Joey Lussick and Tommy Makinson of St Helens. Photo: Gareth Copley/Getty Images
Hysterical suggestions that Rugby League’s most consistent club over recent years is on the wane should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Ever since Kristian Woolf’s triple champions were knocked out of the Betfred Challenge Cup by Wigan Warriors, talk has centred around whether it is just a blip in form, or the beginning of a fall from grace.
No doubt other clubs hope it will be the latter, but there was little to indicate that by the manner in which they toppled a rejuvenated Hull FC 24-10 at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Friday and did so despite having James Bell in the sin-bin for 10 crucial second half minutes.
During that period the Airlie Birds didn’t breach the Saints’ defiant defensive wall once and it’s a reason why they have only conceded a miserly 116 point from their 12 Super League games to date.
Doesn’t sound like a team past its sell by date and currently leading the table, even though they haven’t had a full complement of players available due to injury or suspension all season.
⭕ Congratulations to Tommy Makinson on reaching a magical milestone in his Saints’ first team career which stretches back to 2011.
The jet-heeled winger smashed the 1,000 points barrier in Friday night’s home victory over Hull FC and cemented the club in top spot in the Betfred Super League table.
He finished the night with a total of 1015 points under his belt - made up of 160 tries, 87 goals and one field goal - and another outside back who has made a massive impact on the success of the club over many years.
Neither does the 30-year-old Ince-in-Makerfield- born player look out of place when comparing him with other top-notch wingers who have thrilled crowds in all parts of the country, including the legendary Tom van Vollenhoven, Darren Albert, Anthony Sullivan, and Ade Gardner.
Illustrious company, indeed, but despite all his glory moments, such as being named RL’s Golden Boot winner in 2018, it hasn’t always been plain sailing.
Makinson has had his fair share of injuries - some of a serious nature which threatened his career - but he has overcome those dark moments and is playing better than ever as Saints chase a record-breaking fourth successive Grand Final victory.