Kieron Cunningham was happy with the no-excuses culture of his St Helens side after they dug deep for a 17-10 win at in-form Hull.
The home side were defending a run of six wins in seven games but found the champions’ defence too tough a nut to crack at the KC Stadium.
Some brilliant protection of their line allied with Tommy Makinson’s brilliant clinching try - a fine eye-of-the-needle effort off a Travis Burns kick - got them the win.
The two points came after the Saints had spent most of the afternoon on the M62, their coach arriving by the Humber just five minutes before the start of the warm-up owing to traffic.
“It was brilliant,” Cunningham said. “Hull had a lot of ball at the end, but we hung on and hung on. We had good resolve and it was pleasing to hang in and get the victory.
“Our start to the games hasn’t been the greatest and it was something we wanted to work on. We got here five minutes before warm-up, that’s not an excuse but it’s hard.
“We just keep turning up for each other and you can’t fabricate that. You can’t make it up, it’s something that is built by spirit and that want for the victory.”
Lee Radford took Hull’s loss in good spirits, although his faux happiness at referee Matt Thomason’s performance was not fooling many.
Hull could make a claim for being worthy of a point at least, but their poor handling at crucial times - especially on their right-hand side - cost them dearly.
Radford also felt they could have had some help from the man with the whistle, jovially saying: “We had enough opportunities to win five games of footy at the end but our skill set wasn’t good enough and that cost us.
“They (Saints) realised the ref wasn’t going to put a whistle in his mouth, they slowed it down at the ruck; that was smart by their coach.
“He (the referee) was very reluctant to penalise anyone for slowing the ruck down and they handled it better than us.
“When you’re playing against the bloke in the middle as well, it makes it difficult.”
Referees have been high on the agenda lately - especially after the controversial Castleford-Huddersfield clash on Thursday, and Radford added: “Hopefully I will get a different official next week. I think I’m doing really well at the moment not to get a fine.”