2009 Super League Grand Final

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2009 (2009) Super League Grand Final  ()
2009 Super League Grand Final 001.jpg
Leeds Rhinos victory parade at Old Trafford
LEE Rhinoscolours.svg 81018
ST H Saintscolours.svg 8210
Date10 October 2009
Stadium Old Trafford
Location Flag of England.svg Manchester
Harry Sunderland Trophy Flag of England.svg Kevin Sinfield ( Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos)
Headliners The Wombats [1]
Referees Steve Ganson [2]
Broadcast partners

The 2009 Super League Grand Final was the 12th official Grand Final and conclusive and championship-deciding match of the Super League XIV season. It was held on Saturday 10 October 2009, at Old Trafford, Manchester, and was contested by defending champions and 2009 League Leaders Leeds Rhinos, and the team they had faced in the grand final for the past two years, St. Helens.


The 2009 decider, contested by the sides finishing 1st and 2nd in the competition, was a very close contest, played at a furious pace from end to end with the lead changing several times and rarely being more than a single point. Every ruling on try-scoring situations was given by the video referee, with some allowed and some disallowed, including a few very close and controversial calls. Leeds Rhinos were eventual victors, winning the match 18 to 10. They became the first side in Super League history to be champions in three successive years. [3]


1 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 272106805453+35242
2 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens 271908733466+26738

Route to the Final

Leeds Rhinos

Qualifying Play-Off HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers (H)44-8
Qualifying Semi-Final Catalanscolours.svg Catalans Dragons (H)27-20
Key: (H) = Home venue; (A) = Away venue; (N) = Neutral venue.

St Helens

Qualifying Play-Off Giantscolours.svg Huddersfield Giants (H)15-2
Qualifying Semi-Final Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors (H)14-10
Key: (H) = Home venue; (A) = Away venue; (N) = Neutral venue.

Match details

It was the third consecutive year that these two teams faced each other in the Super League Grand Final. Both sides were at full strength.

Pre-match entertainment was provided by The Wombats, an indie rock band from Liverpool. [1] The band performed songs from their album, A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation . [1] All Angels, a classical and pop group, performed, with Yorkshire Co-op Brass Band, the Grand Final anthem, Jerusalem. [1]

10 October 2009
18:05 [4] UTC+1
Leeds Rhinos Rhinoscolours.svg 18 - 10 Saintscolours.svg St. Helens
Tries: Matt Diskin
Lee Smith (2)
Goals: Kevin Sinfield
Drops: Kevin Sinfield
Rob Burrow
Report Tries: Kyle Eastmond
Goals: Kyle Eastmond (3)
Old Trafford, Manchester
Attendance: 63,259 [5]
Referee: Steve Ganson [2]
Man of the Match: Kevin Sinfield
Leeds Rhinos Position St Helens
1 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Brent Webb FB 1 Flag of England.svg Paul Wellens
2 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Scott Donald WG 2 Flag of England.svg Ade Gardner
3 Flag of England.svg Lee Smith CE 3 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Matthew Gidley
4 Flag of England.svg Keith Senior CE 18 Flag of England.svg Kyle Eastmond
5 Flag of England.svg Ryan Hall WG 5 Flag of Samoa.svg Francis Meli
6 Flag of England.svg Danny McGuire SO 6 Flag of England.svg Leon Pryce
7 Flag of England.svg Rob Burrow SH 7 Flag of England.svg Sean Long
8 Flag of New Zealand.svg Kylie Leuluai PR 10 Flag of England.svg James Graham
14 Flag of England.svg Matt Diskin HK 9 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Keiron Cunningham (c)
10 Flag of England.svg Jamie Peacock PR 16 Flag of New Zealand.svg Tony Puletua
11 Flag of England.svg Jamie Jones-Buchanan SR 13 Flag of England.svg Chris Flannery
18 Flag of England.svg Carl Ablett SR 12 Flag of England.svg Jon Wilkin
13 Flag of England.svg Kevin Sinfield (c) LF 11 Flag of England.svg Lee Gilmour
12 Flag of New Zealand.svg Ali Lauitiiti Int.14 Flag of England.svg James Roby
16 Flag of England.svg Ryan Bailey Int.15 Flag of England.svg Bryn Hargreaves
17 Flag of England.svg Ian Kirke Int.17 Flag of England.svg Paul Clough
19 Flag of England.svg Luke Burgess Int23 Flag of Samoa.svg Maurie Fa'asavalu
Flag of New Zealand.svg Brian McClennan Coach Flag of Australia (converted).svg Mick Potter

