02/10/2011 Rugby League: Super League Highlights


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02/10/2011

All the best action from the weekend's two qualifying semi-finals, where the highest-ranked side left in the competition gets to choose their opponents via the Club Call procedure.


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This weather, this time of year? We could almost be in Sydney. But we

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are not. We are in Runcorn. But we have got some great rugby league to

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It is not far from out Runcorn Bridge that St Helens had been

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playing their home matches this season, at Widnes' stadium. Their

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broad ground closed at the end of last year, and this will be their

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magnificent new residents. It will not be ready until the start of

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next season. They might be coming here as champions. They are only 80

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minutes away from a grand final. But they have to beat macro Wycombe

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for a second time. Highlight of that much coming up a very soon.

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That remind ourselves of what happened last week. -- let's remind

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-- it is Wigan up by a landslide. It was the end of the road for the

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men from pepping on last week after a bruising encounter with the

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has changed a bit in recent years. Here is a man who used to play here.

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Jonathan Davies. He has changed a bit as well. Here is what they used

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to look like 20 years ago. sidestep! He is going for the line.

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It is back to Davies. That is magnificent rugby. He is still as

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handsome. You have changed! Just a little. What about this play-off

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series? Last week, we had a couple of good games. They have been a

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little bit one-sided. But the best sides have come to the fore. That

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is what everyone wants. It is a long season, but the top four have

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had opportunities to go through. That is what has happened. They

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looked very good last week, we can. They had a hiccup in the previous

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week, but they have regrouped. The forwards look very powerful. You

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have Tomkins's chipping in from the back. They are a very good side.

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They have won a trophy in the Cabinet as much -- already. Leeds

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are in great form at the moment. They have got great players.

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Disappointing finish to the season, but I think the Challenge Cup final

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really inspired them bus-stop although they lost, they played

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particularly well. From that game, I think they have kicked on. That

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is the game we are going to concentrate on, the first play-off

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game at of this weekend. Leeds against Warrington.

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Warrington are 6-1 with the bookmakers to beat Leeds. After

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their demolition of Huddersfield a fortnight ago, it is easy to see

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why Tony Smith's men are such heavy favourites. But the rhino's head

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into this fixture on the back of a poor match unbeaten run. -- four

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match unbeaten run. They know what it takes to win sudden-death

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matches at the business end of the the earlier rounds is over. Tonight,

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they go to it -- the winners go to all -- Old Trafford. Macro west

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would, out for six weeks with a knee injury, makes a welcome return.

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Delaney moved to the second row. Hauraki comes back to the

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They were lucky. So much indecision. All it wanted was a call, my ball.

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I was about to mention the fact that the kicking game will be

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needed to pass Mowbray stop he delayed the pass a little bit too

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Warrington in these first 20 There was another man clinging to

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to score, they are now dependent on recent weeks has been great. Kevin

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Sinfield has scored in the last 39 snatching the trifle stop superb

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effort and been Leeds fans go wild on the terraces. Fabulous vision,

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fabulous try. This is great vision up from Danny McGuire. All he has

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to do is run through the gap and Ablett gets a freebie for four pts.

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Great finish. Great kick from The Leeds defender it was there,

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but not building the right amount of pressure at the moment,

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 41 seconds

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the walls. -- first try for Warrington. Good jumping, a good

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kick, good try. Great kick from up lead prayers. -- great kick from

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 41 seconds

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Briers. That is a terrific last screaming down the alt side. He

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just had to find Atkins, but he could not. Brian McDermott seems

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scoring rate of one in every match he plays. You put all that there,

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he is just brilliant, Monaghan, for this team. He knew there would be a

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blue and yellow jumper there to finish it off. Chris Bridge adds

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another. Warrington take the lead the winner. 112 points are scored

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in their normal Superleague matches. It does not give any indication.

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They will fight for everything. We have seen desperation on both sides.

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It was non-stop, that first half. I am expecting a lot more points in

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the second half. I would think Brian McDermott, the Leeds coach,

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would be very happy to have contained Warrington's normally

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attacking approach in the first well smile. Ryan Hall, surely a man

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to grace the England side in the four-nations tournament in November.

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Grix finds the wrong man. He gets Ryan Hall and he is in the clear.

