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Page last updated at 20:11 GMT, Saturday, 4 October 2008 21:11 UK
2008 Grand Final
Old Trafford, Manchester

Anderson unhappy with Saints display

St Helens coach Daniel Anderson was left to rue a poor first-half display as his side lost their second successive Grand Final to Leeds Rhinos.

"I didn't think we were honest with our capabilities in the first half," said the Australian. "We didn't play anywhere near the standards we had set.

"We really battled hard in the second half but it didn't happen for us."

However, he insisted he had no regrets as he ended his time at Saints, saying: "It's been a privilege to be here."

The Australian is leaving the club after a golden three-and-a-half-year spell that has seen him lift nine trophies - but despite their tag as favourites going into the game, his side were unable to send him off with a 10th.

"I have enjoyed the company of the people that I have met over here, I've enjoyed the company of the players especially," he added.

"They are fantastic rugby league players and very good men to boot. I will have a drink or two with a couple of the boys tonight and a lot of people that I have met in St Helens and enjoy my last few days."

A sensational performance from full-back Lee Smith proved key to the Rhinos' victory.

The winger, standing in for New Zealand international Brett Webb, was brilliant in defence and attack, scoring a try to add to those of Ryan Hall and Danny Maguire (2) as the Saints went down 24-16.

"I thought we missed a lot of tackles," said Anderson. "Leeds got the opportunity to build pressure and they took advantage of it with a couple of tries.

"In the second half we struck back but Leeds responded every time. They broke tackles and they won the ruck and in the first half, the amount of times Sean Long had to pass the ball because he had three or four men coming at him, that was significant.

"That was a marker put in the sand by Leeds which meant that we were kicking off the back foot constantly in the first half. Leeds did it better than us the whole game.

"It's a desperately disappointed dressing room, but we've had some wins, we've had some losses and you've got to suck in both sides."

see also
St Helens 16-24 Leeds Rhinos
04 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
Grand Final as it happened
04 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
Super League Grand Final photos
04 Oct 08 |  Rugby League

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