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Page last updated at 11:46 GMT, Sunday, 11 October 2009 12:46 UK

Sinfield hails historic title win


Emotional Sinfield hails magical achievement

Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield hailed his side's third consecutive Super League title as one of the greatest achievements in the modern game.

Sinfield was in inspirational form as the Rhinos edged out rivals St Helens 18-10 to become the first side to win three consecutive Super League titles.

"To win three in a row in an era when there are salary caps is incredible," said the 29-year-old.

"This is a special victory. I think it's the best one out of the three."

Sinfield said some of the star names in the side had made financial sacrifices in order to stay part of the club's remarkable run of success.

"The game was the toughest I have ever played in a Grand Final," he said.


"The competition as a whole is much tougher but thankfully we have had enough to come through.

"We are a salary-cap sport. We may lose the odd player each year but it is an unselfish team in many ways.

"Every one of those players could go to another club and earn more money but they choose to sacrifice a few extra quid in their pocket to play for this great club.

"Money can't buy the memories from tonight and what we have had in the last few years. We are a team of billionaires in that respect."

Sinfield received the Harry Sunderland Trophy as man of the match after his flawless kicking game helped the Rhinos stifle Saints' attacking riches.

But the England and Great Britain international was quick to pay tribute to the contributions made by his team-mates.

"The man-of-the-match award is great but this was a big team effort and the boys were absolutely brilliant," he said.

I wouldn't say it hurt more than the last two years - it just hurts

St Helens centre Matt Gidley

"The sacrifices the lads have made to make it happen have been incredible."

One of those team-mates, Australian winger Scott Donald, singled Sinfield out for special praise.

"Kev really is Mr Consistent and he performs like that week-in, week-out as well as when it matters in finals," Donald said.

"He was absolutely awesome and he proved to be the difference between the sides. To win three in a row is something I couldn't have even dreamed about when I left Australia.

"It's great for the boys who have been brilliant, not just this year, but over the last three years.

"We fully deserved to win a third title and I'm certainly going to remember this one."

St Helens, who finished second the regular season table behind Leeds, were left to reflect on a third straight defeat at the hands of the Rhinos with the title at stake.

"I wouldn't say it hurt more than the last two years - it just hurts," said Saints centre Matt Gidley.

"The boys were gutted in the dressing room as you would expect.

"We've worked so hard over the last three years to get to the Grand Final and to come so close to winning it but not actually lift the trophy is really tough.

"We started well but Leeds were up for it in the second half and they made it really difficult to get out of our half. They played well but this really hurts."

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see also
Eastmond is Saints' future - Long
11 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Smith delighted by dream send-off
10 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
St Helens 10-18 Leeds Rhinos
10 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Grand Final as it happened
10 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Super League Grand Final photo gallery
10 Oct 09 |  Rugby League
Road to Old Trafford
25 Sep 09 |  Rugby League
Sinfield praises Leeds 'warriors'
04 Oct 08 |  Rugby League

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