St Helens star Lewis Dodd received plaudits after the half-back inspired his side to get off to a winning start on their trip Down Under.
The 21-year-old put in a standout display to help the Saints beat St George Illawarra Dragons 30-18 in the NRL pre-season challenge.
Dodd scored a try and had a hand in a couple more as St Helens prepared for the World Club Challenge against Penrith next week in the best way possible.
“Lewis Dodd is a fantastic player,” St Helens skipper James Roby told Fox Sports after the game.
“He is such a good player to have back because he missed a large part of last season with an Achilles injury.
“He is very direct, a great organiser, a great kicker of the ball and a natural half-back so to have him back in our team helps it flow a little bit better.”
James Roby happy with Dragons win
St Helens’ win over the Dragons marks a winning start to their trip Down Under. They take on NRL premiers Penrith Panthers in the World Club Challenge on Saturday.
“I’m very happy,” said Roby. “It was a long way to travel over here and it was our first hit out against NRL opposition.
“We were a bit apprehensive, we didn’t know what to expect but I think the game was great for us. We blew a couple of chances at times but it was a good set for set game in parts. On the whole, coming away with the win is very pleasing.
“That’s the preparation we need. We know next week is going to be on another level, it’s a huge occasion. I know our middles, the likes of Alex Walmsley, need to get that bit of contact in and minutes under their belt and that’s what we did tonight.
“On the whole, it was very pleasing that we managed to get every player on the field by the end so it was pleasing.”
Dragons star makes World Club Challenge predictions
St George Illawarra half-back Moses Mbye admitted he didn’t expect St Helens to be as good as they were, but doesn’t think they’ll be able to beat Penrith next weekend.
“I thought they were a really good outfit,” Mbye told Fox Sports. “They stayed in the cycle longer than I expected to be honest.
“I thought they were going to have a big shot and make a few errors and they did. Particularly in the start of that second half, there were some really big cycles.
“I think they’ll struggle against the Penrith boys over here though. They were a classy outfit and I wish them all the best.”