The topsy-turvy encounter was only decided five minutes from the end when James Roby crossed and earned Saints the two points on the opening weekend of the season, which saw local rivals Warrington and Wigan both drop points.
Simmons told the club’s official website: “The new signings did well and they are continuing to learn the way our team plays. Anthony Laffranchi put in a lot of good carries and like Mark Flanagan does the little things right. They tackle well and don’t give away a lot of penalties.
“Lance has been playing hooker in the NRL and has been training at half with us and doing a lot of kicking. Paul Wellens wasn’t quite ready today so he moved to full back and he’s catching bombs. His adaptability is very valuable to us.”
Saints take on Salford on Friday in front of the SKY TV cameras, and have already sold 14,000 tickets for the game, which has an attendance limit of 17,000.
It will be the second game at the new venue – with Saints seeing off Widnes 42-24 in a pre-season friendly in front of more than 11,000 fans a fortnight ago.