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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 August 2006, 16:24 GMT 17:24 UK
Record-breaker Long in dreamland
Long celebrates with the Challenge Cup trophy
Scrum-half Long set up two of his side's seven tries
St Helens scrum-half Sean Long paid tribute to his Challenge Cup-winning team-mates after collecting the Lance Todd Trophy for a record third time.

"I'm really honoured to have achieved it that many times," said Long. "It's the stuff that dreams are made of.

"I'm thankful that I'm playing in a legend of a team and playing off great forwards - it makes my job much easier.

"We knew we had to play as a team and we did that today - all 17 men were absolutely awesome."

Long, who also won the man of the match trophy in 2001 and 2004, was in fine form as his side romped to a 42-12 victory over Huddersfield at Twickenham.

He scored his side's second try as well as setting up two others with a kicking game that was a constant threat.

The Challenge Cup final is one of the biggest games in a player's career

Two-try hero Jon Wilkin

"When I won the first I didn't really take it in, but as you get older you savour the finals," Long added.

"It could be my last final, so I've taken it in a lot this week. It's getting better and better and it feels sweet."

"Sean's been playing awesome all year - it's great to play inside and outside him," said Jamie Lyon, who kicked seven conversions from seven attempts.

St Helens were put under the cosh early on and conceded a try after just five minutes.

But they showed why they were big favourites by dominating the second half to secure a comprehensive victory.

"I'm tingling at the moment, it's a fantastic feeling," said coach Daniel Anderson. "I have to give full credit to the players and staff - it's been a long road.

"Credit to Huddersfield. They stuck it to us in the first half, but we wore them down and got the chocolates at the end.

Jon Wilkin scores a try at Twickenham
Jon Wilkin overcame a broken nose to play a key role for St Helens

"They were very ferocious and aggressive, and they scored a nice try to start with, but we did very well after that.

"We coped with the adversity during the game and we adjusted accordingly. Everyone did the gritty stuff when we had to.

"We have not got a lot wrong at times and I felt we thoroughly deserved to win having withstood a strong challenge from Huddersfield."

Jon Wilkin, who scored two tries, played most of the match with a broken nose.

"If the cut had stopped bleeding it would have been fine," he said. "Eventually the doctor got the bleeding stopped to keep me on the field, so credit to the medical staff."

He added: "The Challenge Cup final is one of the biggest games in a player's career and to be involved today was a privilege for me and the rest of the lads.

"Sean Long's kicking game kept the pressure off, he has improved no end and has matured into one of the best players in the world. It's a privilege to be in the same team as him."



SEE ALSO
Defeated Sharp has no complaints
26 Aug 06 |  Challenge Cup
Huddersfield 12-42 St Helens
26 Aug 06 |  Challenge Cup
Challenge Cup final as it happened
26 Aug 06 |  Challenge Cup
Challenge Cup final photos
26 Aug 06 |  Photo Galleries
Challenge Cup final preview
26 Aug 06 |  Challenge Cup


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