St Helens have received a major boost ahead of Saturday’s Betfred Super League Grand Final after back-rower Morgan Knowles saw his two-match suspension overturned on a second appeal (St Helens 1/2, tie 18/1, Leeds 11/5 – Match Winner 80 mins).
Having already seen skipper James Roby and Jack Welsby avoid suspensions for the clash against the Leeds Rhinos at Old Trafford, Knowles (9/4 – anytime tryscorer) is now also available for the showpiece event of the season.
The 25-year-old lost his initial appeal against a two-match suspension after an incident of alleged ‘dangerous contact’ on Salford Red Devils’ Chris Atkin in Saturday’s play-off semi-final victory at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
However, on second appeal St Helens (-6.5 Handicap 2-Way – 20/21) have seen Knowles made available for the final after the disciplinary tribunal accepted on Wednesday evening that the pressure on Atkin’s arm “did not exceed the normal range of movement” and therefore “could not have posed an ‘unacceptable risk of injury'”.
Meanwhile, Leeds’ Cameron Smith has been speaking ahead of the showdown with Saints in Manchester this weekend.
The 23-year-old, who has already played 100 games for the Rhinos, has emerged as an important member of the senior squad.
Smith led out the team in their semi-final win at Wigan Warriors and feels he still has the potential to improve even further as a player and a leader.
“I think there’s more to come,” Smith said. “I am just finding my feet in the role I’ve got now and being able to play with the ball, I feel the best is yet to come.”