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Page last updated at 12:47 GMT, Saturday, 30 August 2008 13:47 UK
Wembley Stadium, 30 August

St Helens 28-16 Hull (Result)



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By Pranav Soneji

1641: That's it from me, an entertaining final comes to an end - and yet more silverware for Saints. Over and out.

1635: Wembley explodes into a chorus of the Fratellis' "Chelsea Dagger", which is fast becoming an indie sporting anthem across the country. The famous trophy is passed from Saints player to player to loft the cup to all and sundry, but the biggest cheer is reserved for Daniel Anderson, who snags the trophy on the way down the steps.

1633: Hull captain Lee Radford leads his disconsolate players up the 107 steps to receive their consolation medals, probably the most painful part of the day - they look distraught. In complete contrast the Saints boys shake as many outstretched hands as possible as Keiron Cunningham comes forward to take the Challenge Cup from DCMS Minister Andy Burnham.


"Great game end to end entertaining play. Saints had the best of the play and came out winners at the end. Pity about the fight at the end." Peter, North Devon via TEXT 81111

1628: So there it is - Daniel Anderson, who is set to leave Saints at the end of the season, wins the first big trophy of the season. The Saints boys are loving it - and apparently Lance Todd winner Paul Wellens reckons they can get even better. Richard Agar cuts a forlorn figure as he looks to the fans, while opposite number Anderson embraces two-try winger Francis Meli.


80 minutes: Sean Long absolutely loses it on the hooter as Jamie Thackray comes in with a swinging arm and all hell threatens to break lose. But referee Ganson quickly ends matters when he awards Saints a penalty.

79 minutes: News just in - Paul Wellens is named the Lance Todd trophy winner for his brilliant performance at full-back.

76 minutes:TRY - ST HELENS 28-16 HULL
Throw everything they might, but Hull are ripped to shreds as Keiron Cunningham feeds a charging Leon Pryce, who scythes through the tired tackles for Saints try number five. And the trusty left boot of Sean Long adds another two points wide on the left.

74 minutes:TRY - ST HELENS 22-16 HULL
Which idiot said Saints would win in the last entry? Gareth Raynor, who has been a rock defensively, does what he is paid to do and finishes off in the corner. Nice work from Graeme Horne, whose offload sets up the try. But Danny Tickle's attempt to add two points goes wide of the posts. You can bet your bottom dollar Hull are going to throw everything in this final five minutes.

71 minutes:TRY - ST HELENS 22-12 HULL
Jon Wilkin charges down Danny Washbrook's clearance kick, hands off Tommy Lee and races under the posts for Saints' fourth score - a try which could effectively seal Saints' third successive Challenge Cup final victory. Referee Ganson asks video ref Ashley Klein to check the charge down was legitimate, which the Australian official confirms. Wilkin sets up a simple punt in front of the sticks for Sean Long - and the Saints fans are absolutely loving it.

69 minutes: Tenacious chasing from Maurie Fa'asavalu sees Todd Byrne bundled back over his tryline, forcing Hull to drop out from under their posts. But all their good work is undone by a uncharacteristic handling error from James Graham.


"Fantastic 50/50 game both teams are a credit to the sport as well as very good support, judgment and common sense from Mr Ganson and the touch judges!"
Gareth via TEXT 81111

65 minutes:TRY - ST HELENS 16-12 HULL
Just class - Saints make the most of a penalty and camp inside Hull's 10m line. Leon Pryce darts across the backline and feeds an unmarked Francis Meli on the left wing for his second try of the afternoon. The New Zealand international uses his nous to steal valuable yards to help Sean Long add the two extra points.

63 minutes:TRY - ST HELENS 10-12 HULL
The Airlie Birds fans go absolutely ballistic as Kirk Yeaman goes over for Hull's second try of the game, courtesy of a sweet inside pass from Willie Manu. Saints are still fuming from the knock-on decision which led to the try. No use arguing boys, you're in for a bumpy final 15 minutes. Danny Tickle adds the extra two points with a belting left-foot thump.

BBC Sport

"I get the feeling that Hull FC have weathered the storm in this third quarter."
Wakefield coach John Kear on BBC Radio Five Live Sports Extra

61 minutes: It's getting scrappy - from both sides - as Paul Wellens is called for a debatable knock on 10m from their tryline, but replays suggest the touch judge made the right call. Hang on to your hats folks, we could be in for some serious fireworks here...

