Shell-shocked

Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford Saints v Leeds 08/10/2011.'Saints fans at the final hooter.

Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford Saints v Leeds 08/10/2011.'Saints fans at the final hooter.

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IT’S that sinking feeling that Saints fans know so well.

Saints fans and players hold their heads in their hands, unable to watch the agony unfold.

It was an agonisingly close bid to become Super League champions on Saturday - and for large potions of the game it seemed Saints would finally shake off their Grand Final hoodoo, only to beaten at the last by old adversaries Leeds Rhinos.

Victory would have been a simply incredible achievement given the season the Saints endured.

A seemingly never-ending injury list to crucial players marred any hopes of selecting a consistent side, and thrust Saints’ homegrown youngsters into the spotlight.

But the manner in which the team conducted itself throughout the season - and in face of yet another heartbreaking defeat to that side from Yorkshire - is a credit not just to St Helens, but to rugby league as a whole.

Saints have now lost five Grand Finals on the bounce. What price would most clubs give to have reached Super League’s showcase just once?

What is certain is that with a new home next season and a ever-maturing crop of talented young players, Saints will be back next year.

As they’ve proved conclusively over the past five years, that’s the St Helens way.