St Helens coach Justin Holbrook keeps emotions in check after 'fantastic' win over Wigan

Saints coach Justin Holbrook
Saints coach Justin Holbrook

St Helens coach Justin Holbrook was delighted his side were able to complete a 100 per cent home record after watching them steamroller reigning champions Wigan to coast through to a record 11th Super League Grand Final.


The league leaders, refreshed by their first blank weekend of the year, produced arguably their best performance, running in seven tries to two in a 40-10 victory that ensures Gold Coast-bound Holbrook's last match with Saints will be at Old Trafford.

Tommy Makinson enjoys the moment at the final whistle

Tommy Makinson enjoys the moment at the final whistle

Saints had the game sewn up by half-time when they led 26-6 and England centre Mark Percival added two further tries in the second half as they earned another week off.

Holbrook said: "It was a fantastic win. I thought we were good the whole first half. We had great preparation going into the game.

"I was confident the boys were going to play that way. It was the most relaxed I've ever been coming into a game and, for the boys to execute was brilliant to watch. It capped off a perfect home record.

"Our overall game was great, we showed what we are capable of and I'm happy to get a dominant win.

Kevin Naiqama is off to Old Trafford

Kevin Naiqama is off to Old Trafford

"The first half was as good as we've played. The second half got a bit sloppy but you're not going to play a perfect half."

While Saints enjoy another week off, Wigan will have a second chance to reach Old Trafford when they take on Salford in the final eliminator at the DW Stadium next Friday.

Holbrook, who says he has no preference over his final opponents, kept his emotions in check at the end of his last match at the Totally Wicked Stadium but admits he could be tested if his side go on to win the title.

"There's one game to go and that's the one that matters," he said. "If we play well and win at Old Trafford I'll be emotional.

Alex Walmsley enjoys the big win over Wigan

Alex Walmsley enjoys the big win over Wigan

"Wigan will be wounded after tonight and they will bounce back while Salford have been playing really well."

Wigan coach Adrian Lam admits he was "rattled" by the nature of the defeat but remains confident that, if his side can get past Salford, they will make a better fist of it against Saints at Old Trafford.

"They were very good tonight," he said. "We knew they were going to be like that and we needed to match them early but we couldn't. We had to meet fire with fire.

"They had a week off and they out-enthused us really. We ended up doing things we haven't done all year. Our defence has been pretty aggressive all year and we were off tonight.

Theo Fages scores the opening try. Picture: SWpIx

Theo Fages scores the opening try. Picture: SWpIx

"I'm pretty rattled, we went from bad to worse. But we've earned the right to have second crack and that comes into play for us.

"I don't want to look two weeks ahead but, if we get another crack at them, it will be completely different.

"One thing we do have in that dressing room is experience and I know they will lift this week."

Lam says hooker Sam Powell showed no ill effects from his wrist injury and he expects to have Salford-bound centre Dan Sarginson back for the final eliminator.

Jonny Lomax crosses for a second half try. Picture: SWpix

Jonny Lomax crosses for a second half try. Picture: SWpix