FOR all Saints fans still walking on air from last Friday's epic Grand Final, here is a quick set of six....although on this occasion it would probably fill a dozen more sets, such was the compelling nature of this climax to the most challenging of seasons.

Also attached is the gallery from the match action and presentation.

St Helens Star:

1. What a game - and what a crazy finale.

All those who had wondered whether the wholesale disruption of the Covid-impacted season, the fixture cancellations, rule changes and a percentage table would affect the integrity of the competition.

Well the fact that it was justifiably 1 v 2 in the final - and that is was played in such a competitive, blood and thunder manner to the very last second and beyond, unequivocally ensured that no asterisk was needed next this this year's champions.

It was an absolutely relentless and absorbing encounter that proved that games do no not need basketball type scorelines to be entertaining.

The finale was an absolute credit to those players - and the win a reward for enduring such a challenging season, with all the curve balls that came with it.

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2. The game was arguably settled by the teams' respective final efforts.

When Zak Hardaker took a punt at goal from 45 metres with a minute to go, the match was in the lap of the gods.

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When it fell short, a bit of quick thinking and one final lung-busting effort from Jonny Lomax's return earned the team an extra 30 yards. Adrian Lam was critical of the Wigan chase, but credit to Lomax - had he not made those metres Saints would have not been anywhere within range to have a pot at the drop goal.

And here we had another difference, when Tommy Makinson swung his boot Jack Welsby, James Bentley and Regan Grace were up there chasing it.....and so when the rebound came Wigan full back Bevan French suddenly had company...And Welsby did the rest.

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3. Jack Welsby has had a break out season this year - with coach Kristian Woolf finding a place for him whenever there was an injury. So the teenager played full back, wing, centre and stand off throughout the year...He eventually took the left centre spot, vacated by the injured Mark Percival, but had to see off a big challenge from Josh Simm, another teenage prodigy.

Highly-rated, not simply by the coach and senior players, greats like Paul Sculthorpe have for long been impressed by Welsby's talent. And the good thing about the 19-year-old has been the way he has been able to bounce back from adversity and the odd error in previous games.

Credit Welsby's effort in chasing, but even more so his ability to bump off French but retain his coolness not to snatch at the ball and keep his feet in play.

But in a game of feet and inches, you do wonder whether he would have even got to that ball before the deadball line had it had the same in-goal areas as Old Trafford.

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4. James Graham could not have written a better ending....Well, maybe his ribs could have done without the Tommy Leuluai off-the-ball rib tickler, but the rest of was fairytale for Saints and Jammer - Grimm for Wigan.

And you have to admire his utter professionalism to the very end - nervously prowling the touchline awaiting the Video Ref decision before exploding with emotions, probably replicating the living rooms of houses across St Helens.

A champion end for a champion player and bloke.

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5. James Roby did a Chris Joynt so to speak in leading Saints to back-to-back titles for the first time. And also doing a Joynty in taking the Harry Sunderland Award.

Another candidate for the award must have been James Bentley, who pitched in with a remarkable 69 tackles and provided 80 minutes of grit, effort, kick pressure and in your face enthusiasm. Every team needs a player to do the nitty gritty - and even though he may not be the biggest of forwards he has the heart of a lion.

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6. And one for the quirky statisticians out there, which long-standing Saints fan Joe Coy reminded me of this week.

This is the third time Saints have retained the title against Wigan....and in the words of Jimmy Cricket, there's more.

On each of those past three occasions they have done it with a new coach. So, in 1971 Jim Challinor's team backed up what Cliff Evans' squad achieved in 1970.

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Ian Millward's side kept the title Ellery Hanley's Saints had won and now Kristian Woolf has backed up Justin Holbrook's achievement.

There are even parallels with 1971 in the way Saints won the title this time around, scoring a last gasp winning try off a failed drop goal...Jack Welsby is the new Billy Benyon on that score.

All pictures are copyright of Bernard Platt.