Meli double steers Saints into final - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Meli double steers Saints into final

By Nick Webster 04/10/2009 07:12:33 AM Comments (0)

Francis Meli scored twice as St Helens booked their place in the Grand Final at Old Trafford with a 14-10 win over fierce rivals Wigan on Saturday.

The former New Zealand Warriors wing crossed the try-line either side of the half-time interval to put Saints, who will tackle champions Leeds next weekend, in a commanding position.

Sean Long - making his final appearance at Knowsley Road before he makes an off-season move to Hull - doubled the lead for Mick Potter's men before the half-time siren.

Former Wests wing Pat Richards almost reduced the deficit but Long's last ditch heroics forced him into touch.

But Wigan - who had fallen at final hurdle before Old Trafford in the last two seasons - hit back through George Carmont to ensure they were in touching distance 10-6 at the interval.

Meli showed his class again after the interval to push Potter's men ahead. Long capitalised on a knock-on by Paul Prescott and floated the ball out to Meli who strode around Amos Roberts to touch down to make it 14-6.

But Richards closed the gap again as he finished off a superb break-away try.

Joel Tomkins' superb pass out of the back of his hand allowed Carmont to find Richards out wide and he escaped the attentions on Leon Pryce to score.

Long signed off from Knowsley Road after 12 years with the club by ensuring they reach their fourth consecutive Grand Final as he produced a try-saving tackle on Joel Tomkins in the corner to deny Brian Noble's men the chance to level the match.

Meanwhile, two tries apiece from England internationals Ryan Hall and Danny McGuire booked Leeds a third successive trip to Old Trafford as they saw off plucky Catalans Dragons 27-20 on Friday.

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