St Helens boss hails Mark Percival after reaching ‘wonderful’ milestones: ‘He’s as good a centre as there is in the competition’

Drew Darbyshire
Mark Percival St Helens Alamy

Mark Percival kicking a goal for St Helens

St Helens coach Paul Wellens hailed Mark Percival after the centre reached two ‘wonderful’ milestones in their 34-4 win at Castleford.

Percival, 29, kicked five goals and scored a try to surpass 1,000 points for Saints as well as scoring his 100th try in Super League on Friday night.

England international Percival is currently enjoying his testimonial year with the club, having made his first team debut back in 2013.

“I wasn’t aware of it (1,000 points) until after the game and it’s a wonderful milestone for a great player in his testimonial year,” Wellens said.

“When he sticks to his strengths as a player he’s as good a centre as there is in the competition.”

The Widnes-born centre has played in four Super League Grand Final victories for Saints as well as a Challenge Cup final.


St Helens set their sights on a top two finish

St Helens’ win over Castleford – and their fifth victory in a row – saw them climb to second in the Super League table for the first time this season.

Wellens praised his side’s response to their Challenge Cup semi-final defeat to Leigh, having not lost a game since.

“We lost a big game just over a month ago in the Challenge Cup semi-final and the response of the players has been huge, particularly when we’ve been missing key players,” Wellens added.

“I thought the first 40 minutes were outstanding and after that there are lessons that can be learned because when you do take your foot off the gas you get punished, and that’s what happened.

“Every game is vital for us now. What we need to do is concentrate on every game because we’ve got some very difficult challenges ahead.

“If we have confidence in ourselves we give ourselves the best chance of finishing in the top two.”

Finishing in the top two come the end of the regular season would guarantee Saints a home semi-final.

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