55 minutes: James Roby concedes a tight penalty as referee Steve Ganson adjudges he had been held in a tackle 10 metres from Hull's line, a decision which the hooker fiercely disagrees with.

52 minutes: Sean Long cuts through the Hull defence to touch down on the right, but the Hull players are not happy as they believe there was illegal crossing in the build-up to the score. Video ref Ashley Klein agrees and you could sense Long thought the same as his celebrations were missing his usual ebullience.

51 minutes: As the weather takes its toll, Hull have only four interchanges left, while Saints are left with five. Both teams are also missing one player each through injuries. The game could be won and lost on the bench.

49 minutes: Saints look a touch rattled, but once again look to their front row to make vital yards into Hull's half. Sean Long, Lance Todd winner on three occasions, has been muted, although saying that he then sends up a perfectly weighted high ball taken by Todd Byrne, who is nailed by Paul Wellens, forcing a Hull drop-out from under their posts.

45 minutes: More drama - this time with touch judge Steve Wright, who tears a calf muscle and is replaced by Robert Hicks. This rugby league business...

44 minutes:TRY - ST HELENS 10-6 HULL
Game on -Kirk Yeaman races 75m after intercepting Keiron Cunningham's pass to give Hull's faithful fans something to sing about. Leon Pryce gives up chase with 10m to go as the centre slides over. Danny Tickle ensures the deficit is cut to just four points.

42 minutes: Textbook high ball catch from Gareth Raynor five metres out from his tryline, keeping his eyes on the ball with half of Saints' forward line inches away from clattering him into next week. His catch sets up Tom Briscoe for a swift break, but the centre is forced to leave the field with a leg injury after he is brought down. Worrying times for Richard Agar.

41 minutes: And we're off as Sean Long gets the second half under way.

BBC Sport

"I think Hull will be happy enough to trail 10-0 at the break. They were clinging on at times, but offered enough in attack to suggest this is far from over. And what a tackle from Todd Byrne on Meli..."
BBC Sport's Phil Harlow at Wembley

BBC Sport

"Saints should have had this game put to bed by now. I think their coach Daniel Anderson will be discussing about making more of their chances in the second half. I've been impressed with Hull and they have defended manfully. This final is very much alive and kicking if Hull can score early in the second half."
Wakefield coach John Kear on BBC Radio Five Live Sports Extra

40 minutes: The half-time hooter goes and Hull will take a 10-0 deficit as Saints failed to make the most of two try-scoring opportunities. The defending champs are on top here, but a slight of hand here, a twinkle toes there and that deficit will be reduced in a matter of minutes.

37 minutes: Saints farm the ball out to Francis Meli for what looks like try number three, but Todd Byrne is right on the money with a quite brilliant tackle which sends the winger out to touch before he grounds the ball. Video ref Ashley Klein confirms their had been a double movement in the process, so Hull clear their lines. Edge of seat stuff this.

35 minutes: "Maurie! All the way!" shouts referee Ganson as Fa'asavalu tries to steal a few yards at the play the ball. Strong running from Paul Wellens and Leon Pryce sees Saints just held up on the Hull tryline as Gareth Raynor gratefully shields the ball from harm's way. It's not what you would call slick passing, but it sure is entertaining.

"Poor Scully! I think he has had more surgery than Steve Austin. If you look at the back of his head does it magnify what is in front for you?"
djdandeman on 606

31 minutes: This game has seen plenty of breaks as Gareths Carvell and Raynor move Hull up to the halfway line, but Kirk Yeaman overcooks a little dink to hand possession back to Saints.

28 minutes: Brilliant break from Paul Wellens, who breaks through two tackles to set Saints up for a certain score by Willie Talau in the corner, only for referee Ganson to rule the try out for a forward pass. Oof! Look at the faces of those Saints players - like a bulldog chewing a stinging nettle...

27 minutes: A cheeky kick from Tommy Lee sees Ade Gardner caught inside his own in-goal area, resulting in a drop-out under the posts. A promising little spell for the men from East Yorkshire.

