Wigan Warriors, Warrington Wolves, Catalans Dragons and others are still dreaming of dethroning St Helens and ending their four year reign as Super League Champions.
For a long time it looked like Saints’ reign was all but over as they struggled with injuries and suspensions and struggled for form after their World Club Challenge win over Penrith Panthers.
Their season reached a real low against Leigh Leopards in the Challenge Cup semi-final but they have been impeccable since the adversity catalysed by that defeat.
It is this disappointment that appears to be driving the club at the end of the year and their experience and momentum could very well lead them to a fifth title in a row.
Paul Wellens himself summed it up the best on BBC Radio Merseyside:
“I just think, off the back of disappointment, you’ve got a choice to make, whether you allow that frustration to eat you up or you allow it to affect the performance.
“This group of players have chosen that they’re going to use that as a motivator, to channel the disappointment in the right way. And off the back of that, particularly losing players as well, and losing players in the manner that we did, really galvanised the group.
“Despite missing players, we managed to roll it out on a weekend and perform with a commitment to look out for each other. We firmly believe that that’s the biggest contributor to being successful at the back end of the year.”
The fact no one wants them to win a fifth in a row as well is great motivation:
“We know that there’s a lot of people involved in rugby that don’t like seeing the same team winning. So by that notion, sitting there and not wanting us to be successful this year, we’ve got a problem.
“No team has got any God-given right to be successful year on year. We know it’s something that we’re going to have to work really hard for. And each year the challenge becomes bigger. So it’s something that we’re aware of.
“Winning a Super League title is important every year. Every year that I’ve been at this club, you get on the starting blocks and that’s a goal of ours. But obviously, in recent years, and managing to win four in a row, every year you’ve got the opportunity to achieve something that nobody’s achieved before. So that’s obviously a motivating factor for us as well.