Too close to call
Hanley expecting a classic game
Last Updated: 01/10/10 4:20pm
Ellery Hanley told Sky Sports News that Saturday's Grand final will be the biggest game in a decade.
St Helens v Wigan Warriors
5.30pm, Sat, Sky Sports HD2 & Sky Sports 2
Online with Sky Player
Click here to remote record
"I would not make anyone favourites; this game is just too close. The simple things are what are going to win this game - maybe a moment of individual brilliance."
Ellery Hanley Quotes of the week
Having won the Grand Final with Wigan and then coached St Helens to victory, Hanley knows all about the rivalry between two of the biggest clubs in the Super League.
"It is massive and the excitement is really mounting, Hanley told Sky Sports News. The rivalry between these two clubs is just so huge - I was privileged to be associated with both clubs and I know the intensity that is to come from both these sides.
"You have the Lees v Bradford rivalry and the Hull v Hull KR but this one for me tops everything. Both sides are set with fantastic players and there is danger from every position. I hope no one misses this game because it is going to be one of the most exciting games we have seen for ten years."
Hanley also believes that the two sides are so evenly matched that it is almost impossible to call a winner.
"I would not make anyone favourites; this game is just too close. The simple things are what are going to win this game - maybe a moment of individual brilliance, but there is danger across the park on both sides.
"One thing you have to do when you go into a game like this is you have got to try and put the emotions aside," added Hanley.
"It is very difficult because you have a lot of nervous energy. You need to try and make sure that you get an early touch of the ball or if you are defending then get a nice early tackle in . Make sure you do the basics right and that the communication is good too.
"There will be a time when fatigue will set in but that is when you great players will step it up.
"There are so many ifs and buts in this game. The competition has been dominated recently by Leeds and St Helens. Wigan have gone through a lean patch but they have played well and have been very consistent over the season. The Wigan pack have a huge amount of confidence but the Saints pack a force to be reckoned with."
A fairytale ending?
Having coached Keiron Cunningham at St Helens, Hanley is not ruling out the perfect end to a very illustrious career.
"He has been an inspirational player for Saints for so long, he will be tremendously missed and everyone has so much respect for him.
"You would like him to end his career with a fairytale ending and win the Grand Final but Wigan are going to have a huge say in this game. He could do it, but it is going to be very close and could go either way."