Saints missed Graham’s influence

Kristian Woolf says St Helens must learn to play without James Graham after the influential forward was stood down due to Covid protocols.

Graham will be unavailable when Saints take on Wakefield again on Thursday, after having scraped past the strugglers on Friday.

He will be back for the Leeds game a week later but Woolf said: “You consider your best players because of the influence they have, and James Graham is a real leader who supports Robes (James Roby) really well.

“There is no doubt if he is there that we would have had a bit more of hard-nosed approach to the game. His leadership would have helped us out, but we have to overcome that – particularly this year, given the disruptions that there will be late in the week.

“We have to learn how to roll with that, but for whatever reason we didn’t quite get our heads around a tough game tonight.”

Friday’s game marked Tommy Makinson’s return to action, and he expressed his delight at returning to the field.

“Obviously it’s just great to get out there,” he said.

“I’ve had five weeks training, I didn’t want that five weeks off but the little incident happened. But it’s good to be back.”

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