Lockdown allowed St Helens to get over fatigue, says coach Kristian Woolf

St Helens coach Kristian Woolf believes the champions have overcome underlying fatigue during the Super League lockdown.

The Saints endured a slow start by their own high standards and return to action in eighth place after suffering three defeats.

However, Woolf, who joined the club in the off-season, believes the downtime has allowed his players to refresh after a hectic schedule both collectively and individually.

“I think the biggest issue we faced before lockdown was that we had a lot of carry-over fatigue,” he said.

“We had a number of guys who played internationals that had a very short lead-in, we had a number of guys that either had surgery or had injuries that meant they didn’t start the season and I mentioned the impact we underestimated a bit of the World Club Challenge as well.

“Those couple of things coupling together, I think we had a fair bit of fatigue that we missed a little bit in hindsight. That’s what the COVID period has really let us do. There’s no more of that underlying fatigue in anyone in the group, everyone is fresh, everyone has had a good break, everyone is ready to go and everyone has got over surgery and they’re not just trying to catch-up with fitness, they’ve had plenty of time to do so.

“We’re going to throw out a team that for the first time this year is what we consider full strength with everyone available. I think it’s really going to help us going forward.”