Every time I’m remotely near the North of the country I look to see if I can add to my rugby league viewing.  It seemed to me that Birmingham is a lot nearer than Essex to the league heartlands so I decided I’d head up the M6 after my 2 days at Edgbaston.

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I’m getting a bit behind on my writing with all the travelling I’m doing and all this live sport, it’s a tough ‘job’ but someone has to do it!  So I’m not going to be writing a novel for this or the next ‘Event’.

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In common with my trip to Old Trafford my weekend coincided with the Challenge Cup Semi-Finals, with the first being played at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington.  That clash saw Leeds Rhinos and St Helens battle it out for a place in the Final.

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If I’m honest I couldn’t see past a Leeds win, they seem to have been in fine form this season.  I had a good seat on the end of a row with lots of leg room, not that I need that! (Vertically challenged!)

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The evening didn’t start too well as beer went all down my back – I Grrrrr’d at the culprit, letting him know I was less than amused.  I think he and his friend were a tad put out, but we had a great chat at the end and Lee and Neil and I are now Twitter ‘friends’ – Glad they realised I was all bark!

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I really am going to keep this brief – St Helens really weren’t in the game for most of the first half, it looked like men against boys!

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Zak Hardaker scored a try in the first 5 minutes and Joel Moon followed suit after 25; Kevin Sinfield converted one, missed one, but also added a penalty.

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Leeds made territory on every set whereas Saints seemed to be struggling to get out go their own half.  It felt that this could well be a rout!

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Mark Percival gave Saints hope with a try just before half time and the teams went in with the scores on Leeds 12 Saints 4.

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Jamie Peacock roared in to score a superb try under the posts on 46 minutes, he looked like a 20 year old as he stormed to the try line.  The kick was an easy one for Sinfield and Leeds moved on to 18.

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Saints decided to turn up as the 2nd half progressed and made several forays into the Leeds half, 2 of those saw tries scored.  Firstly by Andre Savelio who caught the ball after a very lucky bounce from a James Roby kick.

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Percival added to his personal tally 4 minutes later and it seemed we had a game on our hands!  The score was Leeds 18 Saints 14.

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Saints kept up their attack but it was to be Leeds who scored again with Kallum Watkins taking the 4 points.  Sinfield’s conversion took the score to it’s conclusion Leeds 24 Saints 14.

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Leeds will lose several of their big names at the end of the season, including Jamie Peacock and Kevin Sinfield – will they bring the trophy back to their beloved club? As a footnote it was a shame to see Jamie Jones-Buchanan leave the field with what looked like a serious injury, he’s had a lot of bad luck, he may be one of the players retiring at the end of this season.

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A couple of key facts

  • Cost of Ticket         £30.00
  • Cost of Parking      £  4.00
  • Ladies toilets – plenty of them, clean, hot water, weak hand dryers
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