Rugby League

Jamie Peacock pleased to bow out on a high after Leeds' Grand Final triumph

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Former England captain Jamie Peacock admits bowing out of rugby league with a grand slam of trophies is a dream come true.

The 37-year-old prop forward brought the curtain down on his 17-year playing career by helping Leeds to their seventh Super League title with a 22-20 win over Wigan at Old Trafford and then revealed his premonition.

"I'm like Martin Luther King, I had a dream," Peacock said.

"I had a dream about three weeks ago that we beat Huddersfield, we beat St Helens and we played Wigan in the Grand Final.

"The belief the team showed at the end, and the skill and grit and discipline to win was incredible and highlights what's so great about this team."

Peacock, who will swap his playing kit for a suit when he takes up the newly-created position of football manager at Super League rivals Hull KR ahead of next season, typically led from the front as the Rhinos twice came from behind to become only the third team to complete the hat-trick of Grand Final, Challenge Cup and League Leaders' Shield.

St Helens were the last treble-winning team in 2006 while Peacock was a member of the Bradford side that achieved the feat in 2003, confirming his place among the greats of the modern game.

"It's a bit difficult to sum up," Peacock said. "I'm lost for words.

"You look where we were against Catalans five or six weeks ago and t o get to finish my career in that fashion, it's scripted like a movie.

"At the start of the year, I was just hoping to have a good season with the club. You obviously tip yourself up to try and win everything but I've never been in a season that has had as many big moments so close together.

"I just feel fortunate to be in a great team. It's a team sport and that's why rugby league is such a great sport."

It was a record-extending ninth Grand Final win on an unprecedented 11th appearance at Old Trafford for Peacock, who turns 38 in December.

His fellow front rower Kylie Leuluai, too, entered retirement on a high, preserving his 100 per cent record at Old Trafford with a sixth win, while there was also a fairytale finish for long-serving captain Kevin Sinfield, who will switch codes with the Rhinos' sister club Yorkshire Carnegie next month.

Half-back Danny McGuire, whose two first-half tries earned him the Harry Sunderland Trophy as man of the match, admitted the desire to send the club stalwarts out on a high had been a motivating factor.

"It was a bit emotional at times through the week," McGuire said. "The lads spoke at different times. I'm obviously great mates with all three of them and to send them on a high note, there's no better feeling.

"They deserve it. JP is an absolute warrior and it's going to be weird not having Kev's shirt at the side of mine on a Friday night at Headingley - we've played all our careers more or less together - and Kylie has been a warrior for the team as well."

McGuire, who turns 33 in December, is being tipped to take over the captaincy from Sinfield, who has done the job for the last 13 years.

"I've been captain a few times this year and I love it," McGuire said. "I enjoy that extra responsibility.

"I'm not sure what's going to happen. I feel I'm a leader in the team any way so being the captain wouldn't change anything.

"Kev has been the captain more or less since I came into the team and he's done a fantastic job. I'll definitely take some of his traits but that's not been decided yet so we'll see what happens."

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