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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 October 2006, 18:55 GMT 19:55 UK
Grand Final as it happened

By Elizabeth Hudson

Latest updates (all times BST):

80 mins FULL-TIME: St Helens 26-4 Hull
Saints try one last push forward and their fans count down to the end of a magnificent match. They have completed a superb achievement - their fourth Grand Final success and the domestic treble of Grand Final, Challenge Cup and League Leaders Shield.

The Harry Sunderland award for Man of the Match goes to St Helens full-back Paul Wellens who completes a magnificent week after winning the Man of Steel award on Tuesday.

A proud Sean Long lifts the Grand Final Trophy and as after the Challenge Cup final win, Maurie Fa'asavalu celebrates with his version of the haka.

76 mins: Saints are coming closer to completing the clean sweep and Paul Wellens shows his skill with another tackle to deny Gareth Raynor.

73 mins: Hull are trying right to the end but the damage has already been done thanks to an emphatic Saints display.

70 mins: Winger Gareth Raynor sees the ball fall through his hands as he tries to get through to the line and it is not Hull's night.

67 mins: Gaps are appearing in the Hull defence with a break from Jon Wilkin but Long's kick drifts out of play. But another Saints score can't be too far away.

64 mins: Hull are looking tired and Sean Long cheekily tries to rub further salt into the wounds with a drop-goal attempt but his kick is charged down.

62 mins: TRY: St Helens 26-4 Hull
Keiron Cunningham scores his 150th try for Saints after a neat piece of play with Maurie Fa'asavalu. The short offload gets to Cunningham and he makes no mistake powering over from 10 metres out despite some resolute Hull defence. Lyon is on target with the kick.

60 mins: Hull have not given up and they are taking some risks to try to cut the gap but luck isn't on their side and Sid Domic knocks the ball on around 15 metres from the line.

59 mins: Hull's Lee Radford breaks forward and passes out to Richard Horne but Man of Steel Paul Wellens does superbly to stop Horne and then Motu Tony in quick succession.

56 mins: Saints are well in the ascendancy and with Sean Long kicking superbly they are inching closer to victory.

53 mins: TRY: St Helens 20-4 Hull
Saints come to within a inch of the line again through Talau and when the ball is switched to the other side of the pitch, Sean Long's high kick is caught by Ade Gardner who plucks the ball from the air and scores - although the video referee is called on to give the try the green light. Jamie Lyon puts Saints two further points ahead and it is looking like a long way back for Hull.

50 mins: TRY: St Helens 14-4 Hull
All of Saints pressure pays off. Graeme Horne again commits a mistake and, full of confidence, James Graham, James Roby and Jason Hooper combine and with the Hull defence struggling, Willie Talau gets the first try of the second half. Jamie Lyon misses the extras. Is this the score that turns the game Saints way?

47 mins: Sean Long's high crossfield kick causes some concern but Francis Meli knocks the ball forward as he leaps to challenge.

44 mins: Rio Ferdinand is an interested spectator at Old Trafford, taking in the game after playing in Manchester United's win over Wigan earlier on Saturday while Ryder Cup star Lee Westwood is also in the crowd. Any idea who he supports?

42 mins: Both sides start with a couple of steady sets and the two defences are holding firm early on.

1904: Hull get the second half underway. They need to regroup and everyone will be hoping for another exciting 40 minutes.

40 mins: HALF-TIME: St Helens 10-4 Hull
Saints finish the half on a high and Hull coach Peter Sharp will have to raise his side for the second half after such a late blow.

39 mins: TRY: St Helens 10-4 Hull
Disaster for Hull and delight for St Helens. Graeme Horne is controversially penalised for obstruction and Saints capitalise as Leon Pryce takes Sean Long's pass, dummies and breaks through to score in the corner. Jamie Lyon kicks the ball between the post - the final act of the first half. What did I say earlier about Saints being renowned for scoring late in the half?

38 mins: Jason Hooper commits a high tackle and is penalised. This could be a chance for Hull to score before the break.

35 mins: A great kick by Paul Cooke and when Paul Wellens has a moment of hesitation, he is trapped by a couple of Hull players who trap him in goal. Hull are looking the stronger again.

