‘Crystal clear’ - Paul Wellens issues warning to St Helens players ahead of Halifax Challenge Cup tie

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The Saints boss says his side will have to bring their A-game against the outsiders from the Championship.

Head coach Paul Wellens has warned his players of the potential banana skin they face in Friday night’s Rugby League Challenge Cup tie at 250-1 outsiders Halifax Panthers.

The St Helens boss drew comparison to last year’s tie against Whitehaven who, like the West Yorkshire club, are a Championship outfit and gave the 13-times winners a run for their money early on before fading into obscurity.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A serial Challenge Cup victor, 43-year-old former full back Wellens said: "We saw what the tie against  Whitehaven meant to the Cumbrians 12 months ago and I am expecting the same response  from Halifax,

"I have made it crystal clear what I want from my players but we will have to be strong, particularly in defence, and will not be under-estimating the challenge. I have watched Halifax lately and they have been fantastic. We will have to produce our A-game to reach the next round."

Halifax, who lie fourth in the Championship table, warmed up for the most important fixture since the clubs clashed a few years ago in the semi-final of the  competition and will have boosted their confidence  by thrashing Whitehaven 60-0 last weekend,  but Saints will be a different kettle of fish.

Head coach Simon Grix said: "I’m looking forward to the tie from a coaching perspective because Saints play a little bit different to other teams . Their line speed on your goal line looks generally the same as that on their own goal line so you will have a lot to to deal with. Promoting the ball has worked for other teams but you’ve got to be on the money."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Grix added: " I think this is an ideal opportunity for our group to show their talent and there are lads in our squad who tell me they want to play at Super League level. This is a chance for them to pick their wits against one of the best in the game and see how it goes."

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.