Kristian Woolf peaches ‘discipline’ as St Helens could win Leaders’ Shield at arch-rivals Wigan

St Helens' James Roby is tackled by Hull KR's George King and Jimmy Keinhorst. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.comSt Helens' James Roby is tackled by Hull KR's George King and Jimmy Keinhorst. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com
St Helens' James Roby is tackled by Hull KR's George King and Jimmy Keinhorst. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com
Sainst showed little signs of any growing tension in Friday night’s 38-12 success over Hull KR.

Ultra-cautious St Helens head coach Kristian Woolf says the race for the League Leaders’ Shield isn’t over despite being six points clear at the top of the table.

It’s a case of one step at a time for the 47-year-old Queenslander and next in the pecking order on Friday night will be second-in the table Wigan Warriors, whose fans will be desperate to rub their neighbours’ noses in the dirt at what will be a raucous and atmospheric DW Stadium.

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Victory would deny defending champions Saints their first piece of silverware of the season - at least for a few days!

Saints have the lead over their rivals from the other side of the Billinge Lump, as it is known locally, and with only three regular season fixtures remaining ahead of the play-offs, it is an advantage they surely can’t throw away, especially as their last two outings are at home against strugglers, Wakefield Trinity and Toulouse Olympique.

They showed little signs of any growing tension in Friday night’s 38-12 success over Hull KR, wracking up 20 first-half points without reply and then moving on to a comfortable home victory.

But the Humbersiders had what Woolf later described as a couple of magical moments in the second half and came close to matching the defending champions points-wise during this phase of the game and reminding the hosts that nothing is a done deal.

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At the same time, the 80 minutes was of great benefit to Saints who, like most clubs, have had their fair share of injuries this season and an opportunity to give the younger players more game time to prepare them for the end of season play-offs, if or when needed.

Second rower Sam Royle had a short second-half stint from the bench - his sixth appearance at senior level - while Ben Davies, Jon Bennison and Jake Wingfield also showcased their growing talent and contributed positively to the cause.

Woolf said: "We were good enough for long periods and played with a great degree of intensity for most of the game and also played some great footy. We are now preparing for the bigger fixtures ahead and will need a mindset where we can attack and still be disciplined with what we do with the ball."

Teams

St Helens: Hopoate, Makinson, Hurrell, Davies, Bennison, Welsby, Lomax , Walmsley, Roby, Lees, Bell, Batchelor, Wingfield.

Subs: Lussick, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Passi, Royle.

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Tries: Makinson (8 and 21 mins), Welsby (30), Lussick (43), Bennison ( 61), Davies (71).

Goals: Matkinson (7).

Hull KR: Coote, Barley, Keinhorst, Tate, Hall, Lewis, Milnes, Storton, Litten, King, Halton, Linnett, Minchella.

Subs: Veta, Maher, Laulu-Togaga’e, Fishwick.

Tries: Linnett (57), Tate (63), Barley (69).

Half-time: 20-0.

Full-time: 38-12.

Referee: Chris Kendall.

Attendance: 10,048.

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