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Great four point from Leeds. Break starting the second half. Here we

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 41 seconds

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points. Leeds are' record points- smashes his way through three

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from Briers, giving them the good position for the penalty. The ball

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over the top two Matt King. Three defenders, he can't score, he

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mustn't score... He does! He's 6 foot 4 and strong. Unless you get

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the right grip on him, he'll do the corner, and Leeds are back

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again. Warrington just can't get away. What a try. I put it all down

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to Rob Burrow. He's like a snake. Only the fullback to beat. Dai

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Maguire, he's always going to get to the corner, he has to. Atkins

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and Monaghan get back. He has the wherewithal to fire the ball to

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Ryan Hall for the try. Here he goes, we have seen as so many times. He's

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off to the races. He beats wryly. Maguire, every day of the week.

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Atkinson does brilliantly to catch off. We can restart the argument

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Burrow, under the posts. The Leeds fans can hardly believe it. They

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are rank outsiders to win the Super League final. But here they are,

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put in their climbdown. Another fantastic spread play from Leeds.

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The architect in chief, Rob Burrow. Brent Webb puts the afterburners on.

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Rob Burrow was already dead. All he has to do was pass to him and he

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finishes under the sticks. -- Rob inside. You ain't going to catch

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beneath the posts. Leeds take the lead again. Warrington have beaten

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Leeds by 42-six and 40-24 in normal league games. But they are

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 41 seconds

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again, but surely he can't get is over for his second try of the

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night! Beatable work from Lee How good was that? May be a tough

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call on well Hardaker. It gives Chris Riley a clear run into the

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 41 seconds

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That is a tough decision. He spins around, doesn't he? This is a

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Hall! Surely... Is he in at the corner for a hat-trick of tries? He

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is checking the knock-on with Rob knock-on. She doesn't want to look!

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Scrum defence. Still, the saga goes penalty! What a decision! He has

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stopped the clock. REFEREE: You're Kevin Sinfield! Will he be the hero

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of the night? A two point lead. Barely two minutes remaining. A sad

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occasion for the Warrington fans. But Leeds are the winners! A

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wonderful effort by Leeds. Leeds have turned the form book over.

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They have been playing well, they have come here and been the better

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team on the night. They'd executed well, taking their opportunities on

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the counter-punch. You have to say that they are worthy winners, what

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a game. Great effort from both teams. Heartbreaking but those fans.

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But Leeds are through to Old Trafford and the Super League final

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by 26-24. The early rounds of the play-off system, people have been

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talking about the blow-out scores, I don't think they are. But they

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have been some 40s. They are thinking that a bad thing. But not

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too long ago we thought Super League was brilliant because there

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are a lot of tries scored. The only reason people are saying it is

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wrong is because we are playing and comparing it to the NRL. But they

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have different players, trained differently, with different

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resources. To try to compare them, I don't think any part of the play-

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off system has been negative. The fact we have been fit and got group

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to the final is another shot in the arm for the Super League. They are

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tenacious and they deserve to win on the night. We were made to pay

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for some of that sloppiness that we are not usually used to. I was

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pleased with the efforts of the boys. We hung in there. We were

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playing a bit busted, and all that sort of stuff. We took some risks.

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Leeds deserved it on the day. Congratulations to them. You are in

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the Grand Final. As I understand it, it could be your last match in

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Leeds colours? I just announced that I'll be heading to Newcastle.

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I've got to thank Gary Hetherington at the Rhinos for letting me do

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that. I'm going to finish of one last season at my home town club. I

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was there for 15 years. I had only signed for two years and it wasn't

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long enough, really. I've been here for three. My family has loved it.

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It's been one hell of a ride. It's the only reason for going back for

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the second phase of my life, going back to prepare for life after

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Do what you like Wigan at Old Trafford to avenge that defeat at

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Wembley? We are not bothered, really. We are 80 minutes away.

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We've given ourselves the opportunity to lift a good cup. To

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beat a good side on their own patch, it gives us confidence. Whoever we

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get, we look forward to next Saturday. Wow, what a game and what

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a performance by Leeds. The first side outside of the top three to

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make the Grand Final. Kevin Sinfield's confidence is well

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placed? We mentioned next -- last week, with Leeds, their top players

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half-backs are crucial. The blood and guts of the forwards against

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Warrington. They have been the form side, especially at home. But with

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all of the key players having significant roles, they are the

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form side at the moment. Looking at Sinfield, he says, yes. They can

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bring any one arm. They'd been there before, they know how to play

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The top team hadn't made it to Old Trafford, the 5th team has. What

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does that say about the play-offs? The top four, deservedly, had a

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second chance. But Leeds knew what they had to do. Everybody knew the

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situation at the start of the season. They have gone there and

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played knockout rugby. They have got to the final. It is all about

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peaking at the right time. Leeds have done that. You have to feel

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sorry for Warrington. They have been fantastic all season. To fail

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at the final hurdle, extraordinary? On the day, the top four, anybody

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can beat each other. You've got to perform on the day. I think they've

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scored some great tries. They'd been so entertaining. But after

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dropping out of the Challenge Cup, I thought this was there a year.

