Almost exactly a decade ago to the day, Leeds Rhinos made history by winning the 2007 Super League Grand Final – and that’s the subject of this week’s Friday Flashback.
Going into the match, St Helens had never lost in a Grand Final – they had won in 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2006: and were defending champions following victory against Hull the year previous.
Leeds, in contrast, had won just one of their three Old Trafford appearances – against Bradford, in 2004, with defeats in 1998 and 2005 to Wigan and Bradford respectively.
It was a meeting of the competition’s top two teams, and they were split by just a solitary point on the league table, with St Helens finishing just ahead of the Rhinos.
They met in the play-offs prior to the Grand Final, with Saints advancing straight to Old Trafford courtesy of a 10-8 win against the Rhinos: but how Leeds would respond when it mattered.
The Rhinos were sensational, running out comfortable 33-6 winners despite leading by just two points at the break. They ran in 25 unanswered points after half-time – including a magnificent try from winger Scott Donald, still regarded as one of the best in Old Trafford history.
Amazingly, it was the first of three consecutive meetings between these two great sides in the Old Trafford showpiece; the Rhinos would go on and win each and every one of them.