Heads or tails
Phil Clarke believes that the only way to call a Super League Grand Final winner is by flipping a coin!
Last Updated: 03/10/08 2:35pm
The winning culture and mindset present at the club for the last few years makes St Helens hard to beat.
Knowing what it takes to win cannot be bought, but has to be earned.
Saints have suffered pain, paid the price and have the knowledge. They haven't lost in their last 18 games in Super League which has almost brainwashed them into believing that they are going to win again.
That level of belief is worth six points in any match. They are by far the best team at scoring when they get to within 10m of their opponents' tryline.
But Leeds are the only team to win at St Helens this year, and with memories of last year's Grand Final flashed in front of them this week, they also have some belief.
Overall, they are the fastest team in Super League and have scored more tries from their own half than any other team. This speed makes them a threat from every inch of the Old Trafford pitch.
They also boast the best goal line defence in 2008 and have been able to prevent their opponents from scoring when they're camped on their own tryline. This is crucial if you want to compete with St Helens.
As for the men who are going to make a difference, I could write 100 words on all 34 with such a galaxy of talent on show.
However I'm going to single out two men. I still believe that despite the speed and skill that we see in Super League, it's the battle for supremacy in the middle of the field that still lays the foundation for success.
Which is why Jamie Peacock v James Graham is the crucial, individual game taking place within a game.
St Helens know that they need to stop the England captain. If he charges and makes ground, the rest of the Rhinos will run harder and tackle stronger. If he can be stopped, you puncture a hole in their fuel tank.
As the winner of the Man of Steel this week, I expect that James Graham will look bullet proof when he takes the ball forward. Only one of the men can come out on top and I think he will be the one in the winning team.
I've got a special coin which is red on one side and blue on the other. I'll toss it up in the air and see which side lands on top. This is too close to predict with any accuracy or certainty and your guess is as good as mine...but it's just come up red.