02/10/2011 Rugby League: Super League Highlights


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


game at of this weekend. Leeds against Warrington.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Warrington in these first 20 There was another man clinging to


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


would be very happy to have contained Warrington's normally


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


too long ago we thought Super League was brilliant because there


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


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


have different players, trained differently, with different


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


League champions looked in fine fettle when thumping the Catalan


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


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


Meditate grand final place up for grabs and you increase the


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


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


Gaskell will face possibly their biggest test of character tonight.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Absolutely magnificent ball. That is very clever played. Royce


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


rocket. So powerful. No centre of Relatively simple, but if he puts


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


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


impossible. Not almost impossible, impossible. Royce Simmons is


backed away two score margin. He dashed back to wait two score


Final, unprecedented. Andy Coley tries the impossible. There is the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


ourselves again and started performing. Credit to St Helens,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


fantastic achievement by Royce Simmons. He has had key players


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


away and got their rewards? They have given youngsters an


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


They gained experience and confidence or of the way through.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


coverage of England against Wales and highlights of Australia and New


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


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.

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