Today Sam Bourke takes a look at the optimism in the water out Bondi way, as the Sydney Roosters loo...
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Carnegie Challenge Cup 2007 Saturday, 25th August at 3.00pm.
It will be shown at 11.00pm to 2.00am Live on FOX Sports 3 in Australia. Following from the Roosters v Panthers, there is a replay of each Challenge Cup Semi final (Braford v St Helens and Wigan v Catalans) before the main game starts.
Began 1896-7, this will be the 106th final since inception, with both World Wars playing a part in halting the game for several years.
This year St Helens play Catalans back at Wembley for the first time since 1999. 90,000 capacity. As a guide, Telstra holds 83,500.
St Helens are reining champions and have won 5 of the last 11 Cup finals. They have not lost since 1991 (Wigan 13-8). Catalans are the first ever French team to make the final.
Both clubs are coached by Australians: St Helens - Daniel Anderson; Les Catalans - Mick Potter.
St Helens are favourites at $1.11; Catalans are paying $5. Sean Long is favoured to pick up the Lance Todd Trophy for a record 4th time.
St. Helens are appearing in their 20th Challenge Cup Final. Saints have won the Cup 10 times: in 1956, 1961, 1966, 1972, 1976, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2004, 2006. Their first seven wins were at Wembley. They were losers in 1897, 1915, 1930, 1953, 1978, 1987, 1989, 1991, 2002. Six of the defeats were at Wembley. Catalans Dragons have reached the Challenge Cup Final in the fastest time since being formed, having their first season only last year. The previous fastest was achieved by Workington Town. Their first season was 1945-46 and they won the Challenge Cup in 1952 with an 18-10 defeat of Featherstone Rovers at Wembley. St Helens: 1. Paul Wellens, 2. Ade Gardner, 3. Matt Gidley, 4. Willie Talau, 5. Francis Meli, 6. Leon Pryce, 7. Sean Long, 8. Nick Fozzard, 9. Keiron Cunningham, 10. Jason Cayless, 15. Mike Bennett, 12. Jon Wilkin, 11. Lee Gilmour Bench: 14. James Roby, 16. James Graham, 23. Maurie Fa