Kristian Woolf impressed by hat-trick hero Jack Welsby in win over Hull
Kristian Woolf described Jack Welsby’s performance as “outstanding” after his hat-trick helped St Helens to a 42-10 victory at Hull FC.
Welsby, who scoring a last-gasp winning try at this venue in the 2020 Betfred Super League Grand Final, turned in another star performance at the MKM Stadium.
His latest treble increased his tally to seven tries in three games against the Black and Whites this season after also notching a hat-trick in round eight at the Totally Wicked Stadium.
And Woolf believes the 20-year-old’s ability to cover several positions is just the tip of the iceberg of his ability.
“Like he does every week, wherever we put him, he does a terrific job,” Woolf said.
“I thought he was outstanding again and if you look at two of three tries that he scored, it is that ability to put himself in the right spot.
“His ability to put himself in the right spot and make opportunities is outstanding, that is something we can’t coach. He’s just got that as a bloke and as a player.”
It was Saints’ first match since lifting the Betfred Challenge Cup last month due to coronavirus-related issues and Woolf was delighted to maintain their pressure on Super League leaders Catalans Dragons with victory.
“I’m really happy with our blokes,” Woolf added. “We had 13 days from the Challenge Cup where we couldn’t do anything.
“We are short-staffed at the minute. We still have seven or eight players and two or three staff that aren’t allowed to be in just yet or are just coming back into the group.
“I’m really happy with the way we approached that game. We started with a great attitude, we backed ourselves with our shape and opportunities with the ball.”
It was a third straight league defeat for Hull, ahead of difficult schedule which features Catalans, third-placed Warrington and the improving Hull KR in their next three games.
But head coach Brett Hodgson was adamant his side are not too far away from where he wants them and believes they can turnaround their form.
“I thought there was much more to like in tonight’s performance than there was on Thursday (in the defeat against Leeds),” Hodgson said.
“We are still working to be more clinically offensively but we were in the contest and had Bureta (Faraimo) scored in the corner, it would have been a different result. Not necessarily a win but a lot closer than it was.
“So yeah, disappointed but at the same time, plenty to like in that performance.”
Jordan Johnstone and Ligi Sao were both sin-binned inside the final 20 minutes as St Helens asserted pressure and Hodgson hopes his side learn from their errors.
“Going down to 12 men against a fresh St Helens team is always going to hurt,” he added.
“Definitely disappointed with the last 25 minutes, conceding as many points as we did. But I’d rather focus on that first 55 minutes.
“It is only small margins in this game that can create what we want to achieve here and we will keep working hard until we get there.”