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Page last updated at 16:52 GMT, Saturday, 30 August 2008 17:52 UK
Wembley Stadium, 30 August



Daniel Anderson and Paul Wellens
Anderson and Wellens celebrate with their third successive cup win

Lance Todd Trophy winner Paul Wellens dedicated St Helens' 28-16 Challenge Cup final victory over Hull to outgoing coach Daniel Anderson.

The Australian will leave the club at the end of the season after three successful years in charge.

And Wellens believes Anderson has become an all-time Saints great.

"It's special for Daniel, he has been fantastic since he arrived and he will be remembered long after he has gone," Wellens told BBC Sport.

Saints were dealt an early blow when Paul Sculthorpe was forced to withdraw when he sustained a dislocated shoulder making a tackle in the first minute of the match.

The loose forward, who will leave Knowsley Road at the end of the season, has been plagued with injuries and had managed only 12 appearances in the run up to the Wembley final.

"Hopefully it's not as bad as first feared but that's rugby league and Scully's a tough guy, he'll deal with it," said Wellens.

The England and Great Britain full-back was once again in imperious form for Saints, turning defence into attack as well as providing crucial support around the fringes.

But the 28-year-old admitted the defending champions had been given a thorough examination by Hull in the sweltering London heat.

That was one of the fastest games I have played in all year, it was end to end in the first half

Saints scrum-half Sean Long

"We tried to put the points on the board a bit too early before building the pressure," he said.

"Hull's defence was fantastic and they made us make mistakes.

"We prepared for the toughest game of our lives - we have a healthy respect for this Hull side and we had to play the full 80 minutes, it was a gutsy effort from the boys."

Anderson admitted he had been nervous for long periods of the match, especially when Hull took a 14-12 lead into the final 15 minutes of the match.

"I definitely got heart palpitations," he said. "We almost found a way to lose. I thought we squandered ample opportunities in the first half, we had genuine try-scoring plays.

"I had a real bad feeling at the start of the second half, I thought it was going to come back to bite us.

"We are a very good front-running team but I knew the first try would provide momentum for Hull.

"Credit to us. We were honest for 80 minutes and I think that got us through. It was a tough game, I don't think people realise how much the first half took out of us."

Anderson also singled out the outstanding contribution of Wellens, who earned the Lance Todd Trophy for his man-of-the-match performance in the number one shirt.

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"He was a stand-out today, his presence at the back was very calming for the team," he said.

With Saints two points clear at the top of the Super League, Anderson could bow out as a double Challenge Cup and Grand Final winner.

"I'm very proud and have been since I came to St Helens," he added. "I knew I was coming to a fantastically traditional club with some of the world's great players. "I'll go home with some fantastic memories and have been very privileged to be the coach."

Scrum-half Sean Long admitted Saints were not at their clinical best during the first 40 minutes.

"That was one of the fastest games I have played in all year, it was end to end in the first half," he said.

"We had a couple of chances in the first half but all credit to them (Hull), they just kept coming back at us, it was like an arm wrestle.

"The 50/50s weren't going our way, I thought it wasn't going to be our day."

see also
Jon Wilkin column
30 Aug 08 |  St Helens
Yeaman devastated by final defeat
30 Aug 08 |  Rugby League
Super Saints clinch Cup final win
30 Aug 08 |  Rugby League
Challenge Cup final photos
30 Aug 08 |  Rugby League
Wilkin's player profiles
28 Aug 08 |  St Helens
Ask Jon Wilkin
26 Aug 08 |  St Helens
St Helens to let Sculthorpe leave
14 Aug 08 |  St Helens


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