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Sunday, 20 October, 2002, 10:23 GMT 11:23 UK
A fantastic finale
St Helens celebrate after winning the Super League Grand Final
St Helens celebrate their success
Ray French

They will be arguing about the 2002 Super League Grand Final for a long time to come, but Bradford have only got themselves to blame for failing to hold onto their title.

I can understand their moans and groans about one or two refereeing decisions, but they blew it.

Rugby league is back and in good health

Ray French

They held the lead at crucial times but paid the price for their mistakes. Nevertheless, they can take a lot from this season.

It has been a long time since I have seen them play much better than they have in the last couple of weeks, first at Knowsley Road and then at Old Trafford.

Anyone who criticises the Bulls as a team that focuses too much on their rolling forwards is way off the mark.

They played some wonderful rugby and scored the better tries on Saturday night. But their errors cost them dear.

Sean Long
Long was the hero on the night
Take nothing away from St Helens. They are a class team with a number of brilliant individuals, who - cometh the hour - can deliver something special.

And Sean Long did just that. He must have thought he had blown his opportunity after missing a sitter in front of the posts.

Then again, it is a quality player who is able to regain his composure and, with 40 or so seconds left on the clock, come up with the goods.

Let's face it, Super League's showpiece was a great event, a truly magnificent final.

You could not have asked for a better finale and you could not have had a better kick-start to Great Britain's Test series against the New Zealand.

For the season to come down to the last 40 seconds just shows you how evenly matched Bradford and St Helens have been in 2002.

There was nothing to separate them during the regular season and there was nothing to separate them on Saturday, just that one drop kick.

It was great advert for rugby league, well worthy of the record crowd that turned up

Ray French

Look at the number of players who went down with cramp in the last 15 minutes.

They had given their all throughout the season, yet they were still giving their all with seconds remaining.

It was great advert for rugby league, well worthy of the record crowd that turned up at Old Trafford.

And I have got news for anyone who was saying 12 months ago that this game was dying.

We are going to have to wait a long time for the funeral.

Rugby league is back and in good health.


Bulls 18-19 Saints

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