Mon, Oct 16, 2006 - Page 18 News List

St Helens sink Hull at Old Trafford for league, cup double

AFP , MANCHESTER, ENGLAND

St Helens cruised to their fifth Super League title with a 26-4 victory over Hull in the Grand Final at Old Trafford in Manchester on Saturday.

After nipping ahead 10-4 at the break in front of a record crowd of 72,582, Saints' greater class eventually told with tries from Willie Talau, Ade Gardner and Keiron Cunningham securing victory in the second half.

Victory also gave St Helens a league and cup double.

"The whole year has been an absolute dream," said Saints coach Daniel Anderson, who also oversaw Challenge Cup glory in August.

"I can only hope I have the opportunity to coach a team as good as this [again next year]. We will see what happens in the future but I think I will regale stories about this team and bore people. I am absolutely stoked. It blew me away," he said.

Hull coach Peter Sharp admitted the best team had won.

The Australian, whose side finished second to Saints in the table, said: "They are a very good side. They are definitely the best over here in England, they are quality."

"They took their chances. They are quick and they cover and defend very well. We had a few chances but couldn't quite take them," he said.

Saints had edged Hull just 10-4 after a tight first half but tries from Willie Talau, Ade Gardner and Keiron Cunningham sealed 26-4 victory in front of a record crowd of 72,582.

Saints went ahead in the 16th minute when Sean Long floated a superb kick to the corner and Francis Meli slid in to score.

Hull levelled five minutes later when full-back Shaun Briscoe's piercing run allowed Sid Domic to score in the corner.

Saints struck the next blow on the stroke of half-time as Leon Pryce found a gap to slide over and Jamie Lyon, in his final game for the club, converted.

Saints seized the advantage with two tries early in the second half.

Lyon converted the second to put Saints 20-4 ahead.

Saints hooker Keiron Cunningham put the result beyond reach with his side's fifth try just after the hour after exchanging passes with Maurie Fa'asavalu.

"It's been unbelievable, the fans have been awesome and it's been unreal," Lyon said.

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