NATHAN Brown said he was proud of his players after their 13-12 victory over Leeds that leaves Saints knowing a victory over Warrington at Langtree Park on Thursday will seal the League Leaders' Shield.
Leeds had led 12-2 at half time after dominating despite the early dismissal of Joel Moon for a high tackle.
But the game was turned on its head in the final quarter with two tries in seven minutes through Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and James Roby to level the scores and stand-off Lance Hohaia secured the win with a drop goal seven minutes from the end.
The Saints coach said: "Leeds are never dead, they fought hard with 12 men and got away to a nice lead on the back of a great kicking game and great control from Kevin Sinfield. I'm really proud that we were able to hang in there.
"We had a lot of defensive work to do and I thought our edges did a super job in handling (Ryan) Hall, (Zak) Hardaker and (Kallum) Watkins.
"I know people will talk about the 12 men, but I thought Leeds were just sensational in that first half. They put us under a lot of pressure and we probably folded a little bit.
"In the second half we started to get going a little bit and hopefully it will be a learning curve for us. I am really proud of the guys.
"Obviously we'd love to finish first, but regardless of where we finish, after what we've been through this year, I don't think any of the fans could be disappointed with what the players have given them. I'm really proud of the guys regardless of where we finish."