St Helens head coach Kristian Woolf has praised the fight of his side after they held off a spirited Salford to win Saturday’s Betfred Super League semi-final 19-12 and advance into the Grand Final.

Joe Batchelor’s first-half converted double and a Jonny Lomax drop goal put the Saints into a 13-6 lead at the break, with Kallum Watkins crossing over in reply for the Red Devils.

Salford managed to get within a point of St Helens in the second half with Ryan Brierley touching down with a breakaway score, but Jon Bennison touched down late to give Woolf’s men the 19-12 victory.

The Saints now have the chance to make history in the Grand Final against Leeds on September 24th, with a victory at Old Trafford making them the first team to win the showpiece event four years in a row.

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Whoever wins the season-ending clash in Manchester will become the all-time Grand Final record holder, with both St Helens and the Rhinos lifting the trophy eight times.

Speaking after the semi-final win, Woolf said, as quoted by Sky Sports: “I’m not worried about the fairy-tale. They’re an outstanding group, they’ve shown how much they were willing to fight all year and they had to fight today.

“I’ve got to give Salford a lot of credit – they played a hell of a game of footy and made it really tough.

“We’re going to enjoy the week. This is why you play footy, you want to be in these games and this atmosphere and we get the opportunity to do that again next week in front of a bigger crowd and on a bigger stage – and we can’t wait.”

St Helens are 4/9 to win the Grand Final in 80 minutes, while the draw is priced at 20/1 and Leeds are 7/4 to triumph.

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