Paul Wellens relieved to see St Helens return to winning ways

Josh McAllister
Paul Wellens, News Images.

St Helens boss Paul Wellens admitted he was relieved to see his side return to winning ways following the 20-12 home victory over Hull FC.

The world champions headed into the fixture on the back of two straight defeats to Leeds and Leigh respectively.

And it was a slow start to the fixture, with Ben Davies scoring the game’s first try on the 38th minute, taking advantage of a short drop-out by Hull.

Scott Taylor hit back for the visitors, before Jon Bennison scored his first of two to regain his side’s lead.

Jack Welsby further extended that lead, but not before Hull fought back through Jake Clifford, pouncing on a mistake from the hosts.

And Brad Dwyer could have scored the game changer, only to fail to ground the ball and that left Bennison to secure the victory with minutes left on the clock.  

“It’s pleasing to get a win after the last couple of results,” Welles admitted.

“There were a lot of fine margins out there tonight but I am proud of the way the players hung in and showed resilience. 

“We lost players during the build up and during the game but you need that character if we are going to achieve what we want to achieve.

“I knew we were not going to get an easy ride after Hull’s result last week. I thought Hull were as competitive as us which made for a very close game. Our attacking side of the game needs some work but we are not too disheartened because we have a lot of strike players out.

“We need to be on the same page as a team but we’re not quite as effective as we’d like at the moment.”

Paul Wellens praises Ben Davies

Wellens was full of praise for try-scorer Davies following the fixture, having also saved a try in the first half against Adam Swift.

The 22-year-old centre was forced from the field with half an hour to go, and was later on crunches following the fixture. 

“He’s in the wars, so to speak,” Wellens said on Davies. 

“I can’t pay him enough credit tonight. How tough he played, he got a gash in his head with around 15 stitches in it. He had that done at half-time. And to go back out there after that and put his hand up speaks volumes of his toughness.

“Then in the end the injury sees him off. He’s got a gash on the head and a pair of crutches. We’ll assess him in the week and see how he is.”

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