Holbrook proud to leave Saints with Grand Final triumph

By Peter Hanson 13 October 2019 2
Holbrook proud to leave Saints with Grand Final triumph

Justin Holbrook will find it tough to leave a club he loves but was proud to mark his St Helens farewell with a Grand Final triumph.

Saints ran out 23-6 victors over a resilient Salford Red Devils side in front of a raucous Old Trafford crowd, with man of the match Luke Thompson and Alex Walmsley impressing.

Salford have been the feelgood story of the season but Saints' first Grand Final triumph since 2014 came as just reward for a dominant campaign that saw them finish 16 points clear in the Super League table.

Head coach Holbrook is returning to his native Australia to take over at NRL side the Gold Coast Titans and he paid tribute to his Saints players.

"It'll be hard [to leave], it's hard, I love the playing group, I love the coaches, I love the fans, but I feel content bringing the Super League trophy back to St Helens," he told Sky Sports.

Asked if there was a period in the game when he ever felt nervous, Holbrook replied: "Not really nervous, I had utmost confidence in the boys, but in rugby league you never know what will happen.

"You have to do it when it counts, and we did."

Salford star Jackson Hastings, winner of Super League's Man of Steel award, fell agonisingly short of ending his stint at the club with a Grand Final to his name.

Hastings is to join Wigan Warriors for the 2020 campaign and admitted Saints were ultimately too good.

"Sometimes dreams don't come true, they've been the best team in the competition for a reason," Hastings said.

"They started like a house on fire, we did well to get back to 6-12 but the cream rose to the top. Over the year they proved how dominant they were."

Salford coach Ian Watson added: "It's a tough one. The best team won on the night. I'm massively proud of the players, it's been a right ride."

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Peter Hanson