The Garry Schofield Column: Solid foundations for Leeds Rhinos but St Helens still too good

Congratulations to St Helens, commiserations to Leeds Rhinos.

I was hoping my old club would upset the odds at Old Trafford, but there was no arguing with Saints’ right to be crowned Super League champions for the fourth time running.

Now the challenge must be making it five, albeit under a new coach.

The strong suggestion is that it will be Paul Wellens, a promotion from within.

He has certainly served his apprenticeship, and handing him the job should cement the way things have been done for a good few years now.

Those methods, along with the work of long-serving Chairman Eamonn McManus and chief executive Mike Rush, have made Saints a real success story, and you must admire how the motivation and desire to keep being the best has been maintained.

I thought it was a great Grand Final to watch, and we needed that after the build-up was dominated by the Morgan Knowles ban-or-no-ban debacle.

Leeds gave it a go, but Saints got off to the ideal start, and when the Rhinos could have got back into it at the start of the second half, they again turned the screw.

Rohan Smith and Co might have fallen short at the final hurdle, but they have some solid foundations to build on. Their brand of Rugby League is appealing to supporters and it will be interesting to see how they do next season.

Much has been made of the fact that since Bradford’s success in 2005, only three teams – Leeds on seven occasions, Saints, now six, and Wigan with four, have been champions.

There are plenty of sides trying to push into the top tier of top-flight teams, but it’s hard to see any of them breaking the mould.

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