Saints win; but who was that masked man?

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Did anyone catch the Rugby League Powegen Challenge Cup final on TV on Saturday? OK, it wasn’t an awesome game … but it was pretty compelling stuff. That Wilkin bloke must be mental; he looked a total dork with that bandage holding his nose on; but the guy’s got guts you gotta admit.

Rugby League is a one of those borderline sports in TV land … probably no one outside of the UK and the Antipodes is interested … but they’re missing one great spectacle. I’ve been to some live games and they are stunning.

With Saints being runaway leaders of the Super League and Huddersfield facing a desperate battle to retain Super League status in the coming month, this final should have been a blow-out from the beginning. It wasn’t; not by a country mile. And that is testament to the spirit and unity of the Giants’ – they fought tooth and nail throughout having shocked Saints out of their socks by taking an early six-point lead.

Yet, Saints showed the true mark of a champion in gradually clawing their way back to claim a narrow 12-6 half time lead. That lead gave them the breathing space they needed and after the break they gradually throttled the life out of the gutsy Giants in compiling a 42-12 victory.

Losing coach, Jon Sharp, is a former Saints assistant coach … and could yet find himself back at Knowsley Road as head honcho soon. Rumours that the incumbent Saints coach, Danial Anderson, is being targeted for a move to the NRL’s Sydney Roosters persist and if the Giants can’t hold onto Super League status then the Saints could do far worse than hand the reins to Sharpie.