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St Helens 16 Leeds Rhinos 32

Leeds Rhinos have made Super League history by becoming the first team to win the trophy five times with a 32-16 win over St Helens at Old Trafford.

The wet conditions had a major impact on the opening stages with both teams keeping the ball tight and cautions not to stray too near the touchline for fear of being dragged out of play.

St Helens the best early chance after Brent Webb knocked on with the Rhinos first use of the ball. However, Brett Delaney was alert to the kick from Foster on the last tackle of the next set. He stuck out a leg to trap the ball then broke 60 metres up field before eventually being hauled down. Leeds kept the momentum up with Danny McGuire and Kevin Sinfield directing play and forced a repeat set. However, the chance came to nothing when Sinfield’s kick towards the post was snapped up by Jon Wilkin.

The high kick was proving to be Saints major weapon as they peppered Webb and Ben Jones-Bishop but they were more than equal to the early efforts.

Leeds had a great chance when Carl Ablett released Ryan Hall down the touchline but, with Hall running out of space, the wingers inside pass to McGuire went forward and Saints had a let off.

As the first quarter drew to a close, Saints grew in the ascendency and they had their best chance when first Louie McCarthy-Scarbrook went close but was held up near the line then Paul Clough was adjudged to have knocked on when he lost control on the Leeds line.

Saints then notched up the first points of the game when Jamie Peacock was penalised for holding down in the tackle and Jamie Foster opted to kick for goal from right in front of the posts and 25 metres out.

Leeds were able to reply almost instantaneously when Buderus was awarded a penalty as James Roby knocked the ball from his grasp in the tackle. Sinfield opted for the long range effort at goal and put it straight between the posts to level the score after 26 minutes.

The game was beginning to settle into some shape after the breaking off the deadlock and Leeds managed to get themselves on the front foot. Zak Hardaker did well to get his team going forward from deep before a powerful run from Bailey sent Saints defenders scattering. Finally the line was broken as Rob Burrow ducked under an attempted tackle and produced a sublime sidestep to leave Paul Wellens for dead before sprinting through to score next to the posts. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 8-2 after 33 minutes.

Leeds finished the half with a fantastic defensive effort to keep Saints out. That included an incredible tackle by Hardaker on Wellens to deny him a certain try. Leeds were forced to drop out with 31 seconds left on the clock but they produced another fine display to keep them out and leave the score 8-2 at the break.

If the first half effort was outstanding the defensive stint at the start of the second half was phenomenal. Saints forced the Rhinos into four repeat sets as they penned Leeds in their in goal time after time. Leeds withstood the pressure even when Dixon went close as he knocked on trying to touch down a ball lost by Jamie Jones-Buchanan.

Leeds eventually came down field as Sinfield attempted a drop goal that drifted wide to the right of the posts.

Saints made sure they got points from their next visit to the Leeds line. Having forced another repeat set, they had a slice of good fortune in their score. Brent Webb slid along the turf to knock the ball dead but he did not place his hand on the ball and Tom Makinson stretch around to touch it down just as it was going over the line. Foster added the conversion to level the score.

St Helens sniffed blood and went for the kill soon afterwards. Having got the ball deep in Leeds territory they moved it quickly along the line and Shenton went through untouched down the right. Foster was off target with the conversion attempt but his side now led 12-8.

He soon made amends for that miss, when he firstly knocked over a penalty after 57 minutes and then, when Sinfield put the restart out on the full, added another from half way. At this stage Saints led 16-8 with twenty minutes to go and faced another huge challenge.

They got a try back four minutes later when Brent Webb sold an audacious dummy to Sia Soliola and showed great strength to stretch out and score. Sinfield added a brilliant conversion to bring his side to within two points.

Sinfield was then coolness personified as he elected to go for go from 45 metres out near the South Stand touchline. His kicked had nearly 20 metres spare as it sailed straight between the posts to level the score.

The game was in the balance once again and the Rhinos struck the next blow. Man of the match Burrow was the architect as once again he danced through the Saints defence before finding Ryan Hall to score in the corner. Sinfield was off target with the conversion so there was still a massive challenge to withstand a Saints fightback.

However with six minutes to go, the Rhinos looked to have sealed the game when Buderus released Ablett, who spun in the tackle to touch down in the corner and add a Grand Final try to his Challenge Cup Final effort from earlier in the season. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 26-16 with five minutes remaining.

In the dying moments of the game it looked like it might be a fairytale ending to his Leeds career for Ali Lauitiiti, but his effort was denied by the video referee.  With a minute left to play though Zak Hardaker broke free to score a try on his Grand Final debut and ensure the Rhinos were taking the trophy back to Headingley Carnegie for a fifth time.

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St Helens 16 Leeds Rhinos 32

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St Helens 16 Leeds Rhinos 32

Leeds Rhinos have made Super League history by becoming the first team to win the trophy five times with a 32-16 win over St Helens at Old Trafford.

The wet conditions had a major impact on the opening stages with both teams keeping the ball tight and cautions not to stray too near the touchline for fear of being dragged out of play.

St Helens the best early chance after Brent Webb knocked on with the Rhinos first use of the ball. However, Brett Delaney was alert to the kick from Foster on the last tackle of the next set. He stuck out a leg to trap the ball then broke 60 metres up field before eventually being hauled down. Leeds kept the momentum up with Danny McGuire and Kevin Sinfield directing play and forced a repeat set. However, the chance came to nothing when Sinfield’s kick towards the post was snapped up by Jon Wilkin.

The high kick was proving to be Saints major weapon as they peppered Webb and Ben Jones-Bishop but they were more than equal to the early efforts.

Leeds had a great chance when Carl Ablett released Ryan Hall down the touchline but, with Hall running out of space, the wingers inside pass to McGuire went forward and Saints had a let off.

As the first quarter drew to a close, Saints grew in the ascendency and they had their best chance when first Louie McCarthy-Scarbrook went close but was held up near the line then Paul Clough was adjudged to have knocked on when he lost control on the Leeds line.

Saints then notched up the first points of the game when Jamie Peacock was penalised for holding down in the tackle and Jamie Foster opted to kick for goal from right in front of the posts and 25 metres out.

Leeds were able to reply almost instantaneously when Buderus was awarded a penalty as James Roby knocked the ball from his grasp in the tackle. Sinfield opted for the long range effort at goal and put it straight between the posts to level the score after 26 minutes.

The game was beginning to settle into some shape after the breaking off the deadlock and Leeds managed to get themselves on the front foot. Zak Hardaker did well to get his team going forward from deep before a powerful run from Bailey sent Saints defenders scattering. Finally the line was broken as Rob Burrow ducked under an attempted tackle and produced a sublime sidestep to leave Paul Wellens for dead before sprinting through to score next to the posts. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 8-2 after 33 minutes.

Leeds finished the half with a fantastic defensive effort to keep Saints out. That included an incredible tackle by Hardaker on Wellens to deny him a certain try. Leeds were forced to drop out with 31 seconds left on the clock but they produced another fine display to keep them out and leave the score 8-2 at the break.

If the first half effort was outstanding the defensive stint at the start of the second half was phenomenal. Saints forced the Rhinos into four repeat sets as they penned Leeds in their in goal time after time. Leeds withstood the pressure even when Dixon went close as he knocked on trying to touch down a ball lost by Jamie Jones-Buchanan.

Leeds eventually came down field as Sinfield attempted a drop goal that drifted wide to the right of the posts.

Saints made sure they got points from their next visit to the Leeds line. Having forced another repeat set, they had a slice of good fortune in their score. Brent Webb slid along the turf to knock the ball dead but he did not place his hand on the ball and Tom Makinson stretch around to touch it down just as it was going over the line. Foster added the conversion to level the score.

St Helens sniffed blood and went for the kill soon afterwards. Having got the ball deep in Leeds territory they moved it quickly along the line and Shenton went through untouched down the right. Foster was off target with the conversion attempt but his side now led 12-8.

He soon made amends for that miss, when he firstly knocked over a penalty after 57 minutes and then, when Sinfield put the restart out on the full, added another from half way. At this stage Saints led 16-8 with twenty minutes to go and faced another huge challenge.

They got a try back four minutes later when Brent Webb sold an audacious dummy to Sia Soliola and showed great strength to stretch out and score. Sinfield added a brilliant conversion to bring his side to within two points.

Sinfield was then coolness personified as he elected to go for go from 45 metres out near the South Stand touchline. His kicked had nearly 20 metres spare as it sailed straight between the posts to level the score.

The game was in the balance once again and the Rhinos struck the next blow. Man of the match Burrow was the architect as once again he danced through the Saints defence before finding Ryan Hall to score in the corner. Sinfield was off target with the conversion so there was still a massive challenge to withstand a Saints fightback.

However with six minutes to go, the Rhinos looked to have sealed the game when Buderus released Ablett, who spun in the tackle to touch down in the corner and add a Grand Final try to his Challenge Cup Final effort from earlier in the season. Sinfield added the conversion to make it 26-16 with five minutes remaining.

In the dying moments of the game it looked like it might be a fairytale ending to his Leeds career for Ali Lauitiiti, but his effort was denied by the video referee.  With a minute left to play though Zak Hardaker broke free to score a try on his Grand Final debut and ensure the Rhinos were taking the trophy back to Headingley Carnegie for a fifth time.