St Helens coach Nathan Brown isn’t getting carried away after their impressive 38-8 win over Warrington on Thursday night.
New scrum-half Luke Walsh put in a man of the match display as Saints ran in six tries to dampen the 10 year birthday celebrations at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
First half scores from Tom Makinson, James Roby and Kyle Amor helped the visitors to a 20-4 half-time lead, and further touchdowns from Anthony Laffranchi and Adam Swift put the game well beyond doubt, before Walsh plucked a late 50m interception try to the delight of the away fans.
Brown said: “It’s pleasing to come to Warrington, who’ve got a wonderful coach and a team that’s been successful for long, and get a result.
“It’s there to see quite clearly what Walshy can bring to the team, and he had a lot of good contributions, on the back of some good stuff from the forwards.
“But we’re certainly not going to get carried away.”
Brown was keen to point out the absence of Paul Wood, Simon Grix and Ben Westwood from the Wolves pack, which meant they carried a relatively light bench. New signing Matty Russell was also absent, forcing Stefan Ratchford to slot in at full-back, with Michael Monaghan coming in at six.
He said: “We just came out to do the best we could. You’ve got to highlight the fact that Warrington had three of their best forwards not playing, and one of their strengths usually is what’s coming off the bench.
“Some people will start to question Warrington a bit, but they are a good team and they’ll be hard to beat. If we’re playing Warrington at the end of the year, and beating them we’ll be a very happy club.”
Walsh’s half-back partner has been the subject of much debate in Saints quarters during the off-season, with Gary Wheeler getting the nod at stand-off for this game.
Brown added: “We’ve been trying lots of people at six in pre-season. In Wheels’ case, he came off a nasty injury last year, was still in rehab for a period of time early in pre-season, and to his credit he’s trained the best he ever has, to give himself the best chance.
“Everyone will agree that a fit Gary Wheeler is a terrific young player, and hopefully his body can hold up.
“We’ve got Lance there, and it breaks my heart not playing Lance, because he deserves to play every week. He’s a terrific little player and a great bloke, and it’s not nice to leave Lance out because you can’t find a spot for everyone.”
St Helens welcome Hull to Langtree Park next Friday for the inaugural Steve Prescott Cup.