First Half

St Helens kicked off and after thirteen minutes of end-to-end football they were thirty metres out from Leeds' goal-line when Jon Wilkin chip-kicked the ball ahead for Kyle Eastmond to regather, crossing the line then running back infield to improve the field position for the kick before grounding it. [6] Video referee Phil Bentham only gave the four points after checking that there was no knock-on in the regather and Grand Final débutante Eastmond converted his own try to give the Saints a 6 nil lead. In the twenty-sixth minute, St. Helens were again down in Leeds' half when Sean Long put up a bomb and as the ball came down the Rhinos defence was ruled to have interfered with the attacking Saints players, drawing a penalty. The decision to take the two points was made and the goal was kicked by Eastmond, pushing St. Helens' lead out to 8 nil. A few minutes later Leeds had managed to get to the other end of the field and were on the attack when Matt Diskin dived over the line from dummy half, [7] reaching out through the defenders to put the ball down. The video referee was again called on to make the ruling and gave the try. Kevin Sinfield's conversion attempt hit the upright so the score was 8 - 4 in favour of St. Helens with less than ten minutes of the first half remaining. In the thirty-seventh minute the Rhinos were again in an attacking position when Danny McGuire got the ball out to the right and chipped it ahead in goal where the St. Helens defence failed to secure it and Lee Smith came through to touch it down. Sinfield again missed the conversion so the scores remained level at 8 all and did not change before the half-time siren. [8]

2nd half

Leeds kicked off and the ball went over the line after touching the arm of St. Helens' winger Ade Gardner. This gave a scrum feed to the Rhinos in an attacking position and when Sinfield got the ball close to the uprights he kicked a drop goal, putting Leeds in front for the first time in the match at 9 - 8. [9] Just on forty-five minutes St. Helens centre Matt Gidley made a break and sent his winger Ade Gardner racing down the sideline to try to score in the corner. But after video analysis it was shown that the Leeds defenders coming across had forced him into touch before he grounded the ball. In the 58th minute St. Helens were again down at Leeds' end of the field when they got a penalty for a high shot on Sean Long from Rob Burrow. Saints opted to take the two points and Kyle Eastmond performed his third successful kick in a row, giving his side a one-point lead at 10-9. About seven minutes later Leeds were right down on St. Helens' goal line when Keiron Cunningham, in an attempt to slow things down, knocked the ball out of a Rhinos player's arms as he got up to play it, giving away a penalty. Sinfield's kick from right in front was never going to miss, so the one-point lead was with Leeds once again at 11-10, now with just over fifteen minutes remaining. At the sixty-eight-minute mark, St. Helens were on the attack and moved the ball out to Eastmond's wing where he dived over in the corner. Again the video referee was called on to check whether the St. Helens winger was taken into touch before scoring and he was, a desperate tackle by Sinfield pushing Eastmond's body into the corner post. Back at the other end of the field, Saints' goal-line defence was forced to absorb mounting pressure as Leeds attacked repeatedly, eventually penetrating when a chip kick from McGuire on the last tackle was chased and picked up by Lee Smith who touched down in the seventy-third minute. Once more the video referee's decision was requested, this time to check whether the scorer was on-side. [10] Despite Smith appearing to be slightly in front of McGuire when the ball left his boot, the benefit of the doubt was given and the try was awarded. [11]

Luke Burgess with the cup following the game. Luke Burgess with Super League cup.jpg
Luke Burgess with the cup following the game.

The extras were kicked from straight in front by Sinfield, so the score was 17-10 in favour of Leeds with under seven minutes of play remaining. [12] Just on the seventy-eight-minute mark the ball went to Rob Burrow for a drop goal attempt which he kicked successfully, [13] putting the score at 18-10, which it would remain until the full-time siren. [14]

Leeds Rhinos celebrate their victory. 2009 Super League Grand Final 001.jpg
Leeds Rhinos celebrate their victory.

It was the Rhinos' two-try hero, Lee Smith's final game for Leeds before moving to rugby union. [15] Leeds' forward Kevin Sinfield was awarded the Harry Sunderland Trophy as man-of-the-match. [16]

The following day over 8,000 fans were at Headingley Carnegie Stadium to celebrate the victorious Leeds players' homecoming. [17]

Telecast details

The Grand Final was shown in 30 countries worldwide with a potential audience of over 100 million people. [18] In addition to a live broadcast in the United Kingdom by primary broadcast partner Sky Sports, the game was also shown live in the United States, the Middle East, Russia, Romania, Poland and New Zealand. [18] France, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Spain saw the match in a delayed telecast. [18] BBC Sport showed an hour-long programme of extended highlights. [18]

2010 World Club Challenge

Having won the grand final, the Leeds Rhinos had earned the right to play against the 2009 NRL grand final-winners, the Melbourne Storm in the 2010 World Club Challenge.

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