1. It was not pretty at times; the tension, the driving rain and the stubbornness of the Halifax defence and tactics saw to that. But Saints are at Wembley and that is all that counts.

When you saw the emotion and elation of players like England internationals Tommy Makinson and Alex Walmsley it really brought it home.

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The fact is this team has been building together for a long time - but none of them, bar James Roby, has ever found that Wembley holy grail of all rugby league players.

You go through the team and look at some of the other seasoned players, like Jonny Lomax and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, who have never had that privilege.

That spills over on to the terraces, too, we have teenage supporters who have only read about our exploits there in books, 20 somethings who have never had the full weekend away and, poignantly, plenty of others who will be going this time without parents who have passed.

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We have a lot of people - on and off the pitch - who have waited a long time to walk up Wembley Way and then hear those strains of Abide With Me. Given our history - it is where we belong.

2. Before the game, someone covering the game from a Halifax angle mused whether we were going to see a record semi-final score.

They should have had more faith.

Tactically Halifax provided more than just dogged defence.

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They mixed it up, catching Saints out numerous times from the the very under-rated short kick off.

Their kicking game was varied too, pinning Saints back in the conditions and then a succession of touch finders to stop the clock and make it stop start.

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Although Saints afforded the Championship side respect by taking the two points with a penalty early doors, they needed to play as as if they were playing a Wigan or a Warrington. Too often they deviated from what they do week-to-week, and spread it wide without earning that right - and on a couple of occasions they were snuffed out on the flanks.

When they played more directly, eating up the yards, the scoreboard began to tick over.

The game showed two things - firstly how better they play together with Lachalan Coote at full back and a steady Jonny Lomax in the halves.

And secondly, as much of a miss as Coote, was Morgan Knowles - especially for his little 1 per centers and his kick pressure. Halifax's kickers may have had a little less time had the industrious loose forward not been missing with a rib injury.

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3. There were a few grumbles. Saints - 10 points clear at the Super League summit - were expected to trounce Halifax and put on a real 80-minute show. In reality they were on a hiding to nothing on that score. And in the grand scheme of things, what does it matter? They never looked like conceding a try and were always in control.

And anyhow, all that matters in semis is winning. Two examples, In 1976, the year the Dad's Army team went on to beat Widnes at Wembley, Saints struggled to beat Keighley 5-4 in the semi at Fartown.

Fast forward to 2002 and Saints blitzed Leeds 42-16 to reach Murrayfield but stumbled on the big stage 13 days later.

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4. Halifax's display earned a lot of respect - they were tremendous, but let us not get carried away.

The idea that the Super League is ready to expand to 16 on the back of a Championship side raising their game to keep Saints to 26-2 is over optimistic.

Yes, the old first division used to 16 teams, with four up four down, and that worked ok. But the game was part time back then.

We have to face facts and the biggest one is that short of a massive injection of new cash - which seems fanciful - the only way that more teams are coming into the division is by everyone taking a lesser share of TV money.

That is not going to happen.

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And - even if they did - it would hardly even things up in Super League as the moneyed clubs would simply pull further away from those in the middle and bottom (those who rely desperately on that money) and that would lead to some pretty dull, one-sided fixtures.

That said - I remember Halifax winning the league in 1986 and the cup the year after and getting good support home and away.

It is a strong rugby league town - if they continue to build and consolidate they could emulate what London did this year and earn promotion.

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5. So Saints will now play Warrington in the final for one of the two major competitions for the first time.

The clubs have met in the Lancashire Cup Final - the last time back in 1982 - and the Premiership Final in 1977, but we have avoided each other repeatedly - particularly in the Super League era.

It will certainly bring Wembley to life after the low crowd of last year - and both towns, plus a healthy contingent from Widnes in the 1895 Cup Final that takes place afterwards, will ensure that it is WA postcode special.

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6. After the final hooter the Star launched a campaign to turn the town red and white.

We want to turn back the clock to Wembleys of the 1960s and 70s, with everyone getting behind the team and dressing up their windows.

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We know the world has changed ­— and the town has too ­— but the club that bears the town's name is more than ever our strongest flag bearer.

We need to shout our support from the rooftops for this one and really try to pull the whole community together.