Salford coach Paul Rowley believes St Helens are the best team Super League has ever seen following their World Club Challenge success.
The Saints backed up their four consecutive Super League titles by beating Penrith Panthers in their own back yard on Saturday to claim the World Club Challenge.
Asked if he thought St Helens were the best team of the Super League era, Rowley replied: “Yeah. I think they’ve proved it and you can’t argue with the facts.
“And who’d have thought they’d get better on the back of last year? But from the evidence I’ve seen against St George and Penrith, St Helens have gone another step up.
“For me, they are the best team to have featured in Super League.”
Paul Rowley expresses delight at St Helens becoming world club champions
A drop goal from Lewis Dodd in golden point extra-time sealed a 13-12 win for the Super League champions against their NRL counterparts.
Rowley added: “I think everybody was supporting them.
“I was certainly hoping that St Helens would get the job done and I said on record that I thought they would.
“It’s a boost for the competition in terms of bragging rights and substance but we hear it time and time again how good the Aussies are.
“The NRL is still the best competition in the world but we’ve got the best team in the world in St Helens.
“I think there’s a mutual respect in and around the game that they understand how good Super League is. It is different from the NRL but it’s certainly as entertaining. In most cases, the standard is getting there or is just as high in many respects.”
St Helens are due to arrive back in England earlier this week, with Paul Wellens’ side travelling to Castleford on Sunday for their first game of the Super League season, live on Channel 4.
Salford, meanwhile, host Hull KR in a Sky Sports televised clash on Thursday night.