Send us news by text, start your message Star News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Robes will spearhead Saints' push to the play-offs
3:00pm Friday 7th September 2012 in Latest News
SAINTS fans used to call bulldog hooker Bernard Dwyer “Mr Perpetual Motion”.
The former ‘Hare and Hounds’ junior made 232 appearances in the Red Vee before moving on to Bradford in a deal that saw Paul Newlove come the other way. It was his never say die attitude and work rate, combined with a wonderful pass and eye for defence that made him a firm favourite.
Now James Roby has taken over his mantle and is close to the perfect player you’ll ever see.
He’s been on fire all year and will spearhead Saints’ push into the play-offs – a competition you write his charges off at your peril.
“The last couple of months have seen us playing really well and we built a lot of momentum winning a number of games in a row,” the 26-year-old said.
“We know what we’re capable of as a team; we’re all a confident bunch. We know the abilities within our team as individuals and as a team collective.”
Roby epitomises confidence but is incredibly modest. He won Man of Steel in 2007 and has been a candidate ever since yet you’d struggle to guess his job in a parade.
Yes, there’s a few bumps and bruises around his noggin, but he isn’t exactly built like a modern rugby league player.
He’s 90 kg wet through and that belies the fact he tackles three stone higher, will play 80 minutes and makes more metres than anyone in Super League.
Ask anyone about the Blackbrooker though and they’ll say he’s all about the team – and that’s what will drive Saints to hopefully their tenth Grand Final appearance.
“It’s six years in a row we’ve been to the Grand Final. It’s a great achievement but in the last five years we have come up short so it doesn’t really matter too much. But, I think it’s a lot easier for people to miss how big an achievement it is to get to all those finals when we’ve lost in the final.
“We’ll be working hard because we’re hungry to get back there. We want that trophy coming back here. We’ve been in tough positions before and come through them. Early on in the year we were down in eighth or ninth but I think every team goes through periods like that.
“You have to show your character as a team and individuals and go out there and do your job. We have done that, climbed up the table.”
Saints have a canny knack of hitting the playoffs in top form and upsetting the odds to make the showpiece at Old Trafford.
Last year they couldn’t beat Wigan in the regular season or Challenge Cup, but turned them over twice in the playoffs.
“We know there is always improvement to be made as a team,” he continued. “Last year we went to Wigan and beat them twice in the playoffs and it’s likely we will play them again this time around. Hopefully that big game experience from last season can help us and that is a huge positive.
“But ultimately we have to go and do our jobs rugby players and perform to our ability on the pitch.
“In a weird way being underdogs heading into the playoffs could help us out. I suppose when you are classed as underdogs there’s no pressure and you just get on with the game. If you’re the underdog no one expects you to go out there and win those games.
“But no one can every write us off as a team with the quality of players we have got and their ability. I am totally confident in our team as a bunch of players that if we go out there and do our jobs we will be fine.
“Hopefully we can do that now until the end of the regular season and then take our big game experience into the playoffs.”