Championship side Halifax gave a performance of guts, endeavour and no little skill to hold St Helens to an 8-2 scoreline at the interval, before Saints gradually pulled away in the second half to ease to a 26-2 victory, meaning they will return to Wembley for the first time since they defeated Hull FC in the Challenge Cup Final in 2008.
It wasn’t until the 35th minute that St Helens scored their first try, when James Roby went over from dummy-half, after the sides had swapped penalties.
As the second half wore on, Halifax, who had put everything into their first half performance, visibly tired, particularly in the final 20 minutes and St Helens managed three more tries to Dominique Peyroux, Jonny Lomax and Theo Fages, with Roby prominent throughout.
But Halifax came out of the game with great credit, and their supporters were magnifient throughout the game.
Saints: Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson, Kevin Naiqama, Mark Percival, Regan Grace, Theo Fages, Danny Richardson, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Luke Thompson, Joseph Paulo, Dominique Peyroux, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook; Subs: Kyle Amor, Matty Lees, Jack Ashworth, James Bentley
Tries: Roby, Peyroux, Lomax, Fages Goals: Richardson 5
Halifax: Scott Grix, Shaun Robinson, Steve Tyrer, James Saltonstall, Will Sharp, Scott Murrell, Ben Johnston, Adam Tangata, Brandon Moore, Ben Kavanagh, Chester Butler, Ed Barber, Jacob Fairbank; Subs: Ben Kaye, Elliott Morris, Dan Fleming, Kevin Larroyer
Goals: Tyrer 1
A full report, photos and analysis from this game will feature in Monday’s League Express