Saint Helens Make Challenge Cup

British halfback Sean Long brushed aside an off-field betting scandal to guide St Helens to a Challenge Cup final showdown with arch-rivals Wigan on Monday.

The 27-year-old was close to his best as Saints ran in eight tries, one of which was scored by Long himself, in a 46-6 victory over the Huddersfield Giants.

St Helens, who also brought back Martin Gleeson, the other player at the centre of the alleged betting coup, were in great form in one of the most one-sided semifinals since Wigan beat Bradford 71-10 in 1992.

The final at the Millennium Stadium on May 15 will be a repeat of the 2002 decider which Wigan won 21-12 but Saints were quickly installed as the bookmakers favourites to lift the trophy for the fourth time in nine years.

Saints skipper Paul Sculthorpe praised Long, who chose not to speak to the press after the match.

"I thought he had a super game. Especially in the first half I thought what got us on the front foot was his kicking game," he said.

"The Challenge Cup is all about field position and getting on the front foot and I thought we did that through Longy's kicking.

"We're a close unit and the boys just want to get on and play rugby, and we did that today."

Long and team-mate Martin Gleeson are currently being investigated by the Rugby Football League over the claims that they bet on their side to lose.

Long has claimed that he placed the bet for a friend and did not personally benefit.

Wigan meanwhile showed no sign of being preoccupied by thoughts of next month's Challenge Cup final as they produced a devastating performance to thrash London Broncos 64-8 in a Super League clash.

The Warriors were able kill off the Broncos by the break, leading 40-4 at the interval having run in seven tries - six of them converted by skipper Andy Farrell.

In the day's other match, Jules O'Neill guided Widnes to another home victory as his Vikings tamed Gary Mercer's Castleford Tigers 29-18 at the Halton Stadium.

O'Neill chalked up 17 points to send Castleford crashing to another Super League defeat.

Leeds continue to set the pace in the league, Saturday's 36-12 win over Wakefield extending their winning start to the season to eight matches.