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St Helens ace James Roby's Challenge Cup aim

James Roby
James Roby
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James Roby will be hoping to get a firm grip on the iconic Challenge Cup trophy at Wembley in a few weeks' time but the club skipper is looking no further than Sunday's semi-final tie with the Catalans Dragons at Bolton.


The 32-year-old hooker is aware of the tough test which lies ahead against a side who, after a disastrous start to the new season, have
turned the corner in dramatic fashion and cannot be under-estimated in any shape, or form.

And just to add a touch of nostalgia to the occasion, Robes will come face-to-face with French rivals he helped to conquer in the 2007
final, scoring the first-ever try at the revamped Wembley Stadium after climbing from the substitutes' bench.

But it will be the last thing on his mind as Saints - unbeaten in their last 14 league and cup matches and the bookies' favourites to
lift the most famous piece of silverware in the sport - concentrate fully on reaching their 22nd final.

The former Blackbrook youngster, who is only two wins away from following in the footsteps of fellow local lads, Alex Murphy and
Keiron Cunningham, in hoisting the famous old trophy sky high in his home-town club colours, said: ''We don't talk about being favourites
or anything like that internally.

''As a group, we just focus on the immediate task ahead and carry out our individual jobs to the best of our ability.

''We know the kind of standards we are capable of setting and if we live-up to them, then I'm confident we can progress to the final.''

Robes admits there is one or two areas in which Saints will need to sharpen up on the day and is also conscious of the genuine threat
posed by the powerful Dragons set of forwards, led by his opposite number, Micky McIlorum, who he describes as a 'tough, uncompromising
and aggressive player.'


He added: ''I am expecting a lot of action down the middle of the field and aware we will have to be more than a match for their strong
pack if we are to win but we will be fully prepared because that is our job at the end of the day.''

The Dragons, however, have been boosted by the news that Kenny Edwards - sent off at Wigan last week for an alleged high tackle - will be
available for the semi-final showdown. After viewing the video evidence, the RL Disciplinary Panel returned a sending-off sufficient
verdict.


But the bad news emerging from the Dragons' camp is that Jodie Broughton has been ruled out for the rest of the season - and even
longer - after suffering a major knee injury at the DW Stadium.