26 minutes: Saints use the power of their forwards in the middle of the pitch to give Sean Long the opportunity to thump a testing high kick, which Kirk Yeaman doesn't deal with too well on his own tryline. However, big call from referee Steve Ganson, who penalises Saints for offside for the second time, giving Hull the ideal opportunity to clear their lines.

23 minutes: A confidence boost for Hull as winger Matt Sing makes a break, which sees Graeme Horne just held up two metres from the Saints tryline in the corner. Encouraging, but they'll need plenty more of that to unsettle Saints' obdurate defence.

18 minutes: TRY - ST HELENS 10-0 HULL
Just seconds after another crashing tackle on Horne on the Saints tryline, the defending champions are in for their second score of the game as Francis Meli races through for a 70m solo try. The winger is fed by a slick inside pass from James Graham before skipping past two weak tackles. Meli actually slowed down at one point because he thought referee Ganson had blown his whistle for an infringement, but was told to get across the tryline by his team-mates. Sean Long adds the extras.

16 minutes: Richard Horne, who has not played for Hull since April is absolutely nailed by James Graham with his very first touch of the game. The half-back, who suffered a serious neck injury, just gets up and carries on with the game. Nails.

BBC Sport

"It has been a chaotic game - somebody needs to show some composure to get a grip on this game."
Wakefield coach John Kear on BBC Radio Five Live Sports Extra

13 minutes: Saints are all over Hull right now. Sean Long spins the ball out to Ade Gardner, but the winger drops the ball just as he is about to ground the ball. All that was because of a needless Hull knock on. It's all about discipline innit?

12 minutes: Some news on Paul Sculthorpe - the loose forward dislocated his shoulder and had it "popped" back in, but he will play no further part in the final.

7 minutes: TRY - ST HELENS 4-0 HULL
Matt Gidley waltzes through the Hull defence for the first score of the afternoon from a Saints scrum, set up by a superbly timed pass from full-back Paul Wellens. Hull coach Richard Agar may ask questions about Kirk Yeaman's tackle on Wellens, which he could have made a little earlier. Sean Long misses the conversion attempt.

5 minutes: The resulting set of six sees Tommy Lee's hanging kick to the corner batted down by winger Raynor, but the bounce is not kind for Hull and Saints manage to avert the danger.

3 minutes: Gareth Raynor takes a thumping high kick right by his toes and Saints are penalised for offside, giving Hull the ideal opportunity to seek attacking territory.

1 minute: And Hull get the final under way, with Saints going through their set of six without too much alarm. Oh dear, Paul Sculthorpe is being helped off the pitch with what looks like an arm injury. Heartbreak.

1430: The experienced Steve Ganson is the merry whistleblower, as one pundit likes to refer to referees. His last Challenge Cup final was Hull's 25-24 win over Leeds in the 2005 Challenge Cup final. Lucky omen, up to you to decide... And we're ready for kick off!!

BBC Sport

"Minute's silence for Don Fox. Nice touch... No chance of a Watersplash Final today though. As warm as you like here."
BBC Sport's Phil Harlow at Wembley

1428: An impeccably observed minute's silence for Don Fox, as well see a close-up of his brother Neil wipe away a stray tear.


"My mate says St Helens will by over 50 points so I'll go for the opposite, Hull to avenge the Warriors!"
Fred from Accy via TEXT 81111

1424: "Abide with me" rings out around Wembley, "you cannot whack it as a pre-Cup final anthem" says BBC Sport's Phil Harlow at Wembley. Meanwhile Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Andy Burnham is introduced to the two teams, alongside a few other top bods from The Great Game.

1422: There will be a minute's silence in memory of former Lance Todd Trophy winner Don Fox, who sadly passed away last week. Fox will always be remembered for his last-gasp missed conversion attempt for Wakefield in the famous 1968 Challenge Cup final in the 11-10 defeat by Leeds. The BBC's David Coleman asked him if winning the Lance Todd Trophy as man of the match was any consolation. "No, not really," was his reply. Legendary.

1419: Denied Motu Tony and Adam Dykes, Hull coach Richard Agar has opted for Todd Byrne at full-back, with Tommy Lee filling in for Australian Dykes. Not the former Motley Crue, mind.


