DEPARTING coach Justin Holbrook was delighted and relieved to deliver Saints’ first Grand Final win since 2014 in his last act for the club.

Having bossed the competition from round one, and topping the table by a record 16-point margin - the pressure was on Saints to wrap it up with the big one.

And so they did with the 23-6 win against underdogs Salford completing the club’s transformation from seventh-placed plodders to Super League champions.

Holbrook, who returns to Australia next week to take up the head coach’s post with NRL side Gold Coast Titans, said: “I am just so happy for everyone in the club and the town, in particular the players.

“We have been knocked over a couple of times this past couple of years in big games so to go on and win it in such fashion, with the boys playing so well, was pleasing.

“I feel content that we have won it.

“It would have been a horrible feeling for me to be leaving having not won it.

“Now I am content with the whole effort we have put in here.”

That satisfaction goes beyond Holbrook’s sense of personal achievement and that of his players - but spreads to the town that has adopted him for a transformative two-and-a-half year period.

“I am so happy for everyone in the town, particularly for our fans who have been following this team their whole lives – whether they are young kids or elderly people.

“We are a rugby league town here and I am so happy for everyone to get to share the rewards of us winning.”

One of the huge things the victory does is shatter once and for all the chokers tag that had built up due to Saints’ failure in 17 of the club’s 19 biggest games since winning at Wembley in 2008.

And with this crop of players staying together for next year under Kristian Woolf - there is the chance of building a real dynasty from this group.

Holbrook said: “A lot of people reminded me that Saints went to Old Trafford five years in a row and came home without the trophy.

“I know they won it in 2014 – but we were determined to bring it home again this year.

“I just think with how well we have played this year and how dominant we have been - but we had to put that to one side.

“We had to go out and play well because if we didn’t we were not going to get it and then would have had to deal with the consequences that go with with it.”

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Ahead of the game the Saints boss received a message from a former Old Trafford adversary Jamie Peacock.

Holbrook explained: “I had a good message off JP – which meant a lot because it came from someone outside of the club and he has won nine Grand Finals.

“He rang before the game and said ‘I hope you get this win because you have been so good to watch and you are the best team in the comp, so go out and win it’.

“That was really nice of him because he didn’t have to do it.

“For me I like to see the best team all year be the champions – in any sport – I like to see the best team getting rewarded.

“Now we can say what a great team we have been this year and have got the reward of the Super League trophy.”