Written by John Davidson
Photo by Sky sports
St Helens captain James Roby says his side is heartbroken to lose in the Challenge Cup final but he remains proud of them.
Saints were upset 18-4 by Warrington thanks to tries from Joe Philbin, Ben Murdoch-Masila and Daryl Clark.
St Helens were heavy favourites at Wembley byutwere ambushed by a Blake Austin-less Wolves.
“I’m proud of the effort of all the lads, we stuck to it right till the end,” Roby said.
“In that second half we got stuck into them, it almost seemed like the tide was turning at times but obviously we’re heartbroken and disappointed.
“We’re gracious in defeat, we watched them pick the trophy up and fair play to them. We could have won the game, but ultimately we weren’t far off.
“It’s not like we had a shocker.”
St Helens struggled to complete their sets and made uncharacteristic mistakes.
They also had a try from Morgan Knowles waved away by referee Robert Hicks, who declined to check it upstairs with the video referee.
TV replays later showed that Knowles had scored. Saints also had try-scoring chances to Tommy Makinson and Regan Grace snuffed out by brilliant Warrington defence.
Roby admits his side had little luck on the day.
“Stuff like that, it’s fine margins,” he said.
“He [the referee] should have checked the Morgan Knowles thing. He didn’t, we get on with the game, Tommy Mak nearly scores, Regan nearly scores.
“Maybe on another day one of those tries sticks and it changes the momentum of the game. It was a real hard game.
“A lot of the game was played in the middle with a lot of carries from the forwards. It’s one of them – we’re massively disappointed but at the end of the day there’s still stuff to play for.
“We pick up the League Leader’s next week and there’s obviously one big one left to play for.”
St Helens forward Joseph Paulo wants the Red V to use the disappointment at Wembley to fuel their Super League premiership challenge.
Paulo paid credit to the display from Warrington.
“Warrington played their best game today and we couldn’t match them,” the Australian said.
“We can make so many excuses but just full credit to Warrington. We’ll obviously have a chance in Super League, so we’ll learn what we can from today and use this experience to go forward.
“It’s not like we have to wait six months to play footy again. We’ve got footy on Friday, hopefully we can just regroup.
“Make sure everyone’s alright and injury free and we can play again.”