THERE is something depressingly predictable about the endeavour of 17 blokes, overcoming the odds to throw the words of the critics back in their faces to be crowned champions being overshadowed by the bad news story.

Saints have overcome massive odds this season without their key linchpins to come out on top over 27 rounds, win two play offs and then vanquish the reigning champions Wigan at the Theatre of Dreams.

That the achievement of the Saints’ crop of 2014 is being sidelined by Flowergate follows a similar path. Rugby league only ever gets talked about on Radio 2 phone-ins or makes the back pages when it is a bad news story.

So let’s start talking about the positive story.

For me this is by far and away the most exciting win for a long, long time.

Sure, 2006 the team won the lot – and so it should – it was a crackerjack team jam-packed with internationals.

But even before kick off on Saturday there was a similarity between this crop and the one on the cusp of greatness in early1996.

The marriage between a handful of experienced old pros with the burgeoning young talent gives the club plenty of reasons to be cheerful going forward.

The Grand Final win hastens the development of those young players, it reinforces the winning culture among those wearing the red vee.

In Greg Richards and Luke Thompson Saints have developed and nurtured two 19-year-olds of rich promise with the size and attitude that will mean that they will only get better.

They slot into a pack featuring fellow props Kyle Amor and Alex Walmsley who are still growing into their roles.

In the three-quarters they have unearthed another player of rare quality who will also continue to improve as he develops physically.

Mark Percival is a classic centre – hands, vision, an instinctive awareness of where his support players are and a fine ability to give an opponent the slip with a shake of the hips. Although eight years seems a long time to wait for a title (not as long as the 60 as I have to remind our chums on the other side of Burtonwood), Saturday felt so good because after the relief and joy had subsided came a thought that this is just the beginning for this new breed and they will no longer have to walk in the shadows of those who have gone before them.

It shows we do not only have a history but, after some rocky days since moving from Knowsley Road, the future now looks so bright.