Leeds Rhinos journey to the Grand Final is one of the greatest stories in Super League history.
That’s certainly the verdict of Sky Sports pundit Terry O’Connor who yesterday on Sky Sports News previewing today’s Grand Final reflected on Leeds’ journey to the final and the fact that 92% of fans didn’t believe Leeds would make the play-offs when new boss Rohan Smith took over when the Rhinos were struggling in a relegation battle.
He said: “When he got the job we ran a poll on Sky Sports, ‘will they make the play-offs’ and 92% of people said they wouldn’t and probably the majority of Leeds fans didn’t believe they would make the play-offs.
“His attention to detail, the way he handles the players, the way they respect him. I look back to Round 20 against Wigan, that was a turning point for Leeds Rhinos. They’ve been playing knockout rugby since then.
“They go to Catalans and beat them, they go to Wigan who hadn’t been beaten at home all year. You wouldn’t believe it.”
But do Leeds have the tools to beat St Helens today. Well for O’Connor, he knows it will be a hurculean task for the Rhinos but believes Leeds are “well equipped” and “confident.”
“It’s going to be massive regarding who is going to be playing and who isn’t going to be playing, this Leeds side is well equipped and well prepared but they’re playing against a Champion team. They want to send Kristian Woolf out on a high and have class players on the field.
“But Leeds look pretty confident.”
O’Connor will probably be hoping Leeds do get the job done with his son Jarrod playing for the Rhinos and when it came to his prediction he differed with Love Island star Jacques O’Neill as he tipped the Rhinos to win.
Terry will be playing a big role in today’s Grand Final delivering the trophy before kick-off.