St Helens boss Kristian Woolf pinpoints key moment that led to ‘ugly’ win over Salford Red Devils

Joey Lussick and Tommy Makinson of St Helens. Photo: Gareth Copley/Getty ImagesJoey Lussick and Tommy Makinson of St Helens. Photo: Gareth Copley/Getty Images
Joey Lussick and Tommy Makinson of St Helens. Photo: Gareth Copley/Getty Images
The Saints head coach hailed his side’s ability to battle to victory in a closely fought contest.

Saints head coach Kristian Woolf was proud of the way his team ‘found an ugly way to win’ against a battling Salford side at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

The scores were locked 10-10 as the game entered the final quarter but two Tommy Makinson penalties got Saints home as they recorded a 14-10 Super League victory.

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Injury-hit Salford have not won at St Helens since 1980 but they pushed the Champions all the way.

With time almost up, Saints forward Morgan Knowles came up with a superb tackle on Salford’s Chris Atkin as he seemed destined for the tryline after an interception inside his own half.

A bicep injury for St Helens half-back Jonny Lomax took some of the shine off the win but Woolf said he was hopeful the player would be available for the Challenge Cup semi-final against Wigan next weekend.

Woolf said: “We had a little bit of bad luck and were all over the place but the real positive was that we found a way to win.

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“We had to be desperate at times and right at the end, it was an outstanding play by Morgan Knowles – to play 80 minutes and then come up with a tackle like that was outstanding and made sure we won the game.

“Sometimes you have got to win a bit ugly – that’s what we did tonight and that’s what good teams do. We have come away with two points and that’s the most important thing.”

Lomax left the action midway through the first half and Woolf was able to shed some light on his injury.

He added: “Jonny doesn’t come off for nothing – if ever in fact.

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“He will have it scanned but we’ve got an eight-day turnaround and (will) take a look at it. We hope for good news.

“Salford turned up and chanced their hand. We were a bit ill disciplined which put us under the pump at different times. We will learn from that and be better next time.”

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