Super League: St Helens' Mark Flanagan eyes League Leaders' Shield
Last Updated: 16/05/14 6:28pm
St Helens loose forward Mark Flanagan sees no reason why they cannot claim Super League’s League Leaders’ Shield come the end of the season.
The Saints currently trail leaders Leeds Rhinos by just a solitary point and Flanagan believes their exit from the Challenge Cup could be a blessing in disguise.
Nathan Brown’s men were beaten 32-12 by the Rhinos at Headingley in April in the domestic knockout competition, meaning they can now focus all efforts on reaching the league summit.
We’ve lost our last couple of encounters here so we will be hoping to put that right, it’s a great atmosphere and a great place to play.
Flanagan, who could make his Magic Weekend bow at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, believes there is no reason Saints could not pressurise the Rhinos, starting with their clash against Warrington.
“We’re sitting second in the league so we’re doing ok,” he told Sky Sports.
“We beat Warrington earlier in the season so hopefully we can look back on that match and do that again.
“Unfortunately we’re out of the cup, so we have to solely concentrate on the Super League this season but I don’t think there’s any reason we can’t win the League Leaders’ Shield but it’s going to be tough this weekend.”
Saints have lost both of their Magic Weekend showdowns since the event switched to Manchester, but Flanagan is hoping they will be able to reverse that trend in a derby with last season’s Grand Finalists.
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“It’s going to be a great weekend of rugby league,” he added.
“Seven matches over two days and we get to take on Warrington which should be a great match.
“We’ve lost our last couple of encounters here so we will be hoping to put that right, it’s a great atmosphere and a great place to play.”
Although the 26-year-old is yet to grace the Magic Weekend stage, Flanagan admits it is always an event for the spectators to savour.
“I’ve not been fortunate enough to play here before, some people don’t get chance to play at Old Trafford or Wembley and this just tips it on the good side of our fixture list,” he said.
“It’s a great atmosphere, there’s 14 clubs playing over the weekend and the fans all sit in together, have a beer and enjoy it together, hopefully the sun will be out.”
You can watch all of Super League's Magic Weekend live on Sky Sports 3 from 12pm on Saturday, and on Sky Sports 1 from 12pm on Sunday.