SAINTS boss Justin Holbrook managed to keep his emotions in check after the final hooter yesterday - but he did admit that him leading the team for the last time fully hit him on the coach to Old Trafford.

Holbrook who returns to Australia to take up the coach's job at NRL side Gold Cost Titans, spoke of his pride and privilege at guiding Saints to the title for the first time in five years after a clinical 23-6 win over Salford.

He has been hugely popular in the town, and those feelings are mutual.

Holbrook said: "I have loved every minute of coaching here and having the responsibility to the town.

"For our town – a rugby league heartland – to be able to deliver the trophy was two-and-a-half years in the making.

"I thought it would be more emotional at full time, but I think I was just proud and privileged to have been in this role to deliver the trophy.

"I did get really emotional on the bus driving into Old Trafford and I am glad nobody was sitting next to me because it was quite embarrassing.

READ: Roby talks about playing through pain and his pride at leading team>

"I was thinking 'no-one look at me, no-one look at me'.

"It hit me more then that it was my last game.

"I feel much happier now knowing that the job is done."