St Helens boss Kristian Woolf praises ‘never-say-die’ player in narrow win over Warrington

St Helens battled to a 12-10 victory over neighbours Warrington Wolves at the Halliwell-Jones Stadium on Thursday night.

More often than not, great teams find a way of winning matches even when they are not firing on all cylinders.

St Helens demonstrated this ability in their narrow 12-10 victory over neighboursWarrington Wolves at the Halliwell-Jones Stadium on Thursday night.

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The result could so easily have gone the other way if not for a last ditch tackle by the outstanding Tommy Makinson, who was making his 250th Super League appearance for the club

Head coach coach Kristian Woolf admitted later: “My nerves were on edge at the end when Warrington winger Connor Wrench broke clear, only to be denied by a never-say-die Makinson.

“It was a good game of footy,” Woolf said. “I thought Warrington were really good, they challenged us in different ways.

“I didn’t think we were at our best. We made some uncharacteristic errors but the effort was outstanding and, when we were under pressure, we just turned up for each other, that’s what this group does.

“Sometimes you get a little bit ugly with the ball and sometimes you don’t quite get things right, that was certainly us tonight.

“I was really happy with how we handled that last 10 minutes. It was a bit nerve-wracking but I knew what sort of effort and scramble we would come up (with).

“Tommy’s effort to get in position to make that play was outstanding. He’s the best winger in the competition but he’s a team player first.”

Saints’ first try came in unusual circumstances with prop Alex Walmsley picking up a loose ball from a Warrington scrum which collapsed in the face of a strong push from the champions.

“I was really happy to see that try,” Woolf said. “I think it’s a really poor rule that we allow that to be honest. It’s a play for penalty, it was good to see that backfire, so to speak.”

Warrington: Widdop, Wrench, Mata’utia (P), King, Ashton, Ratchford, Williams, Philbin, Clark(D.), Cooper, Currie, Holmes, Magoulias. Subs: Clark(J.), Bullock, Davis, Mulhern.

Tries: Widdop (14 mins), Williams (58 mins).

Conversions: Ratchford (1/1).

Saints: Welsby, Makinson, Hurrell, Mata’utia (S.), Percival, Davies, Lomax, Walmsley, Roby, Lees, Batchelor, Sironen, Knowles. Subs: Lussick, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Passi, Bell.

Tries: Walmsley (21 mins), Makinson (37 mins).

Conversions: Makinson (2/2).

Half-time 4-12.

Full-time: 10-12

Attendance 10,476.