround at Leeds that has taken them close to a ninth Super League title and the Australian will be hoping for a big boost in the final.

“Leeds fans last week [away to Wigan] were unbelievable, so when you think about it, it’s going to be a massive week,” Smith told Sky Sports. “It’s a privilege to be a part of the day.”

McDermott: How to win the grand final

Sky Sports rugby league expert and 2004 champion Barrie McDermott shares his top tips for winning the Super League Grand Final.

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Sky Sports rugby league expert and 2004 champion Barrie McDermott shares his top tips for winning the Super League Grand Final.

Sky Sports rugby league expert and 2004 champion Barrie McDermott shares his top tips for winning the Super League Grand Final.

Team news

St Helens manager Kristian Woolf returns to Morgan Knowles’ squad after his two-match ban was overturned. Dan Norman returns to the starting 21 on Thursday after suffering a fractured cheekbone.

Will Hopoate is also a chance to feature for the Saints after being sidelined after round 24 of the regular season with injury.

Rhyse Martin makes a welcome return for Leeds after serving his suspension and Ash Handley is 50-50 after being included in the 21 following a foot injury.

Rhinos are without Jack Walker, David Fusitu, Harry Newman, Aidan Sezer, Morgan Gannon and Tom Holroyd through injury.

St Helens: Jack Welsby, Tommy Makinson, Will Hopoate, Mark Percival, Jonny Lomax, James Roby, Matty Lees, Sione Mata’utia, Joe Batchelor, Morgan Knowles, Joey Lussick, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Curtis Sironen, Agnatius Paasi, James Wingfield 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.