When St Helens slumped to five straight Grand Final defeats between 2007 and 2011, James Roby was an ever present in their nearly men side.
Now, a decade on, Saints’ inspirational skipper stands on the verge of redemption with the chance to clinch a record-equalling third straight triumph.
It’s a fact not lost on the seemingly indefatigable 35-year-old, who is gracing this stage for a 10th time, one short of Jamie Peacock’s Grand Final record.
Roby said: “I was lucky, or unlucky enough to be part of that team that lost five in a row and it was dreadful, I wouldn’t wish that on anybody. It was just gutting, it’s a long time ago now but it was a feeling of ‘not again’ after we did all the hard work to get there.
“People look into that and losing all those finals, but I used think at least we got to those finals in the first place, because it takes a hell of a lot of effort and work to put yourself in that position.
“Five in a row wasn’t nice times to be a part of and was hugely disappointing, but we’ve got that tag off our back now. I think every final we’ve got to since then we’ve gone on and won.
“We’re in a new era now, a new time and a new team and we’ve got the job done the last couple of years. Hopefully it’s more of the same and we can get that three-peat, it’s what we’re all working for and it would be super special.
“It’s not very often something like that is achieved and to be a part of that would be something to be very proud of.”
Roby will face a familiar foe in the middle of the field at the Theatre of Dreams, having locked horns with Catalans’ former Wigan hooker Micky McIlorum in a host of derbies spanning a decade.
Roby added: “Micky is fierce, and always a physical competitor. I’ve played against enough times over the years and he’s a fantastic player.
“The way he plays the game, and the size of their middles, we’re expecting a really physical meeting with the Catalans forwards. We think we’re ready for the task and we’ll meet that head on.”
Source: Read Full Article