Holbrook takes the pressure off

New St Helens head coach Justin Holbrook says getting his players to relax and believe in themselves again was the key to Saturday’s stunning 45-0 victory over Hull at Magic Weekend.

Saints went into the fixture on the back of a disappointing Challenge Cup defeat at Castleford last weekend, but they bounced back to kick-off Holbrook’s reign in style.

“I definitely just wanted to get straight into it and the assistants were waiting for me to get here, so I didn’t want to ease my way in,” said Holbrook.

“I felt they needed a fresh face and I was lucky enough to be that. It just was good timing for me.

“As for the pre-game stuff, that was locked in and I was just happy to run with what was, I didn’t need to be stepping up or say anything before. I’m lucky that I get to sit here after such a good performance.

“I obviously came in at a good time. The boys were hurting a lot, getting bundled out of the Challenge Cup last week, but all the credit goes to them for putting in a performance like that.

“I’ve been watching the games across the other side of the world in Australia and I could feel they were frustrated.

“My job was just to try and take the pressure off them, stop trying so hard which is what they were guilty of last week.

“They’re a good bunch of guys, they want success and they were hurting. I just wanted to try and let them let go of all of that and just get back to enjoying it again. They had to work hard which they did – there was some great defence there.

“I was confident that we could clear all that up, there was nothing majorly wrong there, we just had to find our way.

“While it was a great performance we still only get the two points and we’re still a fair way off the leading pack so we’ll keep performing.”

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