32 mins: Another break from Jamie Lyon but this time he passes to Ade Gardner. Gardner launches for the line but Shaun Briscoe gets in a crucial tackle to push Gardner out of play - surely a try-saving effort.

30 mins: As the half-hour mark arrives, James Roby comes on for Keiron Cunningham. But Hull have got to be wary - Saints are well known for scoring tries in the final 10 minutes of the half.

28 mins: A moment of madness by Jamie Lyon who breaks through the Hull defence. He tries to offload and passes the ball out wide but he doesn't have a teammate anywhere near him and Saints lose possession.

24 mins: TRY St Helens 4-4 Hull
A mazy run by Shaun Briscoe is ended by a superb Jon Wilkin tackle but Hull are not deterred and they keep the ball alive. Paul Cooke's high kick is offloaded first by Motu Tony to Shayne McMenamy and then to Sid Domic who scores to level the game. But Paul Cooke's kick bounces off the upright.

22 mins The try against the run of play seems to have rocked Hull and St Helens are looking the more confident. They try to keep the ball alive on the last tackle but eventually the pressure is eased when a kick goes over the end line.

18 mins: TRY St Helens 4-0 Hull
Saints might have been second-best when it comes to possession but they are ahead. A high kick by Sean Long catches out the Hull defence and Francis Meli pounces to score right in the corner. Jamie Lyon misses the extras.

16 mins: Saints are helped by a penalty against Danny Washbrook as they try to open the scoring.

15 mins: Sean Long's kick gets behind the Hull defence but Shaun Briscoe rescues the situation to set up another Hull attack.

13 mins: A change of tactics for Saints who bring on Maurie Fa'asavalu in place of Paul Anderson.

12 mins: Saints defence is holding firm and they restrict Hull who can only get to 30m out from their own line on the fifth tackle. The Knowsley Road side are starting to look a bit more dangerous.

10 mins: Hull will be pleased with their first 10 minutes of the game as they chase a second win of the season over Saints.

8 mins:Drama as Gareth Raynor escapes the challenge of a couple of Saints tackles and goes over the line in the corner but Jamie Lyon tackles Raynor to put him out of play before he puts the ball over the line. The video referee correctly disallows the try.

7 mins: Richard Horne sends a grubber kick through putting more pressure on St Helens and forcing a goal-line dropout. Hull are certainly looking the more confident.

6 mins: Paul Anderson concedes a penalty while tackling Gareth Raynor and the Airlie Birds have another chance to push forward.

4 mins: Hull opt to kick on their last tackle but Cooke's kick drifts over the end line under the watchful eye of Man of Steel Paul Wellens.

2 mins:The first mistake of the game from Francis Meli - a controversial knock-on -gifts possession back to Hull but they lose it again as they push for the line.

1 min:Hull's first set of six tackles sees an outstanding kick from Paul Cooke on the last tackle and they will be happy with their start.

1803: Sean Long kicks off and the game is underway.

1801: A cacophany of noise from the record 73,000-strong crowd greets the St Helens and Hull teams as they make their way onto the Old Trafford pitch.

1753: The teams are coming to the end of their warm-ups as the crowds continue to make their way into the ground. The tension rises as the trophy is carried out onto the pitch.

1748: Conditions are almost perfect at Old Trafford - the weather is dry and the wind is almost non-existent.

1740: Television spectators are given a pre-match surprise with the news that some of the players will be wearing cameras mounted on their headguards during the match.


St Helens: Wellens, Gardner, Lyon, Talau, Meli, Pryce, Long, P. Anderson, Cunningham, Cayless, Gilmour, Wilkin, Hooper.
Replacements: Roby, Graham, Bennett, Fa'asavalu.

Hull: Briscoe, Tony, Domic, Yeaman, Raynor, Cooke, R. Horne, Dowes, Swain, Carvell, McMenemy, Radford, Washbrook.
Replacements: Whiting, G. Horne, Wheeldon, King.

Referee: K Kirkpatrick (Warrington)

SEE ALSO
Grand Final photos
14 Oct 06 |  Rugby League
Anderson's final fling
11 Oct 06 |  St Helens
Long keen for Saints clean sweep
11 Oct 06 |  St Helens
Saint Lyon keen to go out on high
10 Oct 06 |  Super League
Wellens wins Man of Steel award
09 Oct 06 |  Super League


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