Ex-Rooster Flannery eyes 'missing' medal - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ex-Rooster Flannery eyes 'missing' medal

By Nick Clowes 09/10/2009 07:51:34 PM Comments (0)

Ex-Sydney Roosters forward Chris Flannery insists St Helens have learnt their lessons from 2008 and has vowed to complete a career medal collection with victory in Saturday's Super League grand final.

The 29-year-old back-row forward was an NRL premiership winner with the Roosters in 2002, scoring a try as they comfortably saw off the New Zealand Warriors 30-8.

The former Queensland State of Origin star has added the Challenge Cup to his growing list of achievements in the game since arriving in England in 2007 but the Super League title continues to elude him.

Saints looked set to lift the title for only the second time in six years 12 months ago but Leeds came from behind to seal their second successive crown.

"This is the one honour I still have missing and it's one I want badly - you work so hard all season that you want that trophy at the end of it all," Flannery said.

"Winning a grand final at home was very special but winning one over here would be the icing on the cake for me.

"We went in as favourites last year having had a good win over Leeds in the play-offs.

"James Graham then scored early in the final and we probably got over confident. We took our foot off the pedal and Leeds made us pay and that won't happen again."

Skipper Keiron Cunningham is set to start for Saints despite suffering from a broken hand while Matt Gidley and Tony Puletua are set to defy medical advice to make themselves available.

Sean Long will also make his final appearance before a move to Hull and Flannery insists a hat-trick of defeats to the Rhinos in the showpiece final is not an option.

"You try to put it to the back of your mind that you've lost two finals to the same opposition," said Flannery.

"We want to put it right, especially as we haven't won as much as we should have done for being so consistent over the last couple of years."

Meanwhile, Leeds coach Brian McClennan insists the third successive meeting at Old Trafford will be no place for the faint-hearted.

All three clashes between the two teams in 2009 have been fiery encounters with Rhinos duo Keith Senior and Jamie Jones-Buchanan both banned after last month's clash at Headingley.

The former New Zealand coach believes the two best teams have made it to the grand final again and is convinced they are set to serve up a classic for the capacity 70,000 crowd.

"There's a lot of passion between the teams from recent years and that competitiveness will make sure this is a great grand final," said McClennan.

"The matches between us two have been the most intense and competitive of the season and this will be no different.

"There have been 27 tough rounds and then the play-offs but this is going to be really tough because the best two teams have made it through.

"The new play-off system has given everyone a chance to get through to the final but we've both proved that we are the best two."

For a second successive season Leeds are sweating on the fitness of New Zealand fullback Brent Webb after he picked up a knee injury in the semi-final win over Catalans Dragons.

But ex-New Zealand Warriors forward Ali Lauitiiti should return after recovering from a virus.

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