It was a perfect start by Huddersfield, the type a start a coach would even ask for because it was so ridiculously good.
Leon Pryce kicked the ball back, set after set on the St Helens line, a try, keeping St Helens under non stop pressure.
However the signs we’re there early on that Huddersfield would come up short.
Let me put it to you in simple terms. Huddersfields game plan was…dummy half run, one out, one out, one out, kick. That it.
The lack of ANY sort of variety in the Giants attacking game cost them the Challenge Cup Final. In the early stages they were dominating St Helens but after 20 minutes St helens (And the rest of the planet) had worked out that the Giants were not about to test them at all in defense.
This mean that the Saints were able to rush up on the first attacking and snuff out any attack at all.
The two bright sparks in the Huddersfield attack were Brad Drew and Robbie Paul who were both dangerous out of dummy half in the first half.
Once again though, tactical problems cropped up with Brad Drew asked to play 80 minutes. If given 10 minutes on the sidelines Drew would have come back and continued to tear apart the St helens defense. As it turned out, Drew was stuffed by the 60th minute and had little impact in the second half.
St Helens meanwhile didnt do a great deal wrong. The score flattered the winners but at the same time, they very much deserved their win. They were simply willing to play a bit of football where their opposition wasnt and it payed off time and time again.
In the first half the man of the match was clearly Brad Drew, and while no one stood out for St Helens just on the number of points he scored, jamie Lyon should have won the man of the match award.
Giving the award to Sean Long was a farce….but I have found over many years that a Pom couldnt find the best player in a match, series or the game if he walked up, indtroduced himself and then was allowed to cast three votes in his favour on a selection panel of seven people!
The presentation by the BBC wasnt to bad at all. For all the talk that they dont treat League all that well, it seamed you couldnt turn on the BBC without seeing something about the game all day.
French and Davies provided what they always provide which is a decent call and at times their call got more than a smile out of me.
While I wasnt at the ground, you could tell the atmosphere was well down on what you see when the game is held in Cardiff. You would hope the RFL never, ever plays this great game at Twickers again because the stadium is as sh*t as the game thats usualy played there!
So how will this Challenge Cup Final rate? Eh….it wasnt a bad game but it wasnt a classic. Well done to St Helens as they deserved the win, but geez, Huddersfield had a great opportunity and just didnt go out and take it with both hands.
When you sit back and hope in this game, you get punished.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
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