Justin Holbrook full of praise for St Helens’ new signings after derby delight

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

St Helens coach Justin Holbrook lauded Lachlan Coote and Kevin Naiqama following his side’s win over Wigan.

The Saints beat the Warriors 22-12 at the Totally Wicked Stadium in the opening game of the 2019 Super League season on Thursday evening.

Holbrook picked out Coote and Naiqama for praise, who made their competitive debuts after arriving at the club from NRL sides North Queensland Cowboys and Wests Tigers respectively.

Speaking after the game, Holbrook said: “I thought they were all good for us.

“For Kev to score so early was great and I thought Lachlan was great, he did exactly what I thought he was going to bring to the side. He’s such a calming influence and he reads the game really well.

“I think they’re still defrosting! The last few weeks haven’t been as cold as the last day or two, so they’ve been alright. As long as they play good – I don’t mind how cold they are!

“To have Alex [Walmsley] back for his first competitive game in a long time was fantastic too, so I thought we worked really hard as a team and I think we are going to get better as a team because we have got a few new players.”

Holbrook also praised Super League’s new rules, with the introduction of the shot clock making the game quicker.

He added: “There are still some antics that went on, but they were nothing to do with the new rules.

“We are on the right track with it and we want to get to a stage where we don’t even notice new rules, we want it to just be in the game.

“It’s for the good of the game and it didn’t stand out too much, but everyone knows what we have to do, and I think that’s great for our game. It’s going to be great for everyone who watches it live or if you’re watching Sky at home.

“We want the game to be quicker for everyone and as coaches and players, that’s our job. It worked well.”

Holbrook confirmed there are no fresh injury concerns for his side following their derby win.

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