Justin Holbrook: Saints’ new signings helping overcome 2018 disappointment

Justin Holbrook says St Helens’ new recruits will help rebuild the club as they target major silverware in 2019. 

The Saints were the most consistent team in Super League last season and picked up the League Leaders’ Shield.

But they lost in the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup and Super League, but Holbrook thinks the recent recruits of Lachlan Coote, Kevin Naiqama and Joseph Paulo will help his side overcome the final hurdle this year.

Reflecting on 2018, Holbrook told loverugbyleague.com: “Looking backing, we did a lot of great things and had a lot of great wins but in the end, we didn’t win the Super League title and that’s disappointing.

“To win the League Leaders’ Shield and be the most consistent side was great, but in our sport you want to win at Old Trafford on the big stage and we weren’t part of that, which was disappointing.

“The new faces are one thing that’ll help with the disappointment. Having fresh faces in will help us rebuild and determine how we finish. Lachlan will be great for us, he has a solid game and won the NRL with the [North Queensland] Cowboys in 2015. He has a good kicking game and will be a good leader for us.

“Kevin is the captain of Fiji and is an exciting player. Joseph has a lot of experience so we’ve got good experience and leadership coming in with a great squad of local guys so it’s a good mix and we are ready for a big year.”

Super League introduced a number of new rule changes ahead of the season kicking off, with the likes of golden point, shot clocks and fewer interchanges all coming intro fruition.

“I think the changes are fantastic, they have improved our game,” Holbrook added.

“Our games built on hard work and honesty and I think those rule changes will help that in the long run.

“We don’t want to see the antics that were creeping into our game so I think they will all improve our game for the people who come to our games and for the people watching at home on TV.

“I think they are all good changes for our game and for every team. We want to improve our sport and that is what we are doing.”

Saints have started the season in fine form, sitting top of the table after winning eight games from as many attempts.

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