LMS: This is going to be an arm wrestle

Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook
Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook

Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook admits the pain of losing the 2011 Grand Final to Leeds took him months to come to terms with.

Saints lost their fifth season finale in a row to the Tykes that year.

And the defeat caused ructions in the usually happy McCarthy-Scarsbrook home.

“You’re probably better asking my wife how I felt after our defeat in 2011, though – I don’t think I spoke to her for 12 months,” admitted the prop forward!

Little wonder then that the fiery Londoner is so determined to end up on the winning side at Old Trafford this Saturday.

The 28-year-old says he’s preparing for an “80-minute arm wrestle” too.

He said: “I’m buzzing – I can’t wait. Old Trafford is a horrible place to lose but a fantastic place to win. I’d love to give that trophy a big kiss and lift it above my head on Saturday.

“This is going to be the derby of all derbies. You couldn’t script it any better – a team that’s battled through after losing their playmakers going up against their arch nemesis.”

McCarthy-Scarsbrook praised the Saints coaching team for coming up with a fresh plan after losing playmakers Luke Walsh, Jonny Lomax and Jon Wilkin to season-ending injuries.

It’s a structure which has seen him switch from prop to the second row, a move he has enjoyed because “there are less people trying to take my head off”.

He said: “We had a direction we were going in at the start of the season and then had to completely change direction halfway through the season.

“We were lucky though because we had a week off which gave us the chance to come to terms with what we were going to do. It was like a condensed pre-season.

“To win the Grand Final after all that adversity would be an absolute gem. We’re going to have to match Wigan all over the pitch though because it could be one of the tightest ever finals. It will be an 80-minute arm wrestle.”

The Grand Final will also see McCarthy-Scarsbrook line up against his old Harlequins teammate Tony Clubb.

He added: “Me and Clubby have known each other since we were 17. It’s a long old time I’ve known him.

“It’s great that the London development scheme have cracked it in recent years - not just Tony Clubb and Dan Sarginson but me and all the other boys that have gone on.

“I love playing against him because every time I tackle him I give him a kiss or say something horrible in his ear.

“We’ll both just end up laughing about it at the end of the game though.”