Ex-St Helens man opens up on vital positional switch and 2014 Grand Final plan

In the shadow of Ben Flower’s controversial punch which ended Lance Hohaia’s Grand Final within minutes as well as Flower’s as he was sent off, it is forgotten that Saints had to conjure up a herculean effort to defeat Wigan despite the fact the Warriors were down to 12.

This is because they were already struck by injury going into the decider with forward Mark Flanagan filling in the halves as the likes of Luke Walsh and Jonny Lomax sat out injured.

Speaking earlier this year, Flanagan reflected on the role he played as Saints marched onto Grand Final success:

“I’ve always fancied myself as a ball player and there wasn’t much to lose. If I didn’t come up with the goods, there wasn’t much expectations on me and the game plan I had was quite simple. I wasn’t playing like a stereotypical halfback with the responsibility split between two of us rather than three of us with Jordan Turner as a ball playing 13.

“I loved it, it wasn’t easy. I was doing a lot of extra training and video to work on things that didn’t always come naturally to me. It was a special time in my career.”

He went on to reveal that the Saints had a game plan to play to their strengths:

“We just felt like if we played to our strengths we do it. We went through the middle a lot more which was one of our strengths. We just did that, we defended really well and just played through the middle of park.”

He also picked out the key man for the Saints that day: “The star of the day that day was James Roby, and low and behold he’s still doing it.”

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