Saints survive Wakefield clash injury free

St Helens coach Kristian Woolf is delighted suffered no significant injuries prior to Saturday’s Challenge Cup final from Friday night’s 30-14 victory against Wakefield Trinity.

Woolf decided not to rest most of his first-team squad, other than halfback Theo Fages and forward Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, with Louis Dodd starting the match in place of Fages and scoring a try.

And Woolf also had his prop forward Matty Lees back from a broken ankle that he suffered against Leeds in April, strengthening Woolf’s selection options against the Tigers at Wembley.

“He came though really well and I thought he looked good,” Woolf said of Lees.

“He’s not done much running for a long time so to be able to perform like that means I’m really happy.”

And Woolf confirmed the good news on the injury front.

“We’ve a couple of bumps and bruises, but nothing to report injury wise,” he added.

“The two things we wanted from the game was to come through injury free and to get a tough hit-out, which we did.

“We were not at our best but we had to fight and we did that. The last 20 minutes, when we were under pressure, was when we played our best footy.”

One certain selection for Saturday will be fullback Lachlan Coote, who will want to make up for a below-par performance when St Helens lost to Warrington Wolves in the 2019 Challenge Cup Final.

Against Trinity, Coote scored a try and seven goals for 18 points, just two days after Hull KR announced his signing for 2022.

“The last two weeks have been the best two games he’s had for us this year,” Woolf said.

“We will certainly miss him, but we will get plenty of time with him in our side first.”

And Woolf was happy with the performance of Dodd, who has long been tipped for big things in the game.

“He showed a couple of glimpses of what he is capable of tonight,” Woolf said.

“I would have liked to see him run a bit more but he showed some real touches of class.”

The above content is also available in the regular weekly edition of League Express, on newsstands every Monday in the UK and as a digital download. Click here for more details.