Lance’s chance to create a legacy

Lance Hohaia
Lance Hohaia

Kiwi star Lance Hohaia has catapulted himself from the fringes of the Saints side into a creative lynchpin this season - even kicking his team to a last-gasp victory over Leeds at Headingley.

The 31-year-old says he is happy to shoulder more responsibility though, even helping to prepare some of Saints’ younger players for the game of their lives against Wigan this Saturday.

He said: “Training has been going well this week - there’s a few excited bodies out there, which is good.

“Obviously I’ve been playing for a long time now and I’ve played in a few big games, so I’m feeling pretty relaxed. Hopefully that will rub off on the other players too.

“I understand what it takes to win these games and it’s important that we all keep calm and don’t expend all our energy before the weekend.

“We’ve got quite a young squad so I’ve been giving the younger guys a few tips here and there.”

Hohaia admits a Grand Final victory would be “extra special” because of the injuries Saints have suffered this year and says the physical battle will be key at Old Trafford on Saturday.

He doesn’t anticipate too many surprises from either team though, because boths sets of players know each other’s games so well.

He said: “We pretty much know what they’re going to do and they probably know what we’re going to do - it’s about turning up with the right attitude and winning the physical battle and the rest will take care of itself.

“Our forwards have got to try to get us on the front foot and our kicking game has got to be on point.”

Hohaia, who is preparing for his first major final in a Saints shirt, added: “Not many people would have tipped us to be where we are now after the injuries we suffered but I’m confident we can do the job with the team we’ve put together.

“Given what we’ve been through as a group, it would be extra-special to win. I can’t wait.”