Simmons defends Graham

Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford Saints v Leeds 08/10/2011.'Saints James Graham

Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford Saints v Leeds 08/10/2011.'Saints James Graham

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JAMES Graham wasn’t best pleased when he was substituted during the second half of Saturday’s final – but his reaction delighted coach Royce Simmons!

Simmons said: “That is what I want to see from any of my players being substituted, and I don’t care if they tell me to get stuffed.”

Explaining his reason for the move, Simmons said: “Jammer had played for 32 to 33 minutes in the first half, and 26 or 27 minutes after the interval, and I felt he needed a short break.

“The reason behind my decision is that I wanted him to return later in the game, and maybe set up something for us, which he is capable of doing.”

Graham will be heading Down Under to join Canterbury Bulldogs now, but will leave behind team-mates who fully appreciate his dedication and devotion to a club he first joined as a junior more than 10 years ago.

Jamie Foster said: “You always get 110 per cent commitment from Jammer, whether he is playing in a competitive match like the Grand Final, or just a friendly, and I wouldn’t swap him for a gold clock.

“He is the best prop in the world, and it has been an honour for me to play alongside him.

“He has without a shadow of doubt left an indelible mark on me for the rest of my career.”

n SATURDAY’S attendance of 69,197 was the fourth highest in Grand Final history. The Saints-Hull FC clash in 2006 tops the table, having attracted 72,582 fans, followed by Saints v Wigan Warriors last year (71,526), and Leeds-Saints in 2007 (71,352).