Keiron Cunningham felt his St Helens side were “virtually untouchable” as they came back from a 14-6 interval deficit at Widnes to win 30-20 and maintain their 100 per cent Super League record this season.
Both sides were without several key players but Widnes deserved their interval lead before the champions ran in 24 second half points.
We looked a bit jaded in the first half but I was immensely pleased with our second half showKeiron Cunningham
Lance Hohaia crossed for two of the Saints five tries with others from the outstanding Atelea Vea, Luke Thompson and Jordan Turner with Travis Burns booting five goals.
The Saints boss said: “We looked a bit jaded in the first half but I was immensely pleased with our second half show. We set high standards at this club and were virtually untouchable at times.”
“Atelea Vea was absolutely brilliant and is playing well with Joe Greenwood in the second row.
“Travis Burns has also fitted into our system really well and all the kids are doing a big job which is promising for the club.”
Cunningham also praised Hohaia, switched to hooker for the injured James Roby.
“Lance hasn’t played many minutes this season but is a good competitor,” he added.
“He’s a very good utility player and he’s made it tough for me not to play him next week.”
Saints lost Tommy Makinson with concussion after a try saving tackle on Joe Mellor with Widnes centre Chris Dean suffering a broken rib against his old club.
Widnes led at the break tries from Eamon O’Carroll and Patrick Ah Van in front of 7,772 fans before managing a late Aaron Heremaia try.
Coach Denis Betts was pleased with the application from his side.
“It was a wholehearted effort but we were dumb at times,” he said.
“We conceded three tries from dummy half and that’s criminal.
“It was frustrating making some stupid errors and we ran out of energy at a crucial time.
“Grant Gore was really good for us but you have to give St Helens credit. They have the culture of knowing how to win.”