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Page last updated at 09:52 GMT, Friday, 1 October 2010 10:52 UK

Justin Morgan's Grand Final verdict

Venue: Old Trafford Date: Saturday, 2 October Kick-off: 1800 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, BBC Sport website and Sky Sports 2, highlights on BBC2 on Sunday

Keiron Cunningham
Hull KR coach Justin Morgan believes the fact Keiron Cunningham is playing his last game could swing the Grand Final in St Helens' favour

Hull KR coach Justin Morgan, who will be summarising on Saturday's Grand Final for BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, has had the chance to take a close look at both Wigan and St Helens.

After comfortably beating Morgan's Rovers 32-10 in their first home game of the season back in February, Wigan clinched the League Leaders' Shield when they won 38-18 at Craven Park on the penultimate weekend of the season.

They then followed that up with a 42-18 victory to knock Rovers out of the play-offs a fortnight ago.

But, while he has three times been on the end of defeats by Michael Maguire's Wigan, Morgan has seen both extremes in games with Mick Potter's Saints.

Rovers hung on for a 28-24 win over Saints in March, only to suffer the backlash when Morgan's men were hammered 68-12 at Knowsley Road in May.

And from what he has seen, Morgan believes the Old Trafford crowd will be served up a treat.

"It should be a classic," Morgan told BBC Sport. "If you'd picked a dream Grand Final at the start of the season, then this would have been the one.

Saints are well used to the big occasion. They've been in Challenge Cup finals and Grand Finals, whereas that is all new to this Wigan side

Hull KR coach Justin Morgan

"Wigan have finally fulfilled some of their potential and are desperate for silverware.

"Saints will be a wounded animal after the last couple of years.

"The script is written. But I still don't really know which way to call it. It's almost impossible to pick.

"My head tells me Wigan. They've been the best team all season and the most consistent, but I just have a feeling in my belly that Saints might do it.

"Maybe it's the Keiron Cunningham factor.

"In sport, we talk a lot about things like speed, strength, agility and application but we don't often mention words like confidence and desire, the way you do with someone like Keiron Cunningham.

"It's his last game, he's a legend of the competition and the huge emotional factor could swing it Saints' way.

"Equally, it could tip them over. There might be too much emotion involved.

"But Saints are well used to the big occasion. They've been in Challenge Cup finals and Grand Finals, whereas that is all new to this Wigan side.

"Wigan don't know what it's like to be in a big final and how to handle all the emotion involved.


"It's hard to say how Saints will manage without Kyle Eastmond. He and Matty Smith are different players.

"Matty Smith has done well throughout the season for Salford. And he's put in a couple of pretty decent performances in the play-offs.

"He'll go into Saturday's game with no pressure on him at all and he can have a key role for them.

"But Kyle Eastmond is the sort of player any coach would want on his team.

"There's also a good contrast between the two coaches.

"Both Aussies, both very determined characters, but they do things in their own, very different ways.

"Mick's the quieter of the two but he's got a chance to bow out in his final game by winning the Grand Final. That would be something to shout about.

"As for Madge (Michael Maguire), Wigan have got some top players and have finally come good this season, so part of the credit should land on the doorstep of the man who preceded him, Brian Noble.

"But Madge is the one who's got them playing.

"Wigan have never lost two games on the trot this season. They've always bounced back from a defeat and that's got a lot to do with him."

Justin Morgan was talking to BBC Sport's Ged Scott.

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see also
St Helens 10-22 Wigan Warriors
02 Oct 10 |  My Club
Potter hopes to bow out with win
01 Oct 10 |  St Helens
Cup exit made us strong - Maguire
30 Sep 10 |  Wigan
Fairytale Saints finale for Smith
30 Sep 10 |  St Helens
Leeds 6-26 Wigan
25 Sep 10 |  My Club
St Helens 42-22 Huddersfield
24 Sep 10 |  My Club
Eastmond may miss rest of season
07 Jul 10 |  St Helens
Eastmond ruled out of England tie
02 Jun 10 |  Rugby League
Super League Show
17 Feb 08 |  Rugby League

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