Leeds Rhinos proved that fairty tales do come true when they beat Wigan 22-20 in the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford to become the first team to win the treble since St Helens in 2006.
And it was highly significant that such a notable feat should be completed in the last ever game for the Rhinos by their captain Kevin Sinfield and their two veterans Jamie Peacock and Kylie Leuluai.
Danny McGuire scored two tries to win the Harry Sunderland Trophy as man of the match.
Wigan took the lead inside four minutes when Joe Burgess touched down after supporting a superb break down the left by Liam Farrell, with Matty Bowen adding the conversion.
The Rhinos were level three minutes later, however, when Danny McGuire touched down a superbly judged short grubber from Kevin Sinfield, with Sinfield adding the goal to level the scores.
The most controversial try of the game came in the 27th minute, when Zak Hardaker held off Matty Bowen as he headed for the right corner, and he was able to offload a smart pass to Joel Moon for the try. The video referees spent several minutes examining the try for a potential knock-on by McGuire, but they eventually awarded the try.
And McGuire scored his second try on 35 minutes as he supported a brilliant break by Watkins who had been put into space by Tom Briscoe, and Sinfield’s conversion made it 16-6 at half-time.
Within ten minutes of the second half the Warriors had taken the lead, however, through tries by Dom Manfredi, when he caught a Sean O’Loughli bomb, and a superb individual effort by Bowen, who converted both tries for an 18-16 lead.
Bowen then added a penalty on 60 minutes, but the Rhinos were able to summon their last reerves of stamina for Josh Walters to get over the line from a Jimmy Keinhorst pass on 64 minutes.
The tension rose as the game entered its closing stages, but there would be no more scoring as the Rhinos held on to gain a historic victory.
The match was played in front of a Grand Final record crowd of 73,512 spectators.
A full report, analysis, photos and player interviews will feature in Monday’s edition of League Express.