Justin Holbrook: League Leaders Shield is a bonus, we want Grand Final glory

St Helens coach Justin Holbrook was happy to clinch the League Leaders’ Shield last weekend but insists their main priority is reaching the Grand Final.

Saints beat Hull FC last Friday to lift the League Leaders’ Shield in front of their home fans at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

Holbrook’s side have been table toppers for the majority of the season and are six points ahead of second-placed Wigan Warriors.

On winning the League Leaders’ Shield, Holbrook said: “It’s a good thing to be recognised as the most consistent side after 30 rounds.

“It’s something that the players should be proud of and I’ve said a number of times that the main thing in our sport is getting to Old Trafford and winning the Grand Final. The League Leaders’ Shield is a bonus.

“If you can pick up a trophy on the way and it is something to earn with a couple of games to go, it is a nice achievement but we all know we’re playing for Old Trafford.

“The League Leaders’ Shield is a bit of a weird one. Everyone was saying hurry up and get it wrapped up which is a weird way to look at it. Everyone else in the competition wanted to finish for a top four spot and were looking for where they are going to finish, so for us having had such a good year, we were out of that bracket early.”

Holbrook handed first-team debuts to James Bentley and Jack Welsby in their victory against Hull FC and also gave youngster Jake Spedding a run-out.

The Australian was impressed by the trio, he said: “To give Jack Welsby a taste of Super League at 17-years-old was brilliant.

“Jake Spedding hasn’t played all year, he’s actually been out for 10 weeks, so it was great to give him a game.

“James Bentley was fantastic. To make his first Super League appearances for us and do that for 80 minutes was tremendous. I’m really happy for those guys that got their opportunity.”

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