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Page last updated at 09:35 GMT, Saturday, 4 October 2008 10:35 UK

Pryce confident of beating Leeds

Super League Grand Final
Venue: Old Trafford Date: Saturday, 4 October Kick-off: 1800 BST
Coverage: Live on Sky Sports 1. Commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live and online, BBC Radio Leeds, BBC Radio Merseyside. Live text commentary on BBC Sport website. Highlights on BBC Two (Sun, 5 Oct, 1200-1300) and on BBC website 24 hours after game

Leon Pryce
Pryce has scored 14 tries in 28 appearances this season

St Helens forward Leon Pryce feels they are much better prepared than a year ago to beat Leeds Rhinos in the Super League Grand Final on Saturday.

Saints were beaten 33-6 by the Rhinos at the Old Trafford finale, but that does not worry Pryce, 26.

He told BBC Radio Manchester: "We've got ourselves fitter, I think we're a little more united as a team.

"We were carrying a few injuries last year, but this year we're healthy, a bit fresher and a bit fitter."

Saints are unbeaten in their last 25 games in all competitions, and have already won the league leaders' trophy and retained the Challenge Cup.

Pryce firmly believes the good atmosphere in the squad is the secret of their success.


"We all enjoy playing with each other which is the main thing. You've got to enjoy playing with each other as a team, if you don't do that its hard to win games."

Meanwhile, Saints prop James Graham has re-iterated his desire not to lose to Leeds again.

The recently crowned Man of Steel, 23, told BBC Radio Merseyside: "It took a while to get that out of our system.

Anderson plays down swan-song

"I don't want to be in a dressing room feeling like that again. The whole season is geared up for this. It's all set for one hell of a game."

Graham became the fourth St Helens player in as many years to win the Man of Steel award, and he also picked up the Rugby League Writers' Association player of the year award.

I don't like the term defending champions, the cup's not ours any more, it's on the table so you can't defend it, you've to got attack for it

Leeds coach Brian McClennan

"It was an honour to receive the award but I'd 100% swap it for winning the Grand Final, especially after last year.

"It's a team game and about winning trophies. Individual awards which come along aren't too important. If you ask anyone whether they'd win individual or team awards they'd go for the team award."

Saints beat Rhinos 38-10 in their most recent meeting at Knowsley Road on 19 September, but Graham does not believe that result will have any bearing on events on Saturday.

"The events of this season and other games is independent, it doesn't matter - it's all in the past now," he said.

"It'll be tight early doors and there'll be an interesting battle to see who gets on top.

"We'll let the forwards get into each other then the backs' individual skills might come into it in the second half."

St Helens go into the game as red-hot favourites, and last time the teams met they were clear winners.

McClennan confident of Grand Final victory

But Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield said he did not think that would have any bearing on Saturday, and was happy to go into the game as underdogs.

"Keep writing us off, it's good for us - we like proving people wrong," he told BBC Radio Leeds.

"Nine or 10 days ago we came up against a great Saints side who took us to the cleaners - we can't play any worse than that really.

"Lots of people are writing us off, but it just adds fuel to the fire and we're ready to come out with the best performance of the year."

Saints were favourites to win last year, only to be turned over by Leeds in the final.

But coach Brian McClennan said their status as reigning champions was irrelevant.

"Personally I don't like the term defending champions," he said.

"The cup's not ours any more, it's on the table so you can't defend it - you've to got attack for it. It's against a very good side too, which makes the challenge more appealing."

You can hear full commentary of the Super League Grand Final on BBC Radio Merseyside 1485 AM, on DAB and online at on 4 October. Coverage begins at 1730 BST.

see also
Leeds lose Webb for Grand Final
03 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
St Helens v Leeds Rhinos in pics
02 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
Graham scoops Man of Steel award
01 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
Cunningham extends St Helens deal
02 Oct 08 |  St Helens
St Helens 38-10 Leeds
19 Sep 08 |  Rugby League
St Helens 6-33 Leeds Rhinos
13 Oct 07 |  Rugby League

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