St Helens boss heaps praise on youngsters as team with seven debutants lose at Castleford

Saints were forced to make wholesale changes to their side due to injuries.

<p>Kristian Woolf</p>

Kristian Woolf

Head coach Kristian Woolf lavished praise on his Young Guns and declared himself proud of their efforts after Friday night’s 30-10 defeat against the Castleford Tigers at the Mend-a-Hose Jungle.

He also insisted his much-changed side had an outside chance of a shock victory when Jumah Sambou and James Bell scored tries to make it an eight-point game.

“At 18-10, if we get the next set right, then I think we put some real pressure on Cas,” said the Australian.

“But making the error on play two and giving them the chance to get over, it restored their energy.’’

Woolf was forced to make wholesale changes ahead of the fixture due to injuries, suspensions and weariness after a gruelling Easter period, handing an unprecedented debut to seven fledglings including three in the starting 13.

“I was never going to regret that decision, no matter what. It was 100% right,” he said.

“The young blokes showed they are Saints players; that was the most important thing. It is a moment they will remember the rest of their lives.

“They put their bodies on the line, they scrambled well and worked really hard to save tries.

“I thought when we gave ourselves a good opportunity we showed we were really threatening. We probably just let ourselves down with basic errors, whether it was a pass or a catch, particularly coming off our own line.”