Paul Wellens: Castleford win just as impressive as Penrith

Paul Wellens St Helens News Images Credit: Alamy
Paul Wellens St Helens News Images Credit: Alamy

St Helens coach Paul Wellens was pleased with the way his side refused to use jet lag as an excuse as they got their Super League season off to a winning start.

The Saints only arrived back in England earlier this week after their World Club Challenge heroics against Penrith last Saturday.

But they backed up their World Club Challenge triumph. They beat Castleford 24-6 in their first Super League game of the year; and their first game since returning to the UK.

Paul Wellens on St Helens win at Castleford

Wellens said: “I was really proud of them today because they showed a real toughness and resilience again. That was probably the toughest thing to do off the back of last week.

“I know a lot of people in the game won’t see this win in the same way as they saw the Penrith game last week, but to me it is every bit as impressive. To come out here and be able to get the job done in the way they did.

“You wrestle with what to do in terms of how you approach the situation. It is an unknown for everybody, particularly with travelling back from Australia; and with sore bodies after that game.

“I was keen for us as a team to put down a marker and approach 2023 with a strong mindset. I sat down with all the players and they made it quite clear they were in the same thought process as me, so we picked our strongest 17 available.

“We knew the performance wouldn’t be perfect. We’ll have to keep a close eye on the next few weeks, but what this group does is find a way when things get tough.

“We had to withstand a fair bit early in that game, but we kept turning up for each other.”

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