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Come this Saturday, rugby league fans will be breathing a sigh of relief that flat track bullies Warrington and evil Wigan Warriors didnít make it to the most prestigious SuperLeague event of the year at Old Trafford. No more seeing Warrington Wolves beat the likes of Harlequins 82 - 6 or watching Wigan Warriors using Melbourne Storm-esque anti-rugby tactics to win games. This is the business end of the season where it all gets serious, and only the serious clubs are left.
The serious clubs are led by two very serious blokes in Eamonn McManus and Gary Heatherington, who both know more than anyone, what it takes to be consistent at the top. St Helens are playing in their sixth consecutive Grand Final, whilst Leeds Rhinos are in their fourth in the same time scale. This consistency screams that class is permanent, and that form in temporary. Wigan and Warrington are merely footnotes in the essay of the modern era success of this years two Grand Finalists.
If Leeds Rhinos go on to become SuperLeague champions this Saturday then thereís no doubt in my mind that this special bunch of players will be regarded as the best in the modern era. On the day the likes of Jamie Peacock, Kevin Sinfield, Danny McGuire and Rob Burrow can each pull out a performance that is world class. This has been proved time and time again on the best stages that the club game has to offer, in the SuperLeague Grand Final and The World Club Challenge.
Finally nothing disheartens me more than to see a great rivalry coming to an end. James Graham and Ryan Bailey were pretty much central to the entertainment during the more intense years of Leeds v St Helens fixtures. The joy of seeing TMFMISL put on a smashing tackle on a Saints player once again would no doubt provoke a humorous reaction from FGB. Itíll no doubt be the best parting gift Bailey can offer to his old adversary. Good luck down under though Jammer, seriously.
Címon the Rhinos and lets beat those Saints once again!