St Helens coach Justin Holbrook was immensely proud of his players for putting together a big second half display to come out comfortable 36-20 winners over Leeds Rhinos a week out from Wembley.
With the scores locked at 10 all at the break, Saints showed their class by running in 26 points in a blistering opening to the second half, before Leeds showed their fighting spirit with two late consolation tries.
With five key stars still to come into the side for the Challenge Cup final, Holbrook was left singing the praises of his side, who were far too good for the Rhinos when it mattered.
“It’s a great win from our side and I’m really proud of the boys,” he told reporters.
“It was really pleasing how hard they kept working; we had players playing longer minutes than they’re used to and players playing out of position.
“It was a tough test for us, Leeds have been playing well recently so it was a very very good win for us.
Apart from young prop Matty Lees, who suffered a knock to the ribs, the league leaders came through the game with no injury concerns and are likely to name an full strength side at Wembley against Warrington next weekend.
“It was an awkward one that no one really likes to play the week before a final, but the way we went about it tonight was great and we’ll have everyone on deck and available next week,” he added.