Kyle Amor reflects on St Helens' League Leaders' Shield success
By Marc Bazeley
Last Updated: 07/08/19 11:25am
Kyle Amor again found himself in an unlikely setting when the news came through St Helens had won Super League's League Leaders' Shield on Saturday.
The prop was enjoying some family time at a music festival following the previous night's 26-6 victory over Wakefield Trinity, all the while keeping track of that night's game in Perpignan via social media.
Warrington Wolves' subsequent 30-10 defeat away to Catalans Dragons meant Saints were assured of claiming the Shield for the second year running and with five games of the regular season to go.
For Amor, it was the second time he had been away from his team-mates when they claimed the prize, having found out about their 2014 League Leaders' Shield win while watching Catalans beat Castleford Tigers on television at home.
"This time around I was sat on a picnic blanket at a music festival nearby us," Amor told Sky Sports.
"It was my son's football team who were all going. I'd promised them we'd go, so I just followed it on Twitter.
"I'm a big believer that it's the hardest trophy out of all of them to win. You've got to be consistently the best over 29 rounds of Super League and to finish top after all of that, it's a shame we don't recognise it as being a bit bigger than it is."
"This is the third time I've won it now and the first time was similar because I was watching it at home.
"I've won one on my sofa and one on my picnic blanket!"
The League Leaders' Shield may not carry with it the prestige of being crowned Super League Grand Final or Challenge Cup winners, but Amor is in no doubt it is an accolade which deserves more respect.
However, the 32-year-old Cumbrian knows St Helens will be judged negatively if they fall short again this time around, having bowed out of both the Challenge Cup and Super League play-offs at the semi-final stage last year.
"I'm a big believer that it's the hardest trophy out of all of them to win," Amor said. "You've got to be consistently the best over 29 rounds of Super League and to finish top after all of that, it's a shame we don't recognise it as being a bit bigger than it is.
"I guess we knew last year when we had it wrapped up with a couple of games to go there was a big challenge ahead of us.
"Unfortunately for us we fell short and your season gets deemed as a bit of a failure, so we want to make sure we learn from those mistakes and attack what's remaining of the year."
The next target for Saints in their quest to complete the domestic treble is the Challenge Cup, with the final against this Thursday's Super League opponents Warrington just over two weeks away.
The showdown at Wembley will mark the fourth time the sides have met in 2019 and they could yet meet each other again in the play-offs, not to mention the Grand Final at Old Trafford.
Amor relishes the prospect of tackling the Wolves once more though due to how hard-fought those games usually are and hopes it will not be long before Super League can match the game in, game out intensity of Australia's NRL.
"You want to play in those games where you have to be at the best of your ability to win," Amor said. "If you're playing some of the teams you're expected to win against, intensity can drop.
"We're always trying to copy and compare ourselves to the NRL, so we need as many games as we can that are NRL intensity and I think last time we played Warrington, Kevin Naiqama mentioned that was an NRL-type game.
"The more and more we can get of them, the better, but hopefully we can get the rest of the teams up to that level rather than the usual five or six every year."
Kyle Amor will be studio guest for Friday's Super League game between Leeds Rhinos and Catalans Dragons, live on Sky Sports Arena from 7pm.