HERE’S my message to the Doubting Thomas brigade..don’t believe it!

I trust Saints will not buckle under the pressure and will win the Betfred Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford on October 12.

Why? Simply because we are the best team...and by some way.

Agreed- anything can happen on the day and the players can’t rely on past results and successes, but I think that the disappointment of the unexpected Challenge Cup Final loss to Warrington will serve as a valuable lesson and bring out the best of the league leaders.

On top of this I’m sure the players would love to send departing head coach Justin Holbrook on his way with a lap of honour at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’

So as Shield winners we have a week off which some people have suggested isn’t an advantage and that the other four teams in the qualifiers can pick up momentum....but also injuries.

This has always been a contentious subject, the balance between momentum and match sharpness and prevention of injuries and rest. At this point of the season I believe a week off does more good than harm...and after two solid performances at almost full strength against Huddersfield and Hull FC we are ready to go!

Looking at the now confirmed top 5 positions, it’s not very often the bookies are wrong...but title sponsors Betfred were not on their own when laying Salford as second favourites behind the London Broncos for relegation from Super League.

Instead, I will lead the way in tipping my cap to Ian Watson and his squad as the Red Devils confirmed third place, and now face an in-form Wigan Warriors for the chance to come to the TWS and do battle with Saints for a place at Old Trafford.

With one of the smallest squads and finances available I think everyone in rugby league admires the way Salford have gone about their business this season. One constant has been the performances of their talisman, and many people’s favourite for the Steve Prescott Man of Steel Award, Jackson Hastings.

Betfred have Saints 5/6 to win the Grand Final with Wigan 2/1, Wire 11/2, Salford 12/1 while Castleford are outsiders at 25/1.

With the top three earning the right to two bites of the cherry…I’m predicting it will be the top two, Saints and current holders Wigan who will make it through to the final - a repeat of our last Grand Final success back in 2014.

I think Wigan may just have too much big game experience for a confident Salford side, setting up the game that everybody wants to see, a Saints-Wigan derby semi-final. I believe the home team will be first to book their place in the Grand Final, but think that the Warriors will still have too much for the remaining three...Salford, and either the out-of-sorts Warrington who have yet to win a league game in the last seven, or the Castleford Tigers, who all credit have fought their way to make the playoffs but I believe don’t have enough to make the big stage.

As a proud Lancastrian, it’s great to see four of the five qualifying teams from the right side of the Pennines! ...while we leave the other side of the hill to fight for top flight survival!

Obviously, tongue in cheek...but what a finish to the regular season it was, with eventually the London Broncos losing their place in the Betfred Super League for 2020, but what a fight they put up. Respect to everyone at the Broncos, you did yourself proud.