Brown praises ‘simply superb’ Wellens

Paul Wellens celebrates scoring against Castleford Tigers
Paul Wellens celebrates scoring against Castleford Tigers

Nathan Brown saluted the contribution made by his entire squad after Sunday’s seven-try demolition of fellow higher fliers Castleford Tigers at Langtree Park.

Victory enabled Saints to reclaim top spot in the First Utility Super League from neighbours Wigan Warriors who they face at the DW Stadium on Friday night - a mouth-watering showdown which will be screened live by the Sky TV cameras.

Brown reserved special praise for skipper Paul Wellens whose two tries and general play had a massive impact on the final outcome, earning him the man of the match accolade.

The Aussie boss said: “Wello was simply superb but on top of his performance the effect he has on the team-mates around him is probably even better than he plays.

“Wild horses wouldn’t have prevented him playing despite having 20 stitches inserted in a head wound the previous week but nothing surprises me about this couragous character who played in a Grand Final with a fractured cheekbone.

“Wello is out of contract at the end of the season but it looks as if we will need to sit down shortly and discuss his future.

“He is a durable person and contributes so much to the club, both on and off the field.”

Speaking about the entire squad’s performace, Brown - under pressure to deliver the goods following the previous week’s shambolic performance against the Catalan Dragons in Perpignan, added: “We are all happy with Sunday’s performance, apart from surrendering a couple of late tries.

“However, we were the dominant force for 70 to 75 minutes and deservedly collected both points.”

Brown went on: “I thought all 17 players contributed to our performance with Wille Manu and Mark Percival both playing their second comeback games after injury and getting much needed minutes.

“We also had three kids out there who are only 19 years of age and I was proud at the way they held themselves together when introduced from the bench.

“Greg Richards was sensational, while Andre Savelio and Luke Thompson did a great job as well. And it must not be overlooked that they did this against a group of seasoned professionals.”