Flash: Victory’s all about belief

Mark Flanagan
Mark Flanagan
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Mark Flanagan told how the Saints squad’s inner belief that they could win Super League helped them achieve the feat against arch-rivals Wigan.

Despite going into the game as outsiders - shorn of influential trio Luke Walsh, Jon Wilkin and Jonny Lomax - Saints battled their way to an absorbing 14-6 win.

Flanagan said: “It’s a tough sport and there are going to be times when you have to overcome adversity - and there are times this year when we’ve had to do that. You’ve got to believe in yourselves and stick to your guns. At no point did I think we couldn’t do it.

“When Luke Walsh got injured the key thing was that we showed character and kept turning up and believing in ourselves and our teammates. This is our reward.”

Flanagan admitted that the thought of playing scrum-half in a Grand Final-winning team seemed a million miles away when he was loaned to Rochdale following a knee reconstruction.

But that’s exactly what happened in the absence of Walsh, Wilkin and Gary Wheeler.

“You’ve just got to keep doing what you’ve done all your career,” he said.

“I’m quite a versatile player, which helps, but I’m not sure I’ve quite nailed down the scrum-half spot for next year though - I think I’ll stick to playing back row!

“Wigan are a really tough team. You’ve got to play tough to beat them, and that’s what we did.”

Flanagan also praised ageless Saints skipper Paul Wellens for stepping into the halves after Lance Hohaia was forced off the field.

following Ben Flower’s shameful assault.

He added: “Wello stepped in and did a great job and I thought Jordan Turner had a great game - he’s been great all season. I saw the second bit of the Ben Flower incident. I’ve met Ben a few times and he seems a good kid but you can’t do that. He probably let the occasion get the better of him.

“People will say we only won because they had 12 men but we had a centre at loose forward a back rower at six and a full-back at stand-off so we were struggling a bit ourselves.”