“Ben Barba is now fully fit and firing on all cylinders”. That’s the chilling message from head coach Justin Holbrook to Saints’ three rivals who are battling to lift he Holy Grail of Super League - the Old Trafford Grand Final next month
In a stout defence of his fellow Aussie, Holbrook insisted that his recent dip in form was in no way connected with never-ending stories, both emanating in England and Down Under, linking the full back with a move back to the NRL at the end of the season - something which Saints have not officially denied.
The St Helens boss, who looked on as Barba scored two of his side’s four second-half tries in Saturday’s 34-14 victory over Warrington Wolves at the Halliwell-Jones Stadium, declared: “Ben has been suffering from niggling injuries during the last six to eight weeks which he has now overcome.”
Holbrook added:’’When you are one of the elite players if you are not 100 per cent fit you cannot perform the things you normally do and just come back and join the pack, like everyone else does.
“This is what happened with Ben but he has now got over his injury worries as you saw with his performance at Warrrington.
“Jonny Lomax was brilliant, too, but I also realise that their six and seven didn’t play in the second half. It was great from our end – but we had our strike force on the field and they didn’t.
“It was also good to see Dom Peyroux return after suffering a broken arm against the same opponents in July while Ryan Morgan was great following his absent due to concussion.”
Holbrook also praised his young guns after their contribution.
‘’Matty Lees, Jack Ashworth and James Bentley played big minutes and it will help their development the more time they are able to get under their belts,” he said.