Yates’ view: Paul Loughlin knows all about agony of Wembley defeats

Paul Loughlin touching down for Bradford Bulls against St Helens at Wembley ... he went on to collect his fifth losers medal
Paul Loughlin touching down for Bradford Bulls against St Helens at Wembley ... he went on to collect his fifth losers medal

Sons of St Helens haven’t always had the best of luck when it comes to picking up Rugby League Challenge Cup winners’ medals.

Warrington’s Kevin Brown said losing to the Catalans Dragons at Wembley on Saturday - his third defeat in the historic competition following earlier setback as a Wigan and Huddersfield Giants player - was the worst feeling in his life.

It’s something other natives of the borough have experienced in years gone by - none more so that Paul Loughlin and Bernard Dwyer.

Loughlin, who was equally at home playing full back or in the centre, has the unwanted record of swallowing the bitter pill of defeat in more finals than anyone else.

He lost on three occasions with his home town club (1987, 1989 and 1991) and twice as a Bradford players in 1996 and 1997.

Hooker or second rower Dwyer finishing on the losing St Helens’ side in 1989 and 1991 and 1996 and 1997 in the Bulls’ colours but managed to finally break his duck when the Odsal outfit defeated Leeds in the 2000 final.

Maybe this will be an incentive to 33-year-old Brown, even at this late stage of his career, to lay his hands on the iconic trophy before he hangs up his boots, It’s something he fully deserves.

If not, he can possibly take a little take solace from the words of Loughlin who has often said that while he never had the good fortune to be a Wembley winner, he had the honour of playing in five finals when others in the game had never stepped out on to the hallowed turf.

Saints will be hoping to serve up a treat both on and off the field at Friday’s derby clash against neighbours Wigan Warriors.

The club has joined forces with SeatServe to offer a trial of a new in-seat, food and drink delivery service on matchday - the first of its kind in the sport.

The SeatServe app, which enables fans to order food and drinks from their smart phone for efficient delivery to their seat, will be trialled during the top-of-the-table Super League meeting.

A Saints’ spokesperson said: “With minimal impact on our existing front-of-house operation, SeatServe will merely supplement our offering to help ease what we recognise is an issue for fans on matchday - queueing.

“Orders will be fulfilled by the North Stand’s Marching Inn kiosk, so a full range of items will be available to fans. A delivery charge of £1 per order will cover all the costs associated with transaction fees, packaging and extra staffing.”

The spokesperson went on: “As part of the trial, we encourage fans to sign up and try out the service so we can test its effectiveness. We would also love to hear fans’ feedback on your experience so please email us at: info@saintsrlfc.com after the match.”

SeatServe is quick and easy to download from both the App Store and Google Play with options to pre-order in advance, live, or at scheduled times throughout the game.

To minimise disruption, deliveries will only be made during natural breaks in play, with the app securely storing details for faster repeat ordering, meaning supporters never have to miss another minute of a game.

All payments are cashless and it is recommended that fans download the app prior to attending the game.

The app is restricted to four alcoholic beverages per order and purchasers must be 18 or over to use it.

The club spokesperson added: “We are constantly looking at ways in which to improve fans’ experience at Totally Wicked Stadium and hope everyone will enjoy this cutting-edge innovation.”

Checkout the menu and tag your experience with @SeatServeUK with #StaySeated!

Can someone at RL headquarters explain to me why Saints’ prop forward Luke Thompson was handed a one-match penalty notice for a incident in the club’s Super 8s clash against Huddersfield Giants a few weeks ago while Catalans Dragons Kenny Edwards escaped with a mere fine for what in my eyes was something of a similar nature, freeing him to play his part in Saturday’s Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Final victory over Warrington Wolves.

Thompson was banned after tossing the ball forwards and hitting an in-goal official following his second-half try in the 16-12 defeat against the Tykes but Kiwi Edwards received only a fine and warning about his future conduct after a child in the crowd was struck by the ball during the French club’s 35-16 Challene Cup semi-final win over St Helens at Bolton.

There doesn’t appear to be much difference in the two incidents. In fact, some people may argue that the one involving the child was more serious - and could and should have carried at least an equal outcome.

All I’m looking for from the powers-that-be is consistency.