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Last Updated: Saturday, 13 October 2007, 22:02 GMT 23:02 UK

Leeds celebrate after Scott Donald scored a try for St Helens
Leeds celebrate a deserved win in the Grand Final at Old Trafford
Leeds Rhinos coach Tony Smith said his side had given him the perfect send-off by beating St Helens in Saturday's Super League Grand Final.

"It is pretty hard to have written it better - it is a bit of a fairytale finish," said the Australian after the 33-6 victory at Old Trafford.

"I am not being conceited but we had it in us and I knew this week we were going to do it," he added.

"I'm honoured and proud to have been coach of this great club."

Smith told BBC Sport: "St Helens have been a class act in all competitions for the last two years so it's no easy task to beat them.

"Last week's game against Wigan was tough but it was good practice for us to get ready for St Helens. It showed us what we can do when we applied ourselves.

"I'm really pleased for the players, they have worked so hard and deserve it. We timed our run and I'm proud and pleased for them."


The Australian moves on to take full-time charge of Great Britain, starting with the upcoming Test series against New Zealand but he said he will look back fondly on his time at Headingley.

"We've had some ups and downs - but that makes the good times even better and makes you tougher, I suppose," he admitted.

"We were tougher this year than we have been before, and this team have just matured into a championship-winning team - and they deserved it."

Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield paid tribute to his departing coach.

"I said before the game he would be the greatest Leeds coach ever - so there's your line. He's been fantastic and leaves the club in great shape.

They were very athletic and shut down most of the things we did and when their opportunities came they took them

Daniel Anderson

"We've been written off a bit this season but credit to the guys for coming out and putting on a performance like that against St Helens.

"The competition is tough but we knew we had it in us and we showed up."

Saints coach Daniel Anderson, who led his team to the treble last season, admitted his side had been beaten by a better outfit on the night.

"We had to change our game plan in the second half but the opposition were too good," he said.

"In the end, they were very athletic and shut down most of the things we did and when their opportunities came they took them.

"Their bench was potent and provided points. Ali Lauitiiti set up Scott Donald for a try and scored one himself and Ian Kirke was very good as well.

"When you are down by 13 points with 10 minutes left the weight of 70 games played over two years was starting to weigh heavily on the players' legs.

"Leeds have experienced adversity and they had a lot to play for. They were just too big and probably out-muscled us."

Grand Final photos
13 Oct 07 |  Rugby League
St Helens 6-33 Leeds Rhinos
13 Oct 07 |  Rugby League
Jon Wilkin column
13 Oct 07 |  Rugby League
Grand Final as it happened
13 Oct 07 |  Rugby League
Smith takes up Great Britain job
26 Mar 07 |  Rugby League


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