Kick-off: 1800, 24/09/2022
Stadium: Old Trafford
TV: Sky Sports
St Helens are tipped to complete a record-breaking double by beating Leeds in Saturday’s Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford.
If victorious, Saints will become the first team to win four straight deciders and edge 9-8 ahead of the Rhinos in terms of overall triumphs.
We’re taking 8/5 for Kristian Woolf’s side to prevail by 1-12 points for our initial 2022 Super League Grand Final prediction.
St Helens Odds
Saints were the league’s outstanding team during the regular season, finishing four points clear of Wigan at the top of the table.
They didn’t have things all their own way in the semis, though, with Salford pushing them right to the wire.
The Red Devils rallied from 12-0 down to trail just 13-12 in the second half and were arguably unfortunate not to be awarded a penalty try when 19-12 behind late on.
However, Joe Batchelor’s brace of tries, a touch down from Jon Bennison, three conversions by Tommy Makinson and a Jonny Lomax drop goal sent the champions to Old Trafford once more.
Saints will be without some key players, with the likes of Regan Grace and Alex Walmsley out injured, but loose forward Morgan Knowles winning his appeal against suspension was a big boost.
Proven winners such as James Roby, Lomax, Makinson and Mark Percival will stand them in good stead.
The desire is there to send outstanding coach Woolf off with a win, as he bids for a third personal success before returning to Australia’s NRL for 2023.
“He’s put his stamp on the club and hopefully we can send him off the right way,” declared Lomax.
“You dream about being involved in the big games and we’re there again. We’ve one more week with him and he’s one more week with us.”
Looking at the 17/20 for fast-starting Saints to be ahead at half-time and full-time is a solid selection.
Leeds Rhinos Odds
Leeds got off to an awful start this term, winning just one of their first nine Super League fixtures, as well as being thrashed by Castleford in the Challenge Cup.
The Rhinos were beaten 26-0 and 42-12 by Saints during the regular season but went on a cracking run after the second of those defeats.
Nine wins in 11 matches saw them finish fifth in the table and Catalans Dragons were then beaten 20-10 in France in the play-offs.
Even more impressive was a 20-8 drubbing of Wigan in the semis, when becoming the first team to beat the Warriors at DW Stadium all year.
The Rhinos held firm in the face of sustained first-half pressure to only trail 4-2 at the interval.
Jarrod O’Connor scored his first try for the club four minutes into the second half and former St Helens second-rower James Bentley added two more in a superb rally.
Head coach Rohan Smith has helped to inspire the turnaround and said of the win versus Wigan: “I feel there is belief in the group that we could find our way through it.
“Our goal-line defence has been very good for a period of time now, there is a lot of trust and belief. Everyone was calm and relaxed and doing their job.”
Leeds have failed to beat Saints in their last 11 meetings, but can take heart from having won all four past Grand Final head-to-head encounters.
However, being without influential half-back Aidan Sezer due to concussion is a significant blow.
This should still be a tight tussle, though, so 12/5 for either team to land a drop goal is our final St Helens vs Leeds Rhinos prediction.
ST HELENS 19-12 Salford
Wigan 8-20 LEEDS
Head-to-head: St Helens 42-12 Leeds, Leeds 0-26 St Helens,
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