Justin Holbrook believes that the Super League title is St Helens’ to lose as he prepares to find out who his side will face in the Grand Final.
The second-most successful club in the competition’s history, Saints are nevertheless without a crown since 2014 – a record that Holbrook and co are desperate to put right when Old Trafford plays host to the showpiece on Saturday 12 October.
And, having gone unbeaten on home soil all season long, blitzing the league standings as they beat out second-placed Wigan Warriors by 16 points, the Australian coach knows all that is needed is one more decent display.
“We’re a confident side but we’ve got no egos and we’re not arrogant,” he said.
“We’ve played well all year, we knew that, and I made it clear going into the game that if we play well, we’ll win – it’s that simple.
“We don’t have to try anything different, that’s the best thing about the group: we’re all clear on our roles.
“We had a good result last week, but we’re not getting carried away with that, we’ve got to do it again.
“They don’t give you a trophy for playing well in the semi-final, they give it to you for the Grand Final.
“It would be disappointing (to lose), there’s no getting around that. If we haven’t won it, it’s because we haven’t performed on the night.
“We want to win the Super League trophy, that’s why we play the game. “
After downing fierce rivals Wigan in the semi-finals, the side are afforded a fortnight’s rest before the Grand Final, as the Warriors and Salford Red Devils do battle for a spot in the final.
And with narratives aplenty surrounding the game whatever that match-up proves to be, Holbrook cannot separate the two as he prepares to go undercover in the DW Stadium on Friday to find out his team’s fate live and in the flesh.
“I honestly don’t know (who I would prefer),” he continued.
“Even going into this week’s game, I think it’s even – it’s just whoever plays better on the night. I think they’re both dangerous, even.
“It’ll be a close game between the two. If we play Wigan it’s our biggest rival, a huge occasion: a huge occasion on Grand Final day, nothing better than that.
“If Salford get through it’s the big fairy-tale finish, and every neutral fan will be going for them.
“You talk about it being our 11th Grand Final, but we haven’t been there for five years, so it’s about going there and winning it. It feels disappointing when you talk about the history, and we’ve got an opportunity to change that.
“We know how much it means to the town, that’s the beauty of the responsibility. Football’s massive in this country, and here it’s split, but in St Helens it’s all Rugby League.”
The Betfred Super League Grand Final is the biggest night in Super League and takes place at Old Trafford, the iconic home of Manchester United on Saturday 12 October (6pm KO). Secure your seat by visiting https://www.superleague.co.uk/tickets/grand-final