"My prediction is 38-12 to Saints with the enigma (can't say what i want to) Sean Long MOTM. Let's show the Premier League what a great game rugby league is!"
djdandeman on 606

1412: Hull KR coach Justin Morgan, commentating for BBC TV, says the bench could hold the key to victory as the Australian believes Hull do not have the strength in depth that Saints have. Anderson admits he has taken a gamble with Maurie Fa'asavalu on the bench as the prop has not played since the semi-finals. Saints were dealt a major blow when New Zealand international prop Jason Cayless was ruled out, but it's hardly as if they're struggling for replacements with the likes of Nick Fozzard to step up to the plate. Richard Agar has also thrown a leftfield selection with Great Britain international half-back Richard Horne, who has not played since April because of a career-threatening neck injury. Morgan also reckons he has lost about two stone of bulk, he is looking a touch Kate Mosseque too.

1408: Saints coach Daniel Anderson caused a bit of a rumpus for eschewing the traditional eve-of-final walkabout at Wembley, but Richard Agar's Hull had no such issues, soaking in the atmosphere of the national stadium on Friday. Agar will be hoping to emulate his father Allan's achievements, who won the Challenge Cup in 1983 with unfancied Featherstone Rovers, although Hull had been on the receiving end of that surprise defeat 25 years ago.


"I think everyone outside of St Helens wants Hull to win today. Not just because they are underdogs...but because Saints are so arrogant."
Rick via TEXT 81111

Nothing like a bit of controversial banter to kick off proceedings, although I've just seen a Hull fan with a dreadlocks wig wearing a G-string and not much else. My colleague next to me was about to tuck into her jacket potato before she saw that. She has now sent her lunch back.

1400: Our man at Wembley Phil Harlow has just got word of the teams - they are as follows:
St Helens: Wellens, Gardner, Gidley, Talau, Meli, Pryce, Long, Hargreaves, Cunningham, Graham, Wilkin, Flannery, Sculthorpe
Interchanges: Gilmour, Roby, Clough, Fa'asavalu

Hull: Byrne, Sing, G Horne, Yeaman, Raynor, Washbrook, Lee, Dowes, Berrigan, Cusack, Manu, Tickle, Radford
Interchanges: R Horne, Carvell, Briscoe, Thackery

Young Harlers wishes he had his deckchair with him as it's absolutely roasting at Wembley. Just don't get those knobbly knees out Phil, there will be small children and people of a nervous disposition about.

1354: This isn't all one-way banter you know. Get involved this afternoon via 606 or TEXT 81111 with the word "RUGBYL" before your message. Oh, and don't forget to put your name for your five seconds of sheer rugby league glory.

1352: Some news for you - scrum-half Adam Dykes will not feature for Hull, which could mean injury-plagued Richard Horne could be set for the number six shirt. Saints have named Great Britain international Maurie Fa'asavalu on the replacements' bench. BBC Sport columnist Jon Wilkin described the Samoan-born prop as a "human wrecking ball". I wouldn't want to run off with his cornetto.

1347: So here it is, rugby league's Wembley showpiece with those Saints boys going for Challenge Cup number three against the Airlie Birds from 'Ull, champions of 2005 in one of the most exciting final upsets in a good long while. No doubt the boys in black and white and their army of supporters will be expecting the same again in north west London this afternoon. Both sides have had their fair share of injury problems going into the match, with neither coach announcing their teams until an hour before kick-off.

Hull FC (from): Berrigan, Briscoe, Byrne, Carvell, Cusack, Dowes, Dykes, G Horne, R Horne, Houghton, Lee, Manu, Radford, Raynor, Sing, Thackray, Tickle, Washbrook, Yeaman.

St Helens (from): Wellens, Gardner, Gidley, Talau, Meli, Pryce, Long, Fozzard, Cunningham, Gilmour, Wilkin, Sculthorpe, Roby, Flannery, Graham, Hargreaves, Clough, Fa'asavalu, Eastmond.

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see also
Live - Wigan v Leeds
12 Jun 09 |  Rugby League
Super Saints clinch Cup final win
29 Aug 08 |  Rugby League
Saints to shun Wembley walkabout
26 Aug 08 |  St Helens
Agar ignores Cup odds
29 Aug 08 |  Hull
Wilkin's player profiles
28 Aug 08 |  St Helens
Ask Jon Wilkin
26 Aug 08 |  St Helens
Lance Todd Trophy winners
26 Aug 10 |  Rugby League

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