Cannon's super recall
CASINO'S Matt King and Tony Smith can add Challenge Cup winners to their resumes after the Warrington Wolves defeated Huddersfield 25-16 at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
But they were not the first locals to contest the showpiece of English Super League.
Former South Lismore, Marist Brothers and Lismore Workers five-eighth Mark Cannon is believed to have that honour after he played in the 1984 Challenge Cup final with glamour club Wigan.
Unfortunately for Cannon, who also had successful stints with St George and North Sydney, Wigan lost to a Joe Lydon-inspired Widnes outfit 19-4.
“It was devastating to lose and I think back then I didn't really take it all in because I was just shattered to lose,” he said from Sydney yesterday.
“It was a mind-blowing experience because it just happened so quickly. It was real red carpet stuff, the ground was like velvet and it was so noisy in front of a 100,000 crowd that we used hand signals for different moves.
“For ceremony, red carpet and all that stuff it was pretty special.”
Cannon was a 23-year-old university student at the time of joining Wigan.
“I was on Uni holidays watching telly with my old man and on the news it said the international transfer ban had been dropped so he got onto the English Rugby League, that was on the Monday night. On the Thursday I flew out,” the former five-eighth said.
Cannon started out as a second-rower but eventually found his way into five-eighth playing outside a young Shaun Edwards.
He starred in a couple of Challenge Cup ties, including one win over Ellery Hanley's Bradford Northern.
Meanwhile, King, who has achieved all there is to do in Australian rugby league, played strongly in Warrington's victory despite struggling with a hamstring injury.
Indeed, the lanky centre went close to scoring a spectacular try after leaping for a bomb only to be brought down inches from the tryline.
And Smith, who is in his first year as coach with the Wolves, has now won every major trophy in the English game.
After a successful stint with Leeds that took him to head coach of Great Britain, the Challenge Cup was the only trophy Smith had not won in his adopted homeland.
Wolves led 18-10 at half-time and went on with the job in the second-half to record their first Challenge Cup since 1974.
Australian Michael Monaghan won the Lance Todd Medal for player of the match, becoming only the third Aussie to do so along with Kenny and Graham Eadie.