He’ll soon be on his way to Redcliffe to form a coaching dream team with Wayne Bennett, but current St Helens and Tonga mentor Kristian Woolf has earned a shot at Super League history after his St Helens side beat Salford 19-12 to claim their spot in the Super League Grand Final.
The Saints will take on surprise packet Leeds Rhinos for a shot at a record-breaking fourth consecutive Super League premiership, and third under Woolf. The current record of three title wins in a row is held by the Saints and Leeds, who will face off in this weekend’s decider.
Co-incidentally, both teams have also won eight grand finals overall and will be seeking the top place in the historical rankings with their ninth.
Though the Saints won a title in the competition’s first season, the winners of those first two campaigns were decided in a ‘first past the post’ format without finals.
There are a host of significant records to be broken in the decider, and Woolf knows just how special it would be to end his time at the club on a high.
“It would be outstanding, you can’t give it enough words,” Woolf said, per UK site seriousaboutRL.com.
“If there’s a group of men that deserve (the honour), it’s this group.
“In my mind there’s no doubt that this is the most successful group in Super League history. Now they’ve got the chance to go out and cement that.”
As well as the history awaiting the teams, Woolf could also become the first Super League coach to claim three consecutive titles, and it would mean the world to him after such a successful time.
“(The club is) outstanding. The fans have been great – the way they support the team, when the going got tough and they start singing songs, that lifts everyone.
“I can’t thank the fans enough for the way they’ve supported me and my family.”
The Rhinos, meanwhile, have been dealt a big blow ahead of the contest, with halfback Aidan Sezer ruled out of the contest after a Category one concussion suffered in the semi-final defeat of Wigan. Co-incidentally, the hit in question came from John Bateman, who Sezer contested the 2019 NRL Grand Final with for the Canberra Raiders.
Woolf will join Bennett in Queensland following his World Cup duties with the Tongan team.