Saints legend Paul Sculthorpe previews the champions’ Betfred Super League play-off eliminator against Warrington at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Saturday afternoon (12:45).
I was praying for miracles on Friday evening. Unfortunately, they weren’t answered as both Wigan and Catalans won their final round games, meaning Saints finished third and missed out on a week off and an automatic home semi-final.
In fairness to the boys, they took care of what they could control and beat Hull FC 30-12, but unfortunately that wasn’t enough.
Instead, we now have to do it – it being retaining our Betfred Super League crown for the 5th year in a row – the hard way.
This Saturday, Paul Wellens’ team face Warrington at the Totally Wicked Stadium in an eliminator tie that sees two iconic Saints play their final-ever home game.
Namely, everybody’s favourite cockney Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and the one and only James Roby lace up their boots one last time in front of the Saints faithful.
LMS, who’s in his 13th season here, has been an incredible servant, both on and off the pitch. Good luck to the guys and girls at Greater Manchester Fire Brigade, which is where Louie will be joining after his RL career ends. They don’t know what they’re in for!
Robes, meanwhile, bows out on his 20th season as a one-club man. What a career he’s had. Words just don’t do justice to the man. We just better make space for another statue somewhere!
I’m sure the team is focused on making sure this isn’t their final time in the Red V, with the Grand Final at Old Trafford on October 14 in their sights.
But first, it’s the Wolves standing in our way. These are always nerve-wracking games and we all know our opponents are better than they’ve shown this season.
One huge boost for the champions is the surprise return of the big man Alex Walmsley, who suffered an MCL injury that was originally thought to see the end of his 2023 campaign.
The gaffer has spoken how important the England prop is and has been in the past to this team. Al’s been truly phenomenal over his 10 years at Saints and will no doubt be crucial to us hopefully getting past Warrington to set up a semi-final in France against Catalans before hopefully running out at the Theatre of Dreams.
It should be a cracker on Saturday afternoon – and I’m backing Saints to turn up on the big stage once again and win by 17 points or more.