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Last Updated: Saturday, 28 July 2007, 14:26 GMT 15:26 UK
Long targets a dream Wembley win
Sean Long
Long celebrates his record-breaking third Lance Todd Trophy
Sean Long says he would give up his Lance Todd trophies to taste success in a Challenge Cup final at Wembley.

The inspirational St Helens scrum-half is the only player to receive the man-of-the-match award three times in rugby league's showpiece event.

But he told BBC Five Live: "I'd give those all away just to win at Wembley because I've never played there."

Saints, who beat Bradford 35-14 in the semi-finals, will face French side Catalans Dragons in the final.

Long played a key role in the win over the Bulls at the Galpharm Stadium in only his second game back following a calf injury.

It was a tremendous performance both attack and defence... we blitzed them

Paul Sculthorpe

"I was a bit fatigued and the timing was a bit off but it's not about me, it's about the team," he said.

Jon Wilkin was equally ebullient after Saints had clinched a trip to the revamped Wembley, which has not staged a Challenge Cup final since 1999.

"We are the first team to go the new Wembley," said the loose forward. "That's a massive coup for the players and the club.

"To come here and produce a performance like that is something special."

606: DEBATE

Hooker Keiron Cunningham agreed with Long that playing at Wembley would be hugely memorable.

"I played at the old Wembley twice and it's a dream come true to get back to the new stadium," said the Welshman, who was making his 400th appearance for Saints in the six-try win over Bradford.

Saints skipper Paul Sculthorpe will miss out on his side's fifth appearance in a Challenge Cup final in seven years because of an Achilles injury but was full of praise for his team-mates after the win over Bradford.

"It was a tremendous performance both attack and defence. We blitzed them," he said.

We took our opportunities... we've been guilty of not doing that in the past

Daniel Anderson

"I'm made up for the boys. They've turned in a masterclass. There's been some tremendous tries and skills shown but defence has won us the game.

"Bradford were never going to give up and were coming up strong, but the guys withstood the pressure."

Coach Daniel Anderson believes the St Helens fans will relish the trip to Wembley on 25 August.

"They will go bananas down there, but it's credit to the players and I'm lucky I'm riding on it," he told BBC1.

Saints held the edge throughout but the Bulls refused to lie down until a breakaway try from Leon Pryce late on killed off the contest.

Anderson added: "We took our opportunities. We've been guilty of not doing that in the past. We got some points and made them chase the game."

We're a warm weather team and we've struggled in the wet in recent weeks

Keiron Cunningham

Pryce was delighted to reach another final but gave credit to his former club.

"I've got nothing but respect and admiration for Bradford. I spent several good years there and it is a shame to knock them out," he said.

"But I thought the conditions would suit us. We knew if the rain held off we could put some nice skill on display.

"We like to play good rugby and pass the ball and we scored some nice tries."

Cunningham agreed, adding: "It's nice to play in the sunshine. We're a warm weather team and we've struggled in the wet in recent weeks.

"We knew we had to play quick in the middle and we knew we had the players to do that."



SEE ALSO
Bradford 14-35 St Helens
28 Jul 07 |  Rugby League
McNamara proud despite Bulls loss
28 Jul 07 |  Rugby League
Catalans Dragons 37-24 Wigan
29 Jul 07 |  Rugby League
Dragons coach hails historic win
29 Jul 07 |  Rugby League
Noble left dejected and dismayed
29 Jul 07 |  Rugby League


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