Long - We respect Rhinos
Sean Long insists Saints won't make the same mistake again after their crushing 33-6 Grand Final defeat to Leeds last year.
Last Updated: 01/10/08 3:20pm
Sean Long has admitted arrogance played a huge part in Saints' crushing Grand Final defeat to Leeds last year, but insists he and his team-mates won't make the same mistake again.
Saints were brought down to earth with a 33-6 defeat by Leeds and Long believes they will return to Old Trafford for Saturday's repeat clash with much more humility.
St Helens will equal Bradford's record of six Grand Final appearances while Long, who has appeared in every one, will aim be aiming to collect his fifth winners' ring.
"In 2006, we just had a feeling that we couldn't lose to anyone," said Long, who helped Saints cruise to a 26-4 win over Hull that year.
"Whoever we played we just knew we would beat them. Last season, though, we got a bit too big for our boots.
"We were too cocky going into the final against Leeds and we ended up being spanked."
Speaking in the official match programme, Long claims the Challenge Cup winners have learned their lessons from a year ago.
"This year, while we are very confident, especially after such a long unbeaten run, it's different," he said.
"We are still confident but we will be much more respectful (of the opposition)."
Long, 32, goes into Saturday's game - the 350th of his career - needing five goals for a total of 1,000 in club and representative matches.
The scrum-half has kicked 953 for St Helens, 14 for Widnes, two for Wigan and 26 in representative matches. His 995 goals include 23 drop goals and have come in 349 matches.