SAINTS have already secured their top spot and will be presented with the League Leaders Shield tonight, but all eyes are on who will makes the top five and how that will work.

The system has changed from last year, reverting to the top five system from the first years of the play-offs.

It does give the team finishing top - Saints - two bites at reaching Old Trafford and so it is a fairer system to reward the league table.

As leaders Saints needed both bites, losing to Bradford but beating Wigan before going on to win the Grand Final against Bulls in 2002.

But in 2005 an injury his side lost both home semis - to Leeds and Bradford - to end the season with just the shield.

Each week throughout the play-offs the five teams will be whittled down until the two finalists remain.


The play-off fixtures will take place over three weekends as below;

Week 1: 19-21 September will see Saints, as League Leaders Shield winners, sit out. That week sees 2 v 3 in the qualifier, 4 v 5 in the eliminator. (Loser is out of the competition).

Week 2: 26-28 September will see Saints have their first bite of the cherry to reach Old Trafford. They will play the winners of the week 1, 2 v 3 qualifier in the first semi final and the winners of this go straight to the Grand Final. The losers will get another chance in the 3rd week.

The other game is Eliminator 2 between the week one losers of 2 v 3, and the winners of 4 v 5. The loser is out of the competition.

Week 3: 4 October is the second semi-final between the losers of semi-final 1 and winners of Eliminator 2. The winners go to Old Trafford, the losers are out.

Week 4: 12 October, Grand Final, Old Trafford.