Justin Holbrook adamant Saints’ halves are only going to get better

James Messenger

Justin Holbrook insists that there is more to come from Jonny Lomax and Theo Fages after they inspired St Helens to a seventh straight Super League win.

Despite taking on a Castleford side unbeaten on their own patch in 2019, the Saints brushed aside the Tigers with a dominant 42-12 triumph at the Mend-a-Hose Jungle.

Lomax and Fages, along with full-back Lachlan Coote, have notched an impressive 21 assists in 2019, ensuring that Danny Richardson has failed to get a look-in after a breakthrough year in 2018.

After the game, Holbrook admitted that he was surprised by the margin of victory but says that his spine are visibly improving with each passing game.

“I think that was a complete performance,” he said. “Every one of the boys played well and that was a really pleasing thing.

“A few times, we had to scramble in the first half, and we kept turning up for each other. To keep Cas to nil for most parts of the game was exceptional. It was hard work, but the players deserve full credit.

“It’s getting better every week and the key playmakers are improving collectively. Obviously, the other guys are doing the hard work, but they’re really working well.

“As better conditions come, everyone will start to attack better. We’ve played in some tough conditions and still looked good with the ball.

“I wasn’t expecting that scoreline, but given the effort the players put in, they fully deserved it.”

Saints restored their two-point lead at the top with what Holbrook described as a ‘complete performance,’ racing into an 18-0 advantage at the break thanks to tries from Coote, Regan Grace and Man-of-the-Match Dom Peyroux.

Despite Michael Shenton and Jake Trueman crossing for the hosts after the interval, the Merseysiders ran away with it after second-half scores from Zeb Taia, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Mark Percival, Lomax and a second for Peyroux.

Nevertheless, Holbrook insists that his side cannot dwell on their performance for too long, with a home tie against Hull Kingston Rovers coming up next Friday.

He said: “We knew that it was going to be our toughest game of the year so far. We prepared as best as we could and delivered.

“We want to continue the way we’re going, keep working hard and get ready again for next week.”