St Helens skipper James Roby paid tribute to departing coach Justin Holbrook after their Super League Grand Final win over Salford.
Holbrook departs the Totally Wicked Stadium after two and a half years in charge to take up the top job at NRL club Gold Coast Titans.
After their disappointing defeat to Warrington at Wembley, and two semi-final losses last year, Saints finally got over the line to land a major trophy, to go alongside the two league leaders’ shields won under Holbrook’s guidance.
Roby said: “We deserved that, we’ve done so well all year, we’ve been consistent.
“It’s only what Justin deserves. He’s a champion bloke. He’s done great for us. All the lads can’t speak highly enough of him.
“He’s turned us around as a club. It’s quite fitting that we can send him off in this way.”
The well-liked and respected Australian, who was assistant to Trent Robinson at Sydney Roosters before landing his first head coach job at St Helens, was typically positive and complimentary in his post-match, particularly in reference to the efforts of Salford and their coach Ian Watson.
But it will have been somewhat of a relief for Holbrook that after two exceptional seasons, he goes back home a champion.
He said: “It’s a great feeling. We worked so hard all year, and after the season we had, we had to finish it off.
“I can feel content (leaving) knowing that we’re bringing the Super League trophy back to St Helens.”