27th August 2019, 12:33 | ChallengeCup

'Pain' of final defeats drove us on - Ratchford

'Pain' of final defeats drove us on - Ratchford

Stefan Ratchford admitted the 'pain' of the last seven years was a driving force behind his side's Challenge Cup Final win at Wembley on Saturday.

The full back was a winner back in 2012 - his first year at the Wire - but his since been part of four Super League Grand Final defeats, and two disappointments at Wembley - in 2016 and 2018.

"It's hard to explain how it feels," said the England star.

"I've was lucky enough to win it the first year I was at the club. Unfortunately we've walked up those steps a couple of times as losers but we were we were determined not to do that today and I thought the boys put in an unbelievable shift to come up with the win.

"We had last year (defeat against Catalans), we've had so many disappointing Grand Finals and we got beaten by Hull in 2016, so there's been a lot of pain since our last win in a cup final.

"We were determined not to feel that misery again and we left nothing out there.

"t was unbelivable," he added.

"It was always going to be one of those games where we had to put everything on the line and everyone had to be 100 per cent.

"I think that showed the last 15 minutes when everyone was cramping up. The boys were unbelievable - we just worked had for each other and thankfully we came up with the result."

The 31-year-old also reserved praise for his England team mate Daryl Clark, who played the full 80 minutes at hooker and capped off a Lance Todd Trophy-winning performance as Player of the Match with a late try.

He said: "He was absolutely incredible. I think Saints had a bit of a game plan to try and tire him out in defence, but off the back of quick play the balls he was unbelievable - his meters will be god knows how high!

"He was absolutely immense. To do 80 minutes in the middle in that intensity and heat was nothing short of amazing."