Super League Grand Final: Catalans Dragons 10-12 St Helens: Saints win three in a row

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St Helens won Grand Final for an unprecedented eighth time

Betfred Super League Grand Final Catalans ((4) 10 Try McMeeken Goals Maloney 3 St Helens (2006) 12 Tries Naiqama Goals Coote

St Helens won a third Super League Grand Final victory in succession to thrash Catalans Dragons in a thrilling and gripping showpiece at Old Trafford.

Saints won an impressive eighth final victory, matching the record of Leeds Rhinos.

Kevin Naiqama scored the first attempt for St Helens, but James Maloney's two penalties kept Catalans at 6-4.

Mike McMeeken was at Catalans, but centre Naiqama finished his Saints career with the winning try.

Nearly 1,000 Catalans had traveled from France to watch their team in the maiden Grand Final. But they were left disappointed as St Helens' big game experience was told in front a large red and white crowd.

It was Saints fans, who were able celebrate again after seeing their side beat Salford at Old Trafford 2019 and then beating Wigan to win last season's Grand Final in Hull.

The Rhinos are currently the only side that has won the domestic competition on three occasions, in 2007 and 2008.

Saints learn from their mistakes

Saints lost to their Grand Final rivals in the League Leaders Shield, but they won the season's biggest prize by two points. This was to make it a double win to add to July's Challenge Cup victory over Castleford.

It was brutal and tough throughout. Naiqama, centre, and full-back Lachlan Cole were the only scorers. Both players appeared in their last game for the club.

Naiqama has returned to Australia. His tries were brilliantly executed - the first was a magnificent step to burrow over and the match-winning effort of the second half, when he collected Jonny Lomax’s kick and slid home.

The Catalans' fans were shocked to see the attempt, as they had waved their yellow flags and red flags throughout contest.

Coote will be joining the beaten semi-finalists Hull KR in next season's final. He added two critical conversions that helped his side edge ahead.

Kristian Woolf's men were given 12 minutes to win and showed their experience in the 13th Grand Final. They won the game without even giving a second thought to the Dragons.

They had learned from their mistakes last month when they conceded three times and a golden-point goal in the final four minutes, as they were defeated by the same opposition.

Catalans suffer a terrible shortage

The Perpignan-based Catalans joined Super League fifteen years ago. They were determined to make history and become the first overseas team ever to lift the trophy.

The Grand Final prize was not awarded to the winner of the Challenge Cup 2018, which was won by the winner.

They fought hard in the arm-wrestle, but it was difficult to get inroads into the resolute Saints line. McMeeken's single attempt in the second half gave them a short-lived lead.

The final could have gone in a different direction if referee Liam Moore had taken action against Saints’ Sione Mata'utia for an off-the ball punch to the face Maloney in the third minute. However, the incident was not punished.

Although they may have been upset at not being given a penalty try after Tommy Makinson caught Fouad Yanha on the head using a swinging arm and to bundle him out, the official felt that it was only right to issue a sin-binning for Saints winger.

This means that the long wait for a new name to be engraved on the trophy continues. The only names left on the trophy are St Helens, Leeds and Wigan, as well as Bradford.

Kevin Naiqama closed the door on his St Helens career after two attempts

"These moments will stick with us" - what they said

Kristian Woolf, St Helens' head coach, spoke to BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra

"I'm cool right now, but not for the last 10 minutes.

"The game was at stake, the guys worked so hard to get themselves into that position. It's all about ensuring that the blokes stay strong.

"It was everything that a Grand Final should have. They are a great team, they challenged us and we knew that they would.

"One thing is certain about this group: when they are asked to work together, they do exactly that."

James Roby, captain of St Helens, spoke to BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra.

"Fantastic. Everyone involved is so proud. It was amazing to do it in front the fans after last year.

These moments will stay with us forever. They were amazing fans. They are our heroes.

"I feel so fortunate to be a part of this organization. It's so rare to see three consecutive days of this.

Steve McNamara, Catalans' head coach, spoke to BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra

"I'm devastated. Everyone put in so much effort throughout the entire season. We were just two points behind.

"We just kept going. I thought we would get there. I was certain we would get there.

"This is not the end. There are many more steps to follow.

"We have a taste for it. We'll try to get back there again."

Ben Garcia, Catalan captain of the Catalans, spoke to BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra

"You want to win the Grand Final. Although it's frustrating, I'm proud of these boys.

"The entire season was so hard - I'm very proud.

"We have built something this year. We couldn't have imagined [getting here] without the travel. We hardly slept every weekend after arriving in England.

"We'll be back."