St Helens complete ‘four in a row’ with Grand Final victory

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St Helens made history at Old Trafford by defeating Leeds Rhinos 24-12 to become 2022 Betfred Super League Champions, becoming the first team in Super League history to win four Grand Finals in a row.

The win signed off an unbelievably successful period for Kristian Woolf who had previously announced that this year would be his last in charge of the Saints and they certainly went out with a bang.

Being the first in Super League history and only the second team in Rugby League history to complete the feat, they have truly established themselves as one of, if not the best ever team in this country’s game.

It was a quick-fire start from the Saints who took the lead inside two-and-a-half minutes with Matty Lees going over after a great dummy pass and assist from Jonny Lomax who respectively went on to win the ‘Harry Sunderland Trophy’ with a phenomenal all-round performance.

Then it wasn’t long before the Saints doubled their advantage with a determined effort that saw Jon Bennison slam the ball down through a number of bodies.

Leeds did continue to push forward but the Rhinos just lacked that clinical edge when on the front foot, something that the Saints had in abundance on not only the evening, but for the entirety of the campaign.

But with the half drawing to a close, Leeds began to grab a foothold of the game and after a brilliant run from Zak Hardaker, the next tackle proved decisive as Rhyse Martin got a brilliant offload off which eventually found its way to Kruise Leeming who went over to put the Rhinos back in the contest before the interval.

Leeds have managed to cling on in games all season long since their change in management and the Grand Final was proving no different.

But the Saints came out firing in the second half and within five minutes, Leeds had all the work to do once again as Konrad Hurrell powered over to score and extend the champions’ advantage.

Just before the hour mark, it was Woolf’s side that were in again and effectively wrapped the game up as Lomax played a slide through pass which split open the Rhinos defence and allowed Mark Percival to steal in and slam down for the victory.

There was a late scare for the Champions as Leeds threw their final role of the dice after Martin finished off a great passage of play and converted to leave the Rhinos trailing by 12 with nine minutes to go. Following on, and Rohan Smith’s side almost went back-to-back sets as they went through again but referee Liam Moore pulled play back for a forward pass.

There was one last piece of action as Jonny Lomax attempted to put the icing on the cake with a drop goal, but his unfortunate effort struck the outside of the right-hand post.

But moments later, the final hooter sounded concluding the result that St Helens had been crowned 2022 Super League Champions for the fourth time on the bounce and created some remarkable history.

As for Kristian Woolf, the victory rounds off a period of success that couldn’t have gone much better. A convincing victory is the exact way the Head Coach would’ve liked to bow out and the win and record will live long in the memory of Saints fans who it’s fair to say would’ve enjoyed their evening at Old Trafford.

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