AS predicted, the Saints went marching on in the Betfred Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford with a 23-6 win that was really even more convincing than the score line showed.

Saints came straight out of the blocks and totally controlled the first 25 minutes, giving a leggy Salford very little time out of their own half and falling to a 12-nil deficit.

After a clinical second half performance, led by the outstanding front row of Luke Thompson, who went on to pick up the Harry Sunderland Trophy for MOM, Alex Walmsley with the skipper James Roby steering the ship as he does. Thompson was pushed hard for the award by Big Al, followed by the excellent Mark Percival.

Percival scored an outstanding solo try, but it was his constant barnstorming runs that impressed me the most.

The Saints centre later admitting that it was a big relief to get the win and end the debate about us losing big matches following the Challenge Cup loss - and the semi-final reversals last season.

The team duly looked every bit the champions they now are, with big performances all over the pitch. Massive respect to Salford though, who set up this David v Goliath clash with some outstanding performances, and something that really grabbed the public’s attention.

I thought the atmosphere at Old Trafford was the best in years - and no doubt a lot of this due to the underdog story. I sincerely hope that the Red Devils can capitalise on this and secure a bigger loyal fanbase.

One player who gave everything out there was the newly-crowned Steve Prescott MBE Man of Steel, Jackson Hastings. Hastings tried to break down the mighty Saints but ultimately they were too good on the day, and probably it was a game too far for the Salford side on what would be his last game in that jersey.

So, what a way to bow out Justin Holbrook. I’m sure I say this on behalf of all the fans, staff and players at the club in thanking Justin for the past two and a half years.

He has brought back an exciting brand of rugby to the club...and success to a club that demands it! I’d like to wish Justin and his family all the very best for his new role with the Gold Coast Titans in the NRL.

With the Betfred Super League season now over, RL stays in the news with the return of the Great Britain Lions on the tour of NZ and PNG.

With four Saints on the trip - Walmsley, Thompson, Coote and Lomax - our SL champions lead from the front.

Heart-breaking news for Makinson, Percival and Roby who have all pulled out with injury. I’m particularly looking forward to watching Walmsley and Thompson, who are two of the best props in the game worldwide.

So that’s it for 2019....and what a season it’s been. Saints fans savour this feeling...and if you are already looking forward to 2020 you’ll be glad to hear title sponsors Betfred have us 3/1 to do it all again!