LANCE Hohaia is confident Saints can return to Leeds and repeat the success of earlier in the season.
He says recent form has shown they are at the top of their game and confident.
“If you ask most people involved with the team they would say it has been a rocky season,” the 30-year-old said. “But now we are in week two of the playoffs and could progress closer to the Grand Final. It is a good position for us to be in.
“We played well against Hull KR and we owed them a performance really. They beat us in the Cup and at home but we have come a long way since then. That game gives us a lot of confidence heading into this week. That is a good thing as is momentum too.”
One of the reasons for Saints recent successes has been settled combinations.
Hohaia’s partnership with Jon Wilkin is working well and it complements the work of Jonny Lomax and James Roby too.
“The combinations are pretty good at the moment,” Hohaia added. “It’s working with Jon in the halves and Jonny Lomax is dangerous at the back.
“It’s important to have Roby back too. He is a great rugby player; one of a kind really in what he can do. He is classy and has that calm steadiness that all top players have.
“He has definitely developed since I have been here too. He has developed a kicking game and his decision making is class. He has shown how important he is to the team. He is deceptive and if you take your eye off him he will make you pay.”
Leeds come into Friday’s match on the back of a 40-20 loss at Warrington but Lance reckons they won’t want to give up their title without a fight.
“Warrington performed as well as they have all year and were relentless. Leeds will be hurting from that. They will be in front of their home fans, with their big name players and will come out with confidence.
“They will play well and we have to do the same too. We need to perform because we have a chance of making the semi-finals and going further. There is good confidence here and I’m sure that will transpire to the field too. We have a full squad to choose from and our best players on the field. We are confident we can do well but it will be a big challenge for us.
“We need to start well. That was the disappointment of the Warrington game; we cannot afford to have those lapses. We need to thrive on the atmosphere and enjoy the game too. We don’t get to play in games like this too often so have to leave the field feeling satisfied.”
Tickets for tonight’s match will be available from Headingley right up until kick off. Western terrace prices are £20 (adults), £13 (concessions, students, under 21s) and £5 (juniors).