'As good as it gets' says Justin Holbrook after win over Wolves

Justin Holbrook watches on at the Halliwell Jones stadium. Picture: SWPix
Justin Holbrook watches on at the Halliwell Jones stadium. Picture: SWPix

St Helens coach Justin Holbrook felt it was the toughest game he had been involved in after seeing his side register a thrilling 21-10 Super League victory over closest rivals Warrington.

The win sees Saints move eight points clear of the Wolves at the top of the table with just nine games remaining and it would take an almighty collapse by his side to stop them finishing top of the pile in 2019.

Saints trailed 6-0 early in the second half but tries from Mark Percival, Alex Walmsely and Luke Thompson and four goals and a drop goal from Lachlan Coote saw the visitors to victory.

"It was as good as it can get for me," said Holbrook. "It was the toughest game I've been involved in that's for sure.

"Warrington didn't give an inch and I was extremely proud of my side to do the same.

"You are never going to get many opportunities in those kind of games and I'm extremely proud to finish the game like we did.

"We were hanging in there for a fair bit of the game and we kept hanging in with blokes playing more minutes than they normally do so it's a huge win for us."

There was an explosive start to the game when after just three minutes a powerful charge from Wolves forward Sitaleki Akauola left Saints hooker Aaron Smith prone on the ground.

The game was halted for around five minutes while the youngster received treatment from medical staff and he was eventually carried off the field on a stretcher and immediately taken to hospital.

Holbrook added: "Aaron's gone to hospital. He's obviously not in a good way and we hope it's only precautionary.

"There's an issue with his (Akauola) carrying technique, it's three players now that have have been knocked out now and I wouldn't like to tackle him.

"It's a shoulder charge if you are defending so is it not if you've got the ball?"

Warrington coach Steve Price defended his player's technique.

"The game's been going for over 100 years with players running like that," he said.

"There's no issue, some teams need to have a look how they tackle and their technique.

"There's no intent, he's not raising any elbows or knees and they are copping his arm so there's nothing wrong with it whatsoever."

Price insisted his side will take plenty of positives despite the defeat.

Price said: "It was a tough game, it was one v two and I thought it was a quality game of football.

"We had to be at our best to beat them and just came up short in a couple of areas.

"But I'm super proud of the boys, it was a big effort and in big games you get limited opportunities and when you do get that chance you have to grab it and we didn't get those little moments.

"Overall I'm pleased where we are at, they are a quality football team and the scoreline didn't really reflect the game.

"It was one of those games where it was a matter of inches but there's a lot of positives to take."