Kristian Woolf praised Jonny Lomax’s influence following his side’s 19-12 semi-final win over Salford.
The St Helens boss also believes Morgan Knowles should not receive a ban for his chicken wing incident.
Knowles, 25, was sent to the sin-bin in the first half of the clash for the tackle on Chris Atkin. However, Woolf believes his star forward should be left available for next Saturday’s Grand Final.
“I’d be absolutely flabbergasted if that was a ban,” Woolf said in his post-match conference. “I can’t see what was really dangerous in that. We put those things in place for dangerous play and I get that and I support that. But I can’t see what was dangerous in that tackle.
“I’ll be extremely surprised (if there’s a ban).”
Kristian Woolf on Lomax’s influence
England international Lomax assisted all three of St Helens’ tries while also kicking a drop-goal on the half-time hooter.
The 32-year-old received praise by his head coach following the game, who believes he would have made a solid NRL half-back if he ever took the chance.
“I thought Jonny was great,” Woolf said. “He had a real influence on the game. He’s an international player. A lot of other players get a lot of credit at different times, but I think you’d find it very hard to find someone who has played as consistently as he has. I think sometimes he deserves a little bit more credit for what he does in the competition in a week in, week out basis.
“I think Jonny would be an outstanding NRL player. Something I love about this group, Jonny being one, who could have taken plenty of opportunities to go the NRL but there’s something really special about staying here, being a St Helens player and achieving what they have.
St Helens will now be looking to become the first-ever Super League side to win a Grand Final four times in a row. Only Leeds are preventing them from creating history at Old Trafford next Saturday.
“I know this group of men will give their absolute best, as they did today and as they have so many times,” Woolf continued. “Grand Final weeks are great weeks. They’re busy weeks, fun, exciting and you get the butterflies in the stomach. We’ve got to enjoy it.
“It’s a fourth Grand Final for this group of men and they’ve played four different teams which shows how hard it is to get there and how special this team is.”