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.
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’.
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.
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!)
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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