THE extent to which Saints skipper Jodie Cunningham led from the front in Saturday’s Challenge Cup Final win is underlined by the official match statistics.

Saints produced a commanding performance, on both sides of the ball, to triumph 22-0 over their traditional foe to make it four-in-a-row victories.

That victory charge was spearheaded Cunningham, who planted her standard in the Wembley turf, and was ably assisted her fellow old heads in the Saints engine room.

In an 80-minute display Cunningham was relentless in her tough carries and was the game’s top metre maker by a considerable margin with 338m from 39 carries.

The Saints skipper also weighed in with 30 tackles, and was constantly putting pressure on the Leeds kickers with the chase so it was a wonder how she still had the energy to lead the dancing after climbing the Wembley steps to lift the cup once again.

The Royal Box has probably never witnessed such a joyful and exuberant celebration on the balcony.

Cunningham’s long-time teammate Emily Rudge also made an immense contribution in the second row with 220metres from 25 runs and 26 tackles from her 80-minute stint.

Cunningham and Rudge also combined effectively to set up Saints’ crucial third try just after the break for Luci McColm.

Top tackler was prop Chantelle Crowl with 34 tackles in the 56 minutes she was on the pitch and her 18 tough carries yielding 138m and a try from a switch move close to the line.

That try was set up by another long-standing member of the Saints Women’s trophy-winning machine – hooker Tara Jones.

In her two stints at dummy half Jones made 27 tackles, largely in and around the ruck area.

The outside backs also scored highly in yardage with teen full back Beri Salihi growing into the game and recovering from a head knock to cover 142 metres with the ball. Wing Leah Burke and centre McColm also covered some ground on the edge with 124 and 112 metres respectively.

And back in the middle, unsung prop Vicky Whitfield’s carries yielded 116 metres in her 37 minutes on the park.