In a dogged but nonetheless thrilling rugby league Challenge Cup Final, the first to be thrashed out at the new Wembley Stadium, St Helens ‘Saints’ showed their superiority over a brave Catalan Dragons with a score of 30 to 8.
The match, played before a capacity stadium audience of more than 80,000 and armchair supporters numbering as many as 3 million, saw Saints, resplendent in their traditional red V shirts bearing the Pilkington Activ™ logo, struggle to make headway against Dragons for most of the first half. However, three tries in quick succession in the last minutes before the break saw the teams leave the field with Saints leading 12 – 6.
But Saints superiority and confidence grew steadily in the second half to see them grind out a final score of 30 points to Dragons 8, adding further weight to the popular view that Saints enjoys world-wide superiority in this sport at club level.
The Saints win also supports the move by Pilkington, which has enjoyed a relationship with its St Helens neighbour off and on for more than 130 years, to step in as shirt sponsors for the teams’ late key Challenge Cup efforts, and for the Super League play off final should they continue to dominate the league. Thus far the Pilkington Activ™ brand has been displayed on Saints shirts in front of more than 100,000 stadium fans, as many as 6 million TV watchers and countless newspaper sports sections readers, with more to come if Saints reach the Old Trafford Super League fixture in the autumn.
Pilkington Marketing Communications Manager Julia Berkin says that the atmosphere at Pilkington is superb: “This has been a marvellous opportunity to get the Pilkington Activ™ brand in front of millions more homeowners and the exercise has been a great success in that respect so far. But it has also been such a thrill for us to be part of Saints success, especially those Pilkington staff that are avid Saints fans. We will all now be cheering Saints on for the rest of the season to reach the Super League Final.”