IT’S been a long 13 years in between drinks in the Betfred Challenge Cup…but boy it tasted good on Saturday!

The now double champions Saints lifted the iconic trophy after downing a gutsy Castleford Tigers 26-12 at Wembley.

I was delighted to see not just Saints lift the cup but also our sport put on a fantastic show in the sun in the nation’s stadium, be it with limited crowds.

I was down in London Friday-Sunday and I know I’m biased but RL fans are the best!

St Helens Star:

It was great to see, especially after such a difficult 18 months all the rugby league family coming together to enjoy one of the sports biggest occasions, fans from all clubs mingling together and representing our great game with pride.

Back to the game, and big players usually step up to the plate in big games…and this was just the case with our skipper James Roby.

Robes also earned the praise from his gaffer Kristian Woolf, who picked him out for special praise.

St Helens Star:

The skipper scored a key try just after the half time break, at at time when we were losing 12-6 and under the pump. But it was also his leadership skills, inspiration and ‘finding a way to win’ that lead to Saints dominating the second half.

The million pound question is how long can he keep doing this as he quickly approaches his 36th birthday.

My answer- simply as long as he wants to!

He is still, and has been for well over a decade the best hooker in the Betfred Super League.

Other notable performers in what was far from a clinical team performance (which nobody cares about in a final!) were Lachlan Coote, who showed calmness under pressure and his game management was first class. Also, young Jack Welsby continued to thrive on the big stage.

St Helens Star:

It was his winding run that led to an important Saints try as Tommy Makinson finished off in the corner.

Castleford can certainly hold their heads high after a valiant effort, but in truth I always felt Saints would have too much in the end.

The big question was could the Tigers keep up the intensity they showed in the first half... ultimately no.

St Helens Star:

As soon as Saints got on that front foot, you could see the Cas players struggle, especially in the stifling Wembley heat.

Our aim now is to overtake the Catalan Dragons at the top of the Betfred Super League.

Saints are still 7/4 favourites to win their third title in a row, ahead of Catalan 11/4, Warrington 7/2, Wigan 9/2, Hull FC 10/1, Leeds 16/1, Castleford 33/1.