AS we look ahead to Saturday’s Challenge Cup clash between Saints and Leeds Rhinos, we will be looking back at some of the 20 classic matches the sides have served up in this competition.

First up is the 27 February, 1983 second round encounter at Headingley.

St Helens Star:

Leeds fancied their chances, going into the match with the notable scalp of an away win at Cup Kings Widnes tucked into their belts.

Saints, on the other hand, had progressed by beating a patched-up Carlisle side for whom Alan Agar ended up taking a spot on the bench despite having already joined Featherstone as coach.

Carlisle has retained the playing registration of Alan, father, of this Saturday’s Leeds coach Richard and so was able to fill the gap.

But what contributed to making the Leeds game so exciting was the first round defeats of Wigan (by Castleford) and Hull KR (by Hunslet) – which combined with Widnes’ exit opened up the route to Wembley….Or so we thought.

St Helens Star:

As it was, it was a game that had plenty – a Chris Arkwright sin-binning for a late tackle on Leeds playmaker John Holmes, two Roy Haggerty tries and a mass brawl beneath the posts.

The final score was a 23-13 win for Billy Benyon’s men and there was a real bounce in the town.

Saints had taken 11 supporters buses – 10 more than usual….and Oh When the Saints rang out.

Alas, thoughts of Wembley were dashed in the next round with a shock 11-10 defeat by eventual cup winner Featherstone Rovers coached by Alan Agar!