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St Helens’ Matty Lees proud of “special moment” after being “hit worst” with injuries

St Helens 2022 campaign somewhat defied logic. The Champions returned to the top of the Super League table after missing out on that accolade over the last two years and are set to battle for a fourth consecutive Super League title at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Now, you’d expect this from the Saints but what makes this odd is the fact the Champions have had to do it tough with injuries in 2022.

From Round One, it’s been a tough year for the Champions injury wise with Regan Grace missing the start of the year and Will Hopoate in and out of the side.

Sione Mata’utia has had been in and out of the team whilst Mark Percival only just returned to the team last week after a long injury lay off.

Star halfback Lewis Dodd’s season was ended on Good Friday after a superb start to the campaign and now star forward Alex Walmsley will miss the Grand Final and the World Cup.

So, to finish top and be set for a Grand Final somewhat defies logic in terms of it is traditionally the team with the best injury luck who wins the trophies.

This shows the strength of the squad and no doubt added to the special moment for the Champions on Saturday when they booked their place in a fourth consecutive Grand Final.

After the game prop Matty Lees, who stood up brilliantly in Walmsley’s absence, spoke about the achievement: “It’s a real special moment, you don’t come across them too often.

“There’s a lot of games to get through and we’ve done really well this year just knocking them off one by one and our main aim first of all was winning the League Leaders’ Shield and now hopefully we can kick on and win the Grand Final.”

He went on to emphasise the injury problems Saints have faced believing they’ve been hit the worst throughout the year: “It’s been a tough year for all of us, we speak about injuries, I think we’ve probably been hit the worst throughout the year but we’ve managed to cope with it.”

It’s a valid argument and adds to the achievement of reaching the Grand Final for him and his teammates.

Opponents Leeds should also be praised for succeeding despite injuries. They’ll be without David Fusitu’a, Harry Newman, Ash Handley and Aidan Sezer on Saturday.

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