Rhinos coach, Brian McClennan, was delighted with his charges after the game, exclaiming:
“What a fantastic match. Both sets of players are to be congratulated for playing such a great game.
“What a wonderful bunch of players we have here (Leeds), led by Kevin (Sinfield), who won the Harry Sunderland trophy. Good things happen to good people … these boys live right, they promote our game in the right way and I think that shows.”
McClennan lauded the leadership of skipper, Sinfield saying:
“It’s huge (his leadership) he’s become the winningest (sic) captain in Super League, all the players look up to Kevin and good leadership is when you share and give other people the trust to come in (and contribute).
“To go an do three in a row … you’ve got to be really good.”
Sinfield himself was blunt in his assessment of the game saying:
“It gets tougher every year.”
“It was the toughest game I’ve played in tonight. We knew how much Saints were up for it and maybe that makes it sweeter but they’re all good in their own way.”
A confident McClennan confessed that victory was never far from his mind, saying:
“I actually thought from the first five minutes (that we’d win). We felt as a team that if we got in a rhythm and got some control then we’d be all right no matter what the scoreboard said … but eight points was nothing and I felt we could get that back and we did.”
Sinfield revealed that the inspiration for the early drop goal came from McClennan who admitted:
“In a tight game it’s better to get it (DG) early becuase it can be harder to get at the end, plus having beaten them the last couple of years I thought it (being behind) might just give them nightmares and turn up the pressure on them.
“When we go the drop goal I felt that put some pressure on Saints … but respect to Saints I thought they played well.”
“I thought both sets of teams had good kicking games; we spoke about that at half time, Sean was kicking the ball well. But we’re lucky in that we have a three-pronged kicking game … even Smithy chimed in too; so he must be getting ready for Union.”