Konrad Hurrell hailed after dream debut for St Helens

Konrad Hurrell St Helens
Konrad Hurrell in action for St Helens

St Helens coach Kristian Woolf thought debutant Konrad Hurrell was ‘exceptional’ in their 28-8 win over Catalans Dragons in the opening game of the season.

The 30-year-old Tonga international arrived at Saints from Leeds in the off-season. He scored to help the champions claim a big win over Catalans in a rematch of last year’s Grand Final.

Hurrell also came up with an impressive offload to assist James Roby for his try.

Woolf said: “I thought Konny was exceptional. I remember when we signed him, I said, ‘If we can get him fit and get him happy, we can get a real performance out of him’.

“He’s got to back that up next week, but he was great out of yardage and defended really well.

“A couple of tries came off the back of his little offloads and that bit of X-factor he’s got about his game.”

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England international Tommy Makinson scored twice for Saints as hooker Joey Lussick scored on debut. Young half-back Lewis Dodd also got on the scoresheet thanks to an impressive solo try.

Woolf was pleased with all of his players, and says the best is yet to come from his side.

He added: “It’s round one, so you can’t get too excited. There is a lot of footy to be played, but it gives us a lot of confidence.

“I said before the game we were in a good position to attack the season and I think we showed that tonight. It’s a great little block for us to build off and we’re only going to get better from here.

“It was a good tough physical game of footy and, when the game got flowing, there was some real positives and I thought our blokes put on some outstanding tries.

“But there were periods of real stop-start. We want people to come and watch our game and we want to entertain and we’ve got to do something about this slowing down and stopping and holding down in the ruck, it just made it ugly at times.”

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About Drew Darbyshire 8035 Articles
Love Rugby League Deputy Editor. Joined the site ahead of the 2017 World Cup and been a full-time reporter since 2018.

1 Comment

  1. I’m sure most people at Saints hope Hurrell can do well. There was always the question of why they were signing him and much of that came from the combination of him not having the greatest of times recently (and therefore the question of whether he is on the decline with age), as well as him being Leeds’ marquee signing, and therefore on large wages, as well as already having signed Hopoate, who seemingly is their replacement for Naiqama at centre. However I’m sure there are not many people at Saint who do not want him to succeed.

    One match cannot determine whether the season will continue in that manner.
    However, it needs to be considered that, if Hurrell is happy to make the move in the circumstances, he may very well be up for the challenge, which could produce some good performances.
    If he is willing to move to Saints on supposedly considerably less money, on a one year deal with no future security, moving to the champions after not having the best of seasons (i.e. not moving with the “help” of coming off a good season and the positivity that would bring with it) and also knowing that there is going to be competition for places with centres already in the squad, then it suggests he is up for the challenge.

    Nobody is expecting Hurrell to destroy teams every week, but if he is hungry for the move, then he can dominate the outer edge of the pitch for a team as good as Saints currently are.

    I don’t want to make too many guesses or assumptions about people, but he seemed very frustrated with himself when he made a mistake to hand over possession. I would hope that he doesn’t get too frustrated with himself, and let the frustration cloud his mind. I think Hurrell with a clear mind will be more focused and less likely to make further mistakes. Hopefully he understands that the Saints team is good enough to absorb the occasional mistake. A player like Hurrell, who plays on the edge and tries to release the ball at difficult times, will occasionally make mistakes but the times he gets the ball away will open up chances and create tries like it did in this game. He got the ball away multiple times during the match and made only really one notable mistake, and I would say the positives outweigh the negatives. There will be times when a player like that will not make their passes and will lost the ball more, but hopefully the team can keep him focused and not get too disheartened by his mistakes.

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