Peacock - Saints may be rusty

Rhinos talisman happy to have played last week

Last Updated: 02/10/08 12:22pm

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Peacock: seventh Grand Final

Peacock: seventh Grand Final

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Leeds forward Jamie Peacock insists the Rhinos will be in better shape for Saturday's Grand Final than rivals St Helens.

Watch Saturday's Grand Final live on Sky Sports 1 from 5.30pm

Saints beat Leeds 38-10 two weeks ago but have only played twice in the last month. By contrast, the defending champions had to battle past Wigan in a nerve-wrenching elimination semi-final last Friday night.

Far from feeling the rest will have benefited St Helens, former Great Britain skipper Peacock reckons it is the Rhinos who will be bang on form at Old Trafford.

"I think it's a benefit for us, for sure," said Peacock. "Speaking for myself, I would not have liked to be going into the Grand Final on the back of one game.

"You tend to get a bit rusty and you don't have that cohesion that you normally have. It was good to put in a great performance against Wigan."

And Peacock says there are no emotional scars from their recent heavy defeat at Knowsley Road.

No advantage

"They will have no advantage whatsoever," he said. "As far as I'm concerned, it's fish and chip paper now.

"It's pretty easy to get over it when you've got a game the following week. The difficult one is the game coming up.

"If you lose that, that's the one that's hard to get over because you have to wait a long time to put the shirt on again.

"This is a different game and a different occasion, one we're looking forward to playing in. These are the games you play professional sport for. Old Trafford is a fantastic venue."

St Helens are the only club to have previously retained their Super League title.

They won back-to-back crowns under Shaun McRae before the advent of the play-offs, and in 2000 Ian Millward successfully masterminded the defence of the title won by his predecessor Ellery Hanley.

Achievement

Peacock, who appeared in five consecutive Grand Finals with Bradford and led them to victory on his farewell appearance at Old Trafford three years ago, believes a win on Saturday would rank alongside any other achievement in the 13 years of Super League.

"It would be fantastic," he said. "I don't think it's been done when a team has won the World Club Challenge but we'll be out there trying to achieve that goal.

"Saints are a great side but we feel we can achieve it."

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