WHAT a great couple of weeks to be a Saints fan!

Firstly, the League Leaders Shield is in the bag after we proved beyond doubt we are the most consistent team all season in the Betfred Super League...and then a great performance and convincing win against our semi-final rivals the Warrington Wolves.

Admittedly though, this game will have no bearing on the all-important do or die semi in two weeks.

It was a fiery affair with three players sent to the sin-bin following an all-in brawl, and has no doubt added even more spice.

The Wolves lost both of their play makers Kevin Brown and Tyrone Roberts in the second half and will have a couple more players back, but Saints also have a couple of key men set to return.

A big positive for Saints was the performance of Ben Barba ahead of the final all important games. A lot has been said about Benny over the last couple of months, people questioning his performances and his future, but I think we can all clearly see his commitment to the club and his hunger for silverware this season. It has now been confirmed he’s off to the North Queensland Cowboys at the end of the season so all the best to him - he certainly won’t be forgotten.

Head coach Justin Holbrook spoke of Ben following his two try display against the Wire, and how his star full back had been suffering with some niggling injuries over the past couple of months, but music to the Saints fans ears that they are now behind him.

Jonny Lomax continues to shine in 2018, and it was great to see young James Bentley make his Betfred Super League bow after biding his time since his move from Bradford Bulls at the end of 2017, and he did himself proud with a solid performance.

So, all thoughts now on that Warrington game, with the winners to face either Wigan or Castleford in the Grand Final showdown at Old Trafford on the 13th of October...but before that we have the last remaining Super 8s round at home vs Castleford this Friday.

With Saints guaranteed a home semi-final even before the start of the Super 8 play-offs, only dropping four points of the regular season and only four games in total, a remarkable feat, it’s all about keeping players fresh and healthy and ready for the big one. With Castleford in the same boat, it will be interesting to see team selections. With both teams in great form it should be a great game whatever. I’m going for a Saints win by at least eight points.

Following that, the latest Betfred odds for Grand Final glory are Saints 11/8, Wigan 7/4, Castleford 4/1 with Warrington the 6/1 outsiders.

Finally, if the lads need any semi-final inspiration on what it takes to make a Grand Final...last week (on my birthday 22/9) was the 18th anniversary of one of the greatest moments in the history of the club...’Wide to West’. Let’s hope Joynty’s heroics can be repeated on October 4...preferably not so late this time!