Last gasp Saints go back to back in Super League

Only in 2020 would we see a finish like that…

St Helens left it late to win in breathtaking fashion, becoming back-to-back Betfred Super League champions with one of the most sensational endings in Grand Final history.

The match seemed for all money that it would be heading into extra-time for the first time in a Super League Grand Final – but young Jack Welsby had different ideas.

With seconds remaining on the clock, Tommy Makinson attempted to clinch victory with a long-range drop goal, only to narrowly miss before man of the moment Welsby scored his first ever Grand Final try to seal victory for Saints in a historic night for the club.

It was a tale of two defences in the 2020 Grand Final, both sides relentless in their efforts – and a tight first half where neither side would give anything away. The match appeared to be heading into the break scoreless, until a late challenge on Lachlan Coote gave the Saints fullback an opportunity to break the deadlock. Coote made no mistakes and sent his side into the lead with a narrow 2-0 lead.

The second half continued in the same vein with chances hard to come by. It took until the final 15 minutes for the first try of the Grand Final, the Warriors persistent in their pursuit of points with Jake Bibby on the end of tremendous interplay between Leuluai and French, Hardaker unable to convert from out wide.

And Wigan looked to be in the driving seat until a penalty late on presented Saints with a chance to level things up, Man of Steel finalist Coote again slotting over to bring the teams level and destined for golden point.

Welsby had other ideas.

The 19-year-old showing all the energy of a player in their first Grand Final to follow up a missed drop goal, contesting the resulted bouncing ball and touching down to secure back-to-back Grand Final wins for the Saints.

It was a fairytale ending for Saints legend James Graham, bowing out as a Grand Final winner for the second time with his boyhood club.

Saints head coach Kristian Woolf said: “I don’t know if you’ll get a better game of footy than that. It was outstanding work at the end from Jack Welsby, staying in every play. He’s a terrific player and he has got all the attributes to be a top player. I am extremely proud of the group, they are a great group to be a part of.”

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