History is beckoning St Helens once again.
They’re set to play in a fourth consecutive Grand Final this weekend knowing full well that a win would make them the most successful side in Grand Finals with nine wins in 14 Grand Final appearances. Meanwhile, it would also set a new record for consecutive Super League titles with four toppling the record originally set by opponents Leeds who equally could become the Grand Final’s most successful side with a ninth Grand Final success in their 11th decider.
A truly fascinating Grand Final, the star of the show very well could be Jonny Lomax. Remarkably still without a Man of Steel or a Harry Sunderland Award, he always steps up on the biggest stage as he did in the semi-final win over Salford last week when his short kicking game devastated the Red Devils whilst his drop goal proved crucial in the 19-12 win as he picked up the Man of the Match.
He’s a player who perhaps doesn’t get the credit he deserves which is something his coach Kristian Woolf hinted at after the game: “A lot of other players get a lot of credit, but I think you’d find it hard going passed someone who does it more consistently than he has. He’s playing a different position this year. He’s used to being a six and having someone else to do the dirty work, this year he’s doing the dirty work and taken a hit for the team.
“He’s playing with a busted bicep which most blokes wouldn’t play with and he played the next weekend.
“We get caught up in the best halfback or the best five-eighth, I don’t want anyone else in my team.”
So, Woolf wouldn’t “want anyone else” in his team other than Lomax. Of course, Woolf is off to Australia and though it’s unlikely Lomax as a life long Saint would follow him there, I think it’s safe to say that Woolf would no doubt wish he would.
After all, he went on to say that Lomax “would be an outstanding NRL player” noting that he and other Saints stars have rejected the NRL countless times: “I think Jonny would be an outstanding NRL player but on the same note one of the things I love about this group is so many of them, Jonny and Matty Lees being two of them, have had so many opportunities to go to the NRL but there’s something really special about being a Saints player.”