SAINTS drew a line under last week’s Challenge Cup Final disappointment and began pointing forward to the Super League play-offs with a knockout type tackling stint to help beat Castleford 4-0.

A first half Regan Grace try was the only score of the game – with Saints having to repel wave upon wave of Tigers attack to earn a gutsy win.

Coach Justin Holbrook was pleased with the way his players responded after a physically and emotionally draining Wembley experience to produce such a resolute display.

He said: “It was a hard week and to put in a display like that was terrific, we had to show a lot of character.

“We had to do a lot of defended and defended well so I was just happy to win.

Defensively we were terrific – we had some tired bodies out there but just kept going.

“They just kept turning up in defence – and we needed that because I thought we let ourselves down in that area last week. We dug deep tonight.

“It was a really pleasing win for the boys.”

Although Cas, seeking a spot in the play-offs, had more cause to be desperate for the win, Saints had their own reasons for maintaining their own standards after last week’s upset at Wembley.

Holbrook said: “It was hard this week because we were really disappointed that we didn’t win the Challenge Cup, but its important that we are now getting into the exciting part of the Super League and that is the main focus.

“The Challenge Cup would have been nice to win, but the Super League is the main one and we are in a good spot there and not far off finals so we look forward to that.”

After a lot of soul searching and analysis, the backs-to-the-wall effort was just what was needed to bring the whole club back together. And the fans really roused the team with their singing and helped embolden their defensive resolve.

Holbrook said: “I thought it was a great sign of the club’s character tonight and the fans knew how tough we were doing it. There was a really good coming together – and it was needed and the way we hung on was terrific.”

He said that Dom Peyroux, Kevin Naiqama and Theo Fages were just a bit “knocked about” from last week, with Lachlan Coote out with the effects of concussion.

But he was pleased with those who again stepped in.

“Every time the other boys step in they do a great job, and a few fresh faces helped us tonight,” he said.

Saints are now 18 points clear at the Super League summit and collected the League Leaders Shield at the end of the game.

This time they celebrated it and the fans remained to enjoy the moment.

“We definitely wanted to win the shield. To be the most consistent side over 29 rounds is a huge achievement, but the one on Grand Final day is what we will be remembered by.

“But it was a huge accomplishment to play consistently every week like this is very hard to do, the players deserve a lot of credit for it.

“Everything moves on – the finals series is not far away.

“We had not spoken about how we were going to celebrate. What would have helped tonight was how we won the game.

“Last year was a flat night and a comfortable win and it was hard to be excited .

“Tonight was a tough game from two good sides and that probably helped in the celebrations.

“I was glad they celebrated it,” Holbrook said.