St Helens boss Paul Wellens provides latest on duo injured in Warrington Wolves defeat

Drew Darbyshire
Alex Walmsley Curtis Sironen St Helens Alamy

Alex Walmsley (left) and Curtis Sironen (right) in action for St Helens

St Helens suffered a double injury blow in their defeat to Warrington Wolves, with Alex Walmsley and Curtis Sironen picking up knocks.

The Saints were knocked out of the Challenge Cup on Sunday evening, losing 31-8 against Warrington who set up a semi-final meeting with Huddersfield Giants.

And in the game, Wellens’ men lost prop Walmsley and back-rower Sironen to hamstring and elbow injuries respectively.

Speaking in his post-match press conference, Wellens provided the latest on the pair, with Walmsley set to go for scans on his hamstring.

“We’re hoping Curtis isn’t too bad,” Wellens said. “He’s obviously got an ice pack on his elbow so we’re going to have to get that checked out.

“Big Al felt his hamstring slightly, so again, with those types of injuries, I’ve said it numerous times with hamstrings, they’re never ‘you’re going to be alright in four or five days’ so we’re going to send Alex off for a scan and get a more detailed of what’s gone on.”

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St Helens boss Paul Wellens ‘very disappointed’ to be out of the Challenge Cup

The Saints were only 7-6 behind at the break but four unanswered tries in the second half from Warrington saw Sam Burgess’ side progress to the semi-finals.

“Very disappointing,” Wellens said in his initial reaction to the performance. “A Challenge Cup quarter-final and for a team who manages to rise in big games, I think we got the opposite of that today.

“Some of the things I’m seeing are quite the opposite of what we practiced in the week, so we need to be smarter in the way we handle certain situations but I thought we got out-enthused by our opposition today, out-enthused at home in a Challenge Cup quarter-final, that doesn’t sit well with me.

“We just gave them far too much opportunity and we still need to be far better defensively to hold them out but we didn’t learn any lessons at all from last week (defeat at Catalans). We’d spoken about it all week, but the amount of times we just gave up cheap possession again and tried to force things, so many moments in the game that we made ourselves the team that had to do all the work and then it told in the end.”

Wellens to ponder squad selection ahead of Hull FC clash

St Helens, who have tasted successive defeats, will aim to return to winning ways next Friday night when they take on Hull FC at the Totally Wicked Stadium – and Wellens says he will assess his squad in the coming days in regards to possible rotations.

“I’m certainly going to have to look at what options are available,” he said. “We’ve got a group of five or six players who are champing at the bit for an opportunity, someone like Ben Davies, for example, has been 18th man most weeks and he’s desperate for a chance.

“I suppose what the message is: the onus is on the people with the shirt to keep them. The team is going to be picked on form and the players who are not quite doing it have to understand being at this club, there’s a standard you need to have when you pull on this jersey.

“I suppose emotions are riding high at the moment so I don’t want to sit here and say we’re going to be dropping four, five or six players. What I have got to do is think about the team next week and what is best.

“There’s also a school of thought that the guys who are disappointed go out and make amends but I thought that was the case this week, so there’s a lot of thinking for me to do over the next few days.

“I won’t make decisions based on emotion, what I do have to say is there’s still a group of players in there who I care about, there’s still a group of players I believe in and, although this disappointment is huge, I do feel we’re not a million miles off doing what we need to do to become that team again and, generally, that’s around getting the basics right.”

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