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Dream team? Saints hooker James Roby's thoughts are only on the Theatre of Dreams
SAINTS hooker James Roby may have felt a little lonely when he took his place among half a dozen Wigan players and a trio from Warrington in the 2012 Dream Team.
But nevertheless he was pleased to have been named in the fictitious team, selected by journalists, although he realises the real honour is still to be played for.
The England number nine said: “It is always nice to be rewarded for your form, although it is probably the first time been here and been the only Saints player. It is different being surrounded by Wigan and Warrington players, but I am made up to be selected and get to see Old Trafford – hopefully I will be here again in a few weeks time.”
The all star team was unveiled at the Theatre of Dreams earlier this week – bringing it home to Roby that the business end of the year was fast approaching.
“When you see Old Trafford and look out there on to the pitch it does make it that little bit more real. Makes it sink in more that the Grand Final is on its way – but we have a job to do before we even think about that though.”
Saints have an uncanny knack of getting to the Grand Final, even when not particularly fancied to do so.
And this year it would cap a tremendous turnaround in fortunes for them to do so from a March low point of tenth.
Roby said: “We have a good record in that we have got to the last six, but it is not so good that we have lost the last five.
“We definitely want to win it this year – nobody could say we don’t deserve it for all the times we have been here but we have a lot of hard work to do before that.
“But we are confident that with the team we have got that we can do it.
“We were down the league early on and our form was not good. But we have been knocking the wins out week by week to finish third.”
For Saints to get through to Old Trafford it is more than likely they will have to beat Challenge Cup Warrington at least once.
Although Wolves have traditionally blown their appearances in the play-offs, winning just two of their previous nine ties at this stage of the competition, they have by far and away the strongest squad in the Super League.
Roby added: “These are the big games now that all the players want to be part of. They don’t come much bigger that the cup holders.
“Warrington, like Wigan, have a big pack and they like to dominate the other teams by being physical.
“That was one of the areas where we upped our game at the weekend across the whole team.
“We were a bit more physical against Wigan and we put that bit more effort into defence and seemed to work. We are hoping to take that into the Wolves game.
“Take nothing away from Warrington - we know what they are capable – but our squad is full of quality players, internationals and young lads who are finding their feet in Super League.”