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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 October 2007, 18:56 GMT 19:56 UK
Sinfield wants victory for Smith
Kevin Sinfield
Sinfield expects a close game on Saturday
Date: Saturday, 13 October
Kick-off: 1800 BST
Venue: Old Trafford
Live coverage on the BBC Sport website and BBC Radio 5live Highlights Sunday BBC2 1130-1210

Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield believes victory in Saturday's Super League Grand Final would provide a fitting tribute to departing coach Tony Smith.

After Saturday's finale at Old Trafford against reigning champions Saints, Smith leaves Leeds to take the Great Britain job on a full-time basis.

"We'd liked to send him off in the right way," Sinfield told BBC 5Live.

"There are other motivations - our families, the club, the fans - but let's hope we can make him happy."

Sinfield predicted Saturday's match would be a close match.

"It's two great teams and we've had three great games this year - they've all been pretty close," added Sinfield.

"The league table shows we're the best two sides in the competition and I think the fans have waited for Leeds and Saints final for a number of years.

"We're expecting a similar game - very tight and very tough.

"In the last game the defences were on top so hopefully we'll see a bit more flowing football but it's a final so both sides will be a bit cagey at the start.

"As the game opens up I'm sure it'll be a great advert for Rugby League."

Saints have named Sean Long and Maurie Fa'asavalu in their 20-man squad.

Scrum-half Long has been sidelined for more than a month with a hamstring injury and prop Fa'asavalu is suffering from a similar problem.

They both missed the win over the Rhinos earlier in the play-offs, but coach Daniel Anderson will give them until Friday to prove their fitness.

We all know about Sean Long but we also saw how good Matty Smith was against us. We're ready for both

Tony Smith

"If Longy and Maurie are available, they'll play. If they don't make it, then we roll with what we've got," said Anderson.

Leeds coach Smith has a full squad to choose from in his final match in charge.

And the Australian said he was confident that his team will be able to deal with whoever plays at scrum-half for Saints.

"We all know about Sean Long but we also saw how good Matty Smith was against us. We're ready for both," he said.

"We're pretty familiar with the opposition. This will be the fourth time we've played each other this year."

20-man squads:

St Helens: Wellens, Gardner, Gidley, Talau, Meli, Pryce, Long, Fozzard, Cunningham, Cayless, Gilmour, Wilkin, Roby, Bennett, Graham, Hargreaves, Smith, Clough, Fa'asavalu, Flannery.

Leeds: Webb, Donald, Toopi, Senior, Smith, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, Diskin, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ellis, Sinfield, Lauitiiti, Thackray, Bailey, Kirke, Ablett, Tansey, Hall.

Facts and figures:

  • St Helens have never lost in four previous Grand Finals, winning in 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2006. Leeds have played in three Grand Finals, winning in 2004 but losing in 1998 and 2005. This is the first meeting in the Super League Grand Final between the two clubs.

  • St Helens forward Jason Cayless is among the elite few who have been Grand Final winners in England and Australia. He started at prop in the Sydney Roosters side that beat New Zealand Warriors 30-8 in the 2002 Australian Grand Final. He was also a loser in 2003 and 2004. Last year he was in the St Helens side that beat Hull FC 26-4 in the Super League Grand Final.

  • St Helens utility back Leon Pryce will also be making a record-breaking seventh Grand Final appearance. In addition to his four winning appearances he was a loser with Bradford in 1999 and 2002.

  • Pryce is also in with a chance of becoming the first player to win the Harry Sunderland Trophy with two different clubs after winning it with Bradford in 2005.

  • Either Pryce or Saints full-back Paul Wellens could become the first player to win the Harry Sunderland Trophy and the Lance Todd Trophy in the same season. The duo were joint winners of the Challenge Cup final man-of-the-match award earlier this year.

  • Leeds scrum-half Rob Burrow needs one try for a career century of touchdowns for the club. His total of 99 includes two hat-tricks in 208 appearances.

  • Rhinos skipper Kevin Sinfield is on course to become the first Leeds player to play and score in every Cup and League match throughout a season.

Previous Grand Final results:

1998: Wigan 10-4 Leeds Old Trafford (Att: 43,553)
1999: St Helens 8-6 Bradford Old Trafford (50,717)
2000: St Helens 29-16 Wigan Old Trafford (58,132)
2001: Bradford 37-6 Wigan Old Trafford (60,164)
2002: St Helens 19-18 Bradford Old Trafford (61,138)
2003: Bradford 25-12 Wigan Old Trafford (65,537)
2004: Leeds 16-8 Bradford Old Trafford (65,537)
2005: Bradford 15-6 Leeds Old Trafford (65,537)
2006: St Helens 26-4 Hull FC Old Trafford (72,582)

Leeds 36-6 Wigan
05 Oct 07 |  Rugby League
St Helens 10-8 Leeds
28 Sep 07 |  Rugby League
Smith takes up Great Britain job
26 Mar 07 |  Rugby League


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