Hull coach John Kear said his side's thrilling Challenge Cup final victory over Leeds was reward for their efforts throughout the season.
"The secret is working with a great bunch of fellows who give their absolute best, week in week out," Kear told BBC Sport.
"It's been a tough campaign and the players will reap the benefits.
"The players prepared very hard for this and they certainly turned up to play. The pace was ferocious."
Kear said the victory was the highlight of his coaching career - even though he coached the Sheffield Eagles side that caused one of the biggest shocks in Challenge Cup history by beating Wigan in 1998.
"This is the best for me because we beat Wakefield, Bradford, Leigh, St Helens and now the world champions," he said.
And Kear dedicated victory to Shaun Briscoe, who missed out on playing in the final because of appendicitis.
"We were all very upset that Shaun missed out - this is a tribute to Shaun," he said.
Yet Kear said he was glad Keith Senior played for Leeds despite having suffered from an ankle injury.
Before the game, Kear had suggested there was no chance Senior would be fit anough to play in the match.
"I am a friend of Keith Senior and I think he is a very brave man," Kear said.
"The decision was taken by the Leeds coaching staff in an irrational manner but I am glad he didn't miss the game.
"The pace was ferocious and it stayed that way all the way through.
"We were like two boxers on the ropes and fortunately we came up with the knock-out blow.
"There was a lot of fatigued players but I am delighted they hung in there. They played like true champions."
Danny Brough said fear of letting his team-mates down helped him slot the match-winning conversion.
He said: "It was tense. I just didn't want to mess up for the boys."