There are no prizes for guessing who the standout team in the Super League this season has been. St Helens have been dominant and are staking claims for being one of the best teams the league has ever seen. In order to go down in history though, they need silverware to show for it, with the Grand Final their biggest target this season at Old Trafford.
Saints are set to finish the regular season top of the standings, which will earn them the Leaders’ Shield. They will be hoping to add to that with the Challenge Cup and Grand Final crown. Here are three reasons why they are likely to be lifting silverware at the end of the campaign.
Justin Holbrook’s Departure
Head coach Justin Holbrook has announced he will be leaving St Helens at the end of the current season where he will then move back to Australia to take up the coaching role at the Gold Coast Titans in the NRL. Holbrook has his work cut out next year as the Titans are the bottom of the table in what has been a disappointing campaign in Australia where the Sydney Roosters have been tipped to win the Grand Final and can be backed at 2/1 in the NRL betting.
🗣️ "He's done wonders, not only for the playing group but for the club as well."
😇 Kyle Amor explains the impact Justin Holbrook has made on and off the field at St Helens.
— Sky Sports RL (@SkySportsRL) August 8, 2019
Holbrook is in his third year with the Merseyside club and his building process is paying off this year. The Australian will be desperate to finish the season on a high to ensure his legacy at the club is remembered. Equally so, the players all look to love playing for their coach so they will have the extra motivation of wanting to deliver the big trophies.
Top Spot Sealed Going Into Play-Offs
Without stating the obvious, finishing top of the table at the end of the regular season is a huge advantage for St Helens as they will go straight into the semi-final with home advantage against the quarter-final winners. If they come through that tie, they will head straight to the Grand Final for the first time since beating Wigan in 2014, while, even if they lose, they get a second go in the preliminary final. Saints are now odds-on at 8/11 to win the Grand Final so the bookmakers certainly feel as though they are going to take some beating in the play-offs.
Tommy Makinson On Course For Best Season Of His Career
Just in case you don't know who the RLIF Golden Boot winner is 😉
THIS. IS. TOMMY. MAKINSON 💪 pic.twitter.com/FxRZ1TLDsa
— England Rugby League (@England_RL) November 9, 2018
It’s difficult to name a standout player for St Helens this season, however, a strong case can be made for Tommy Makinson. The 2018 Golden Boot winner has scored 19 tries so far this season and is second to only Salford’s Niall Evalds in the try standings. There is a good chance Makinson could finish the campaign with his highest tally, which he recorded in 2014 when he finished with 27 tries. The England international has the experience to help his side in crucial moments in the play-offs and Challenge Cup final so expect his numbers to continue at the back end of the year.
St Helens fans have enjoyed themselves so far in 2019 and they will be hoping they will be celebrating one of their best ever years in October.