St Helens coach Daniel Anderson paid tribute to his side's thrilling 18-14 victory over the Brisbane Broncos in the World Club Challenge.
Anderson has taken St Helens to four trophies since replacing Ian Millward
Saints went into the match on the back of two Super League defeats, but produced a brave display to snatch an unlikely victory with 10 minutes left.
"It was a great achievement given the two weeks we've had," said Anderson.
"We're a good side and we competed with the Broncos in every facet of play for the whole 80 minutes."
St Helens had lost to Harlequins and Wakefield in consecutive weeks in Super League going into the game in Bolton.
But after a sluggish start to the match, Saints produced some of the running rugby and rock solid defence which had earned them the treble last season.
Nevertheless, Anderson refused to get too carried away with the win over the NRL champions.
"We'll get a reality check next week when we could be 10th in the table but hopefully this will kick-start us to go forward for the rest of the season," he said.
It was a massive effort from the boys
Saints hooker Keiron Cunningham
And Anderson was quick to applaud Brisbane's contribution to an enthralling encounter.
"You have to credit them for their intensity," he said. "They are a great side."
"As much as it was a great win I am just more than happy with the competitive spirit and energy levels we got for a game in February.
"That was play-off intensity and we had to go toe-to-toe with fantastic opposition."
Meanwhile, Keiron Cunningham admitted he had played through the pain barrier to be part of St Helens' squad.
The former Great Britain hooker suffered a hip injury during the defeat to Wakefield and had been thought doubtful to play at the Reebok Stadium.
But Cunningham came off the bench to start the second half and played a key role, with his pass setting up Paul Sculthorpe for Saints' vital second try.
"The coach asked me if I could play the second half - I wouldn't have wanted to miss this for anything," he said.
"I was injected and strapped up, and I couldn't warm up but I just wanted to play.
I've no complaints about the result
Broncos coach Wayne Bennett
"We hung on in there. It was a massive effort from the boys."
Brisbane Broncos coach Wayne Bennett said his side had paid the price for some uncharacteristic mistakes.
The Broncos played one warm-up game against the Celtic Crusaders last week, while Saints had the benefit of three Super League matches.
"I've no complaints about the result, but the mistakes cost us," said Bennett.
"Whether that's fatigue or a lack of football, it's probably a bit of both.
"Their two major tries came from giving a penalty away in a set coming down the field, and that gave them the field position they needed.
"You can't do that against quality football teams. The last time we played football was in October, though I was most pleased about the standard that we did play at.
"It wasn't perfect but St Helens were certainly on their game and they gave as much as we did. It made for a tremendous contest."