St Helens boss Justin Holbrook's reaction to big win over Catalans

Justin Holbrook. Picture: SWPix
Justin Holbrook. Picture: SWPix

Justin Holbrook saw his exuberant young St Helens side run up a 50-14 win over Catalans Dragons and admits he has a selection headache for the Betfred Super League leaders' next game at Hull KR.


Without the likes of Lachlan Coote, Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson and James Roby, Saints' prospects demolished their experienced and battle-hardened visitors.

Holbrook delighted by the manner of his team's fourth successive win since losing in Perpignan, said: "We made some changes and gave some boys opportunities.

"We were confident everyone would play well and they did. All the young guys were great with Jack Welsby fantastic at full-back, Matty Costello getting his hat-trick and Aaron Smith coming in and being one of our best.

"I said after Easter Monday I would work with the performance and medical teams to pick our best 17 to win the game and that's what we ran with. It worked out well.

"Our Academy has done a great job in bringing some elite young guys through.

"We got to see some of them in action today. But I had complete confidence in them they could play well.

"We expected a really tough game from Catalans. The Easter period is hard on all sides - and probably more so them, with the travelling.

"For us it was about giving some young guys opportunities and it worked well.

"We don't just have 17 players, we have a squad and everyone wants to be part of it which is great for us."

Dragons boss Steve McNamara said: "We came with all good intention.

"Losing Jason Baitieri (hamstring) in the warm-up started us off on a bad note. Then we lost David Mead and Kenny Edwards and it put us under pressure.

"A third game at Easter is always a tough one but I thought we were ready to play and compete and got off to a good start.

"But ultimately, down a couple of interchanges, against a young, fresh and very enthusiastic Saints side was too much. It was a tough afternoon."

Mead was carried off on a stretcher after a near 10-minute, first half stoppage following an aerial collision with Regan Grace.

"He seems fine," added McNamara of his winger. "It was precautionary in terms of what they did with him.

"But I'm not 100 per cent sure what happened. We took him off with a neck injury because we didn't use our concussion card. I will have to work out the situation with the medical staff."