You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Fairytale end for Graham after stunning finish to Super League grand final

A remarkable Jack Welsby try after full-time snatched an 8-4 grand final triumph for St Helens to leave James Graham in tears as the former Bulldogs and Dragons prop bowed out as a Super League winner.

With the game at Hull's KC Stadium appearing headed for extra-time, 2018 Golden Boot winner Tommy Makinson attempted a 35-metre field goal that hit the uprights as the full-time siren sounded.

Welsby, 19, led the chase and dived to ground the ball just before the dead-ball line to break the hearts of Wigan coach Adrian Lam and his players and spark wild celebrations for Saints.

It was Graham's first premiership triumph since 2006 with St Helens and he has played in seven grand final defeats since – including two with Canterbury in 2012 and 2014 – and he now ends his career as a winner.

"I am just overwhelmed. I am genuinely moved," Graham told Sky Sports after

"It's hard to put it into words. If you read about it in the papers you would think it was a cartoon. It is unbelievable. You couldn't have scripted it better, for us anyway.

"I am gutted that we can't celebrate with the fans, and our friends and families, but we will have our time. It has been an honour to play for St Helens."

Saint coach Kristian Woolf, the man behind Tonga's rise at international level, paid tribute to Graham after overseeing back-to-back grand finals wins for the club in his first season in the Super League.

"He is an outstanding person first and foremost," Woolf said.

"What he gets out of his body every single day … you see him rock into training on a Monday sometimes and you don't think there is any chance of him playing on the weekend because he can barely walk and he gets himself through.

"He is very hard to keep out of a session and he just gives us absolutely everything he has got every time he takes the field.

"For guys like Morgan Knowles, Matty Lees and all those younger guys we have got they couldn't get a better example of a player to follow, that's for sure."

After overcoming an early rib injury, Graham returned late in the match and he sunk to his knees in tears as the enormity of the occasion sunk in before running and hugging teammates, including Welsby.

"I backed Tommy to kick the field goal or at least to be close and when I saw him line up the strike I thought I'm putting everything into these last couple of seconds," Welsby said.

"I just chased as hard as I could and you couldn't write it, could you. I am just lost for words."

Welsby scored St Helens' only try, with their other points coming from the boot of former Penrith and North Queensland fullback Lachlan Coote.

Saints led 2-0 at half-time and Wigan took the lead in the 65th minute after a Jack Bibby try before Coote drew the scores level with a penalty goal following a Jackson Hastings high shot on Theo Fages.

St Helens captain James Roby, who began his career at the club alongside Graham in 2003, was awarded the Harry Sunderland Medal as man of the match.

The grand final was also the last match for 38-year-old Wigan great Sean O'Loughlin and players from both teams formed a guard of honour to farewell him after the presentation.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Premier Partner

Media Partners

Major Partners

View All Partners