Finally back on the grandest stage once more, St Helens have learnt their lessons according to captain James Roby.
His side stand on the brink of their first Betfred Super League title triumph in five years with only Salford Red Devils able to stop them from ending the wait.
The past two seasons have been of particular disappointment for Roby’s side with narrow semi-final defeats to Castleford Tigers and Warrington Wolves stopping them in their tracks so close but yet so far with the title in sight.
Now back at the final hurdle once again, St Helens are fully motivated by hauntings from the past and ready to make their mark on a stage they feel they belong on, if you ask Roby.
“It’s nice to be back in the Grand Final, it’s been five years which is a bit too long for a team like St Helens,” Roby said.
“We’re back where we belong in my opinion and hopefully we get the chance to lift the trophy on Saturday night.
“I’d like to think we’ve learnt a few lessons over the years and learnt some lessons from missing out recently. We’ve all got to use that as an incentive.
“The consistency and ethos has got us through all year and I’d like to think those things will get us the trophy on Saturday.”
Saints have enjoyed a remarkable season, losing only three times and finishing 16 points ahead of second place Wigan Warriors as they stormed their way to the League Leaders’ Shield.
They did, however, win the League Leaders’ Shield last season which ended up proving of little significance when it came to the play-offs.
With this in mind, Roby is taking nothing for granted but admits giving departing boss Justin Holbrook the best possible send-off would be incredible.
He added: “We’ve been very consistent throughout the year and we deserve to be here, we take confidence from our ability but we know sport can be cruel at times and if we don’t turn up on Saturday night then that consistency won’t really matter.
“We finished the season 16 points clear which is a huge achievement and not enough has been said about it in my opinion but the way the league is, that doesn’t mean we’re the champions.
“It’s black or white, we win or we lose. If we want to cement our reputation we need to do it with a win.
“Hopefully we give Justin the perfect send-off, he’s a great coach and he’s done a fantastic job over the last two and a half years.”
St Helens will be met with not only Salford but also the phenomenon surrounding the Red Devils following their incredible underdog rise in 2019, another factor that makes Roby wary of the threat they pose on Saturday.
Roby added: “Salford fully deserve to be where they are. They’ve collected wins and climbed the table, there’s a big storyline behind them but by no means is it surprising and by no means is it distracting for us as a group.
“Watching them against Wigan the other night, they proved they can turn up on the big games when they need to so we know what they’re capable of and we won’t be underestimating them.”
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