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Unfortunately, they lost to a better side. We know that Leeds are

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in a bad brand final. Who will they There can be few secrets left

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behind her -- between these two Lancashire heavy weights. Saints

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have won only one of the previous five meetings. But that was a

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fortnight ago, when victory on the Warriors's home turf and sheared a

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week off and home advantage, of sorts. But the reigning Super

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League champions looked in fine fettle when thumping the Catalan

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Dragons to set up this rematch with their fiercest rivals. As we have

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just seen, Leeds await the winners makes it a potent combination.

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Meditate grand final place up for grabs and you increase the

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intensity took eye-watering level. No Leon Pryce for St Helens. He

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would have been on the bench, but he has a stomach upset. Lomax and

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Gaskell will face possibly their biggest test of character tonight.

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 41 seconds

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pressure. That is the first mistake is penalised. I don't think he was

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square. Michael Maguire, the supporters. Wigan have the first

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 41 seconds

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collected by Charnley. A defensive blue blur. -- defensive mistake.

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Wigan have their opening try. Changed direction. Lovely kick.

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There was the mistake. It is finch that changes direction. River Wye's

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 41 seconds

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grubber kick. The bounce favoured a possession. Great play by young

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Tomkins. He does not commit to Gaskell. He stays off and allows

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game. But when you have got momentum, you were going to get

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the magic pairing. One provides, the other scores. Lee Gaskell this

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time. St Helens are back in it. Just watch the dummy run. Great

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 41 seconds

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stuff the Paul Manning by St Helens. the first time, St Helens have the

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 41 seconds

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The referee has given it. He was not held. The man from the

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interchange bench has Malta we come into the lead again. -- has

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involved Wigan into the lead again. He should have been tackled there.

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They do not complete the tackle. He just a roll as Rover and scores.

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gave away a penalty that gave St Helens of two points, but he has

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Williams came closer. -- Wellens came closer. There is no way he

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could have been on side. He should be in the bin. That is a yellow

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 41 seconds

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He belatedly gave the knock-on. I am presuming that was from the

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shout of his touch judge. He lost it, but did he go back? The tackle

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was complete, lost the ball. Tomkins is really struggling. He

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went into that scrum as loose forward and Farrell depended on the

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after his latest encounter with the he might have scored. The referee

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gives the try! Paul Wellens, his 200th Korea try. What tonight to

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score it. Against his oldest rivals and in a grand final semi-final.

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The he was limping. He was never going to get there. Lovely kick,

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good chase by Paul Wellens. Roby puts it through. The bounce of the

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Interesting to see whether they will go for the two points. He is a

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phenomenal Kippur, Jamie Foster. -- kicker. He has added another two.

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They are getting closer to Old messing about their. This is the

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opportunity. They will get a full set in the Wigan half. They are

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walking back, the Wigan forwards. They have given it everything.

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body language, as Jonathan says, of the Wigan team just looks a little

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weary at the moment. It is a side that has played more games than any

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other in the modern era. Every single round. No team has done it

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as tough as Wigan has done it. But The place is going mad. St Helens

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fans feel that that is a very significant moment on the night and

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in their season. They overload the short side. A great ball.

:43:59.:44:09.
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Absolutely magnificent ball. That is very clever played. Royce

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Simmons, the coach, loves it. He has beaten him. A desperate dive.

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was his shoulder. It's a man's game! I think you will find it is a

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from the Grand Final. James Roby! He has taken St Helens to way sixth

:46:08.:46:13.

Grand Final in a row. Wigan are defeated and dejected. St Helens

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have done it the hard way. They are joining Leeds at Old Trafford.

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James Roby has shown them the way to get there. Only one market. So

:46:25.:46:31.

fast, so strong. Only one winner. Just out of the blocks like a

:46:31.:46:41.
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rocket. So powerful. No centre of Relatively simple, but if he puts

:46:49.:46:56.

it over... Wigan are three scores behind now. -- big cake. Surely

:46:56.:47:06.
:47:06.:47:22.

still a glimmer of hope. But four minutes, you would put it as almost

:47:22.:47:30.

impossible. Not almost impossible, impossible. Royce Simmons is

:47:30.:47:40.
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backed away two score margin. He dashed back to wait two score

:48:18.:48:28.
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Final, unprecedented. Andy Coley tries the impossible. There is the

:48:42.:48:46.

countdown. That countdown to Old Trafford. St Helens are in the

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Grand Final for the sixth year in a row. But the booed this year has

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been the toughest of them all, surely. They have done it

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fantastically well. The Maguire era at Wigan ends in disappointment.

:48:59.:49:05.

But what a couple of years he has had as a coach. Keiron Cunningham

:49:05.:49:15.
:49:15.:49:17.

and St Helens are through to the If you said to me early in the air,

:49:17.:49:23.

you are going to lose up to 11 or 12 players, door numbers one and

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two aren't going to be available, you are going to be in the Grand

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Final, we would have grabbed the top four or five. Even top eight.

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That is credit to the blokes. The thing about St Helens is that they

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believe in themselves so much. The blokes in the club, they expect to

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win. They don't expect to run second. It has been a tough season,

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he played in every round you could have played in. Was that a factor

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in the end? I don't think so. The way we played last week, we found

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ourselves again and started performing. Credit to St Helens,

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they performed. They took everything we could throw at them.

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We had chances in the game that went by. We had to dig ourselves

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out of a few things in the second half. How special a moment was that

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try? Great. It was made aware to me in the week that it would have been

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my 200th. Against Leeds, what are you expecting? The last few times

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that Leeds and St Helens have played in a Grand Final, Leeds have

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won. A lot of those players will be playing again. A lot of big-time

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players, they'd been in tremendous form for a while now. For the

:50:42.:50:45.

second half of the Challenge Cup, they started to get a little bit of

:50:45.:50:49.

form. A lot of the senior players have got a bit of time under their

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belt, they are starting to get into a bit of a rhythm. You know, it

:50:54.:51:04.
:51:04.:51:08.

their way through the play-offs. That is the Grand Final next week.

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Leeds against St Helens. He would have thought it? Third against 5th.

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But there is no arguing with either Two great games, Wigan gave it

:51:21.:51:24.

everything in the last few minutes. They tackled well, came back at

:51:24.:51:29.

them. Every opportunity that St Helens had, they scored. Clever

:51:29.:51:34.

play, they realised that Tomkins was injured. Guscott and Lomax

:51:34.:51:38.

played exceptionally well. You know, they have struggled at half-back

:51:38.:51:44.

for England. Great Britain. So, why not give them a crack? I think they

:51:44.:51:50.

could be the future half-backs for the next five or 10 years. James

:51:50.:51:57.

Roby was magnificent. They deserved to get to the final. It's a

:51:57.:52:01.

fantastic achievement by Royce Simmons. He has had key players

:52:01.:52:05.

missing for more or less the whole season. But they have kept plugging

:52:05.:52:09.

away and got their rewards? They have given youngsters an

:52:09.:52:13.

opportunity. You know, it has paid dividends at the end of the season.

:52:13.:52:16.

They gained experience and confidence or of the way through.

:52:16.:52:19.

You always felt they could win, especially after beating them a

:52:19.:52:24.

couple of weeks ago. They have come through and deserve to be in the

:52:24.:52:29.

final. Leeds, since the Challenge Cup, they have been back at us and.

:52:29.:52:34.

They have had settled belief. -- self belief. Both sides will think

:52:34.:52:39.

they can win it, it could be a classic final. Wigan and Warrington

:52:39.:52:45.

are left to lick their wounds. He would have thought that? Here is a

:52:45.:52:49.

reminder of what we have to look forward to next week. The Grand

:52:49.:52:54.

Final, 4:30pm on next Sunday, 9th October. It's going to be an

:52:55.:52:58.

absolute classic. And the Rugby League rolls on in the autumn as

:52:58.:53:03.

well. 29th October, the Four Nations coverage starts. Live

:53:03.:53:07.

coverage of England against Wales and highlights of Australia and New

:53:07.:53:14.

There is lots more international rugby league to look forward to as

:53:14.:53:18.

All the best action from the weekend's two qualifying semi-finals, where the highest-ranked side left in the competition again gets to choose their opponents via the Club Call procedure.

At this point last year, St Helens chose to play Huddersfield Giants and beat them 42-22 to qualify for the Grand Final. Wigan Warriors took on Leeds Rhinos in the other contest and triumphed 26-6 to book their place at the Old Trafford finale.