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Wembley Stadium, 25 August

St Helens won the Challenge Cup against Catalans Dragons
St Helens were too strong for the Catalans Dragons
Coach Daniel Anderson hailed his St Helens side after they sealed an 11th Challenge Cup success at Wembley.

"I can't think of anyone that didn't play well out there," he said. "It was a great all-round team performance."

"I was concerned as we kept getting so close to their line but couldn't get over. But I have a huge debt to pay to the players and everyone at the club."

Catalans coach Mick Potter said: "The lads are devastated but at least the score wasn't catastrophic."

After witnessing his side slip to defeat just 560 days after their Super League debut, Potter added: "You'd like it to be down to one try in the balance but it wasn't to be.

"But the experience of the big occasion is of great benefit to people even though in their own way they have played in big games.

"As a group of people they'll realise how important a couple of little things are, such as communication when you're fatigued and it's really noisy out there.

We knew it was going to be a tough battle but in the end I think we showed we are worthy champions

Saints stand-off Leon Pryce

"The lads are very disappointed in how the game got away from them. We came up with too many errors and Saints just slowly pulled away."

Saints chief Anderson, meanwhile, paid special tribute to his captain Kieron Cunningham, adding: "I'm very privileged to be the coach of this club and have this bloke here.

"He's literally missed one game since I got here."

Cunningham's team-mate Paul Wellens admitted his side had "won ugly" against their French opponents.

Saints shaded a tight first half 12-4 but eased away after the break.

St Helens' Maurie Fa'asavalu
St Helens' Maurie Fa'asavalu shrugs off the Catalans defence

"It's a fantastic effort," said Wellens. "I don't think we played our best rugby but grit and determination got us through.

"We've got to credit Catalans. They're a tough side and very physical and managed to force errors."

Wellens, who scored one of Saints' five tries, won the Lance Todd Trophy for man of the match along with team-mate Leon Pryce.

"I'm overwhelmed," said Pryce. "I feel blessed to play with such a fantastic team.

"We knew it was going to be a tough battle but in the end I think we showed we are worthy champions."

Dragons Kiwi skipper Stacey Jones admitted his side were outplayed on the day, despite beating St Helens 21-0 in Super League earlier this month.

"It's very disappointing to lose in a final," said Jones.

"We were just beaten by probably the best club team in the world. They're just experienced at these sort of games and it just wasn't our day.

"A couple of things didn't go our way - the try before half-time killed us and then the one after got us again. We got tired and dropped